Tampons, menstrual products see shortages, prices increase

The latest shortage is getting personal for those who menstruate. There's a scarcity of tampons and pads.

Store shelves, including some in Chicago, have a scarcity of supplies, showing the pain of a shortage that returns every single month.

"There's always a need. Again, this is not an issue that goes away after a couple of months, you know?" said Kathy Tammes, Vice President of Go with the Flow.

Tammes works with a grassroots group based in Elgin, which supplies hygiene products to shelters and schools.

Already, there was a great need and she's noticed the price is up, too, due to inflation.

"I think the price increases is very difficult for people who are already on a limited income and maybe have to choose between food or necessities and feminine hygiene products," said Tammes.


Major retailers like CVS, Walgreens and Targets say they’re working to resupply inventory. Tampons seem to be the big issue, with supply chain issues for cotton and plastic getting some blame.

Proctor & Gamble — which makes "Tampax" — calls this a "temporary" issue and says the "Tampax team is producing tampons 24/7 to meet the increased demand."

Obviously, there’s been a baby food shortage and that has been in the news all the time, so why shouldn’t something as equally important to health be in the news as well?" asked Tammes.

Another group that gives period products to girls across Chicagoland, Gyrls in the H.O.O.D. Foundation, says they're struggling with the rising costs of other menstrual products, including underwear.

"It's becoming more difficult to help girls experience their periods with dignity," said Executive Director Chez Smith.

Those who deal with what's called "period poverty" hope this gets people talking about the high price and constant need for these products, even after the current shortage ends.