The United States is allegedly facing a tampon shortage.
According to TIME, consumers across the country have spent the last couple of months struggling to find the hygiene products in stores and online. The outlet pointed to a series of anecdotes shared on Reddit and other platforms, where users complained about the low inventory as well as perceived price gouging by retailers. One user claimed they checked eight different stores for their preferred brand, before they gave up and ordered the products “from Amazon at a noticeable markup.”
“I’ve been an old school Tampax with the cardboard applicator user, since I was a teenager. I haven’t seen any products in stores for months,” another wrote. “I’ve been ordering my tampons on Amazon and have been getting price gouged. I know I’m not alone.”
U.S. retailers have also reported tampon shortages in certain regions and among specific brands.
“In recent weeks, there have been instances when suppliers have not been able to fulfill the full quantities of orders placed,” a CVS spokesperson told Insider.
“Similar to other retailers, we are experiencing some temporary brand-specific shortages in certain geographies,” Walgreens told the outlet via email.
CNN reports the shortage appears to be connected to the global supply-chain disruption caused by the pandemic. It notes that materials like cotton and plastic, which are key to make tampons, have been harder to find since the onset of the pandemic, as they’re also used for personal protective equipment. Other possible factors are the droughts in the southern U.S., the Russia-Ukraine war, and comedian Amy Schumer. No, really.
When asked about the reported shortage, Tampax-maker Procter & Gamble told TIME that demand for the product increased 7.7 percent since 2020; the same year it launched a campaign ad starring Schumer. The comedian, who underwent a hysterectomy last year, responded to the report via Instagram.
“Whoa I don’t even have a uterus,” she captioned a screenshot of a tampon shortage report.