Stores report tampon, menstrual pad shortage as women struggle to find product

The shortage is reportedly stemming from several factors, including staffing problems at factories and transportation delays.
The latest supply shortage to hit stores in the United States is disproportionately impacting women who menstruate.

Major retail chains across the country are reporting a shortage of tampon products as people have taken to social media to report their struggle to find products on store shelves.

"I had to go to three different stores to find the brand of #Tampons I like to use just to end up having to try another brand," one woman shared on Twitter.



The shortage is reportedly stemming from a combination of factors, including staffing problems at factories, transportation delays and the rising cost of materials used to make the products, like plastics.

Walgreens told ABC News in a statement it is experiencing "some temporary brand-specific shortages in certain geographies."

"Walgreens works diligently with our suppliers to ensure we have tampon supply available. However, similar to other retailers, we are experiencing some temporary brand-specific shortages in certain geographies," the company said. "While we will continue to have products at shelf and online, it may only be in specific brands while we navigate the supply disruption. And, for customers looking for a specific product or brand, our website is up-to-date with the latest available store-level inventory information."

CVS also confirmed a shortage in a statement to ABC News.

"We're working with our suppliers to ensure we have an ample supply of feminine care products in our stores," the company said. "In recent weeks, there have been instances when suppliers haven't been able to fulfill the full quantities of orders placed. If a local store is temporarily out of specific products, we work to replenish those items as quickly as possible."

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Edgewell Personal Care, which makes Playtex and o.b. tampons, said "extensive workforce shortages" caused by the coronavirus pandemic impacted production of its menstrual products.

"At Edgewell, we understand feminine care is a necessity, and production of feminine care products is a responsibility we take seriously," the company said in a statement to ABC News. "To meet demand that has existed throughout the pandemic, we have continuously operated the production facility in which our feminine care products, including Playtex and o.b. tampons and Carefree and Stayfree liners and pads, are manufactured."

The statement continued, "Production, and therefore inventory, of these products was impacted due to extensive workforce shortages caused by two separate Omicron surges in the U.S. and Canada in late 2021 and early 2022, respectively. We have been operating our manufacturing facilities around the clock to build back inventory and anticipate returning to normal levels in the coming weeks."

Procter & Gamble, the manufacturer of Tampax, told ABC News it is "producing tampons 24/7" to meet the demand.

"We understand it is frustrating for consumers when they can't find what they need. We can assure you this is a temporary situation, and the Tampax team is producing tampons 24/7 to meet the increased demand for our products," the company said in a statement. "We are working with our retail partners to maximize availability, which has significantly increased over the last several months."

Procter & Gamble told Time magazine earlier this month that it saw a major spike in sales after launching an ad campaign with comedian Amy Schumer in July 2020.

"Retail sales growth has exploded," a Procter & Gamble spokeswoman told the magazine.

Schumer, who shared publicly that she underwent surgery last year to remove her uterus due to endometriosis, responded on Instagram, writing, "Whoa I don't even have a uterus."

Amid the ongoing shortage, the average price for tampons and other menstrual products has also risen.

The price of tampons rose by nearly 10% and the price of menstrual pads by more than 8% through May, according to Bloomberg, citing NielsenIQ data.

ABC News' Amantha Chery contributed to this report.
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