a temporary situation.”
“Getting raw and packed materials to the places we need to get them to continues to be costly and highly volatile,” says Andre Schulten, Procter & Gamble’s chief financial officer, on a recent earnings call.
Walgreens and CVS have also said that they are aware of tampon and other period product shortages in some areas. They are working with their suppliers to ensure they can restock as soon as possible.
Are there solutions?
Understandably, the shortage of period products has caused a great deal of stress for women because much like the US infant formula shortage, there’s an urgency for them. It’s not something women can do without. People who menstruate don’t have the luxury of waiting for the shelves to be restocked.
In the meantime, these alternatives can help you get through that time of the month:
- Try a different product or brand. If you are having trouble finding your usual products, consider trying a different product or brand than the one you would normally use. Consider Kotex, who has said that it is not experiencing any shortages. “We’re working closely with our retail partners to keep shelves stocked,” the company told USA Today. Tampon users may also consider switching to pads until shelves are restocked.
- Period underwear. Period underwear are a great, environment-friendly alternative that don’t require pads or tampons unless you need the extra protection. They come in a variety of designs and colors and are machine-washable.
- Menstrual cups. Patented in 1937 by actress Leona Chalmers, this is another eco-friendly option. Menstrual cups collect the blood from your period, and you dump it out every 10 to 12 hours. This means fewer trips to the bathroom. For the women fearful of accidents, try the Loon Cup, which will tell you when it needs to be changed.
- Menstrual discs. Like menstrual cups, menstrual discs are inserted and collect period blood. However, menstrual discs sit at the vaginal fornix, which is deeper into the vaginal canal making them perfect for the ladies who want to still have sex during that time of the month. Like tampons, menstrual discs are disposable and should not be reused.
- Reusable cloth pads. Twenty billion disposable pads and tampons end up in landfills every year. Cloth pads are the solution to that. These snap into the crotch of your underwear and can be worn for up to six hours like regular pads, however, they are reusable and can be tossed in the washing machine.
- Sterile gauze. We’ve all been in a situation where our period has caught us off guard with no pads or tampons in sight. For times like this, sterile gauze may work and it’s much more absorbent than the tissue you typically use. Of course, this is a last resort, but it works great when you are in a pinch!