What’s causing the tampon shortage that we are seeing all over social media? Is it the cost of raw materials, supply chain issues, or is it Amy Schumer? And are there other period products we can use?
Don’t get us wrong, we absolutely love Amy—but she is not causing the tampon shortage that the United States is currently facing (think of the power she would hold!). And by the way, this isn’t the first shortage we are experiencing. A formula shortage is making baby formula hard to get into the mouths of babes.
Since the pandemic started in 2020, access to menstrual products has become increasingly difficult not just for marginalized or vulnerable communities but, well, for all people who menstruate.
Any shop you walk into in North America, there have been large swathes of shelves without product. Whether it’s rice, pasta, certain fruits and veggies or, you guessed it, period products, the shortage of a particular life-giving and life sustaining item has finally caught the attention of mainstream media.
The difficult quest to find tampons is finally getting some attention.
Period products are life-giving
Tampons are not a luxury item as some States in the US would believe (see more about the luxury tax). Period products are a life-giving product that allow women and people who menstruate to do so with dignity. And it would seem that the products most affected by this shortage are currently pads and tampons, over reusable options such as silicone cups and discs, or even period underwear.
Why are pads and tampons most affected?
As disposable products, period-havers tend to move through pads and tampons more quickly than they would a reusable menstrual disc, or a menstrual cup. In a single period, a menstruating person can use up to 4 to 6 tampons a day during their cycle. That’s any where from 16 to 40 tampons or more every month.
Shortages and the rising cost of essential ingredients and raw materials in pads and tampons, including cotton and plastic, have led to this supply and demand hiccup. This means that a whopping 10% increase in tampon prices in the US has been placed on consumers (Washington Post, 2022). So now, if you can find those elusive tampons, good luck forking over the cash to get them home.
What do I do instead?
We believe that everyone is entitled to their preferred menstrual management or feminine care products. Whether it’s reusable pads, tampons for heavy flow, disposable pads or cups.
We also believe in the art of how to save money to manage your period. From reusable silicone menstrual cups like the DivaCup, to menstrual discs, to period underwear, there are plenty of sustainable options. They may be the answer to get through the tampon shortage without panicking at the sight of an empty shelf.
Is it time to try a menstrual cup?
It could be—that’s entirely up to you!
Here are some pros to menstrual cups (while we have your attention):
- They are sustainable and reusable
- You can reuse your menstrual cup anywhere from 1-5 years, depending on your cleaning regimen
- They are a great waste-free period management option
- The cost of one menstrual cup combats the rising price of tampons (our DivaCup is only $39.99 on ShopDiva.com—and until the end of June, we are offering a discount and matching all purchases with a donation to an organization ending period poverty)
- There are plenty of menstrual cups out there for you to find your perfect fit
Why aren’t menstrual cups and menstrual discs affected?
The tampon shortage isn’t the only period care category struggling right now. Silicone is a raw material that is becoming increasingly difficult for sustainable period companies, such as Diva, to get their hands on due to supply chain problems.
Our teams have been working over-time for the past year to ensure that we have enough supply of medical-grade silicone to continue to meet the demand and ensure sustainable and reusable period products are available.
What are my period product options?
You have plenty!
Of course, we are a bit biased when it comes to reusable and sustainable options such as the DivaCup, but we believe in everyone's right to chose the period care product that is right for them.
Here are some great options:
- Menstrual cups
- Menstrual discs
- Organic pads and tampons
- Period underwear
- Disposable menstrual discs
- Panty liners
- Sanitary pads
What Do I Do now?
Right now, through until the end of June, Diva is offering a 20% discount on all products purchased on ShopDiva.com.
Further, we are matching all purchases during this discount period (until the end of June) with DivaCup donations to some of our amazing impact partners.
You can also stay up to date on our social media with our impact work where we highlight some of the grass-roots and community initiatives we partner with to end period poverty. An added bonus: we post about our sales and discounts.
Follow us on Instagram @thedivacup to stay in the know.