Many shoppers have had trouble finding tampons in U.S. stores lately, and tampon makers say the national shortage is due to supply chain issues. The problem "stems from a combination of factory staffing challenges, transportation bottlenecks, and the rising costs of key raw materials used to make the products," NPR notes.
A CVS pharmacy spokesperson confirmed to NPR that suppliers haven't been able to fulfill orders lately, adding that other stores including Target and Walgreens were also dealing with a limited tampon supply.
Some brands have also been seeing an increase in demand for some time now. Procter & Gamble, the parent company of Tampax, told Time it saw a 7.7 percent increase in demand since 2020. The company attributed the surge to the success of an ad campaign that year with comedian Amy Schumer. As the New York Post points out, though, "other brands of tampons ... are also in short supply, and they don't have an Emmy winner and Tony nominee to blame."
"I Support the Girls" founder Dana Marlowe shared with NPR that her organization, which provides menstrual hygiene products to people in need, saw a big drop in donations recently, and only received half the supply of tampons compared to the last two years.