Inflation has caused an increase in the price of tampons and supply chain issues are affecting the supply.

First, it was baby formula. Now, the latest supply chain issue complicating daily life for women across America is a nationwide tampon shortage.

Bismarck’s Balance Medical and UND’s OBGYN Dr. Rhonda Shafer-McLean said, “It’s related to an increase in about 10 percent, across the board in the expense of how much it’s costing to buy tampons, it’s summer people want tampons more than they want pads in the summer.”

Dr. Shafer-McLean said there is also an issue with getting the supplies needed to make a tampon.

This is causing shortages in large companies, like Tampax and Playtex.

So, if you don’t have any tampons or are running low, what can you do?

“We’ve got a surge in the use of period panties and they’re washable, reusable, highly absorbent. Essentially the pad is built-in. I think a place where we’re seeing a little bit more gravitation is the menstrual cups. There’s several different kinds of cups, they’re comfortable for some women, they’re not comfortable for others,” said Dr. Shafer-McLean.

Many women are also asking the question: if I found some old tampons, can I still use them?

“The dating on these older tampons and any product actually isn’t as hard and fast as we sort of think it is for non-food items,” Dr.Shafer-Mclean says.

She said women need to make sure the package is not soiled or broken down though before using it.      

Though we are in a shortage, Dr. Shafer-McLean says do not keep your tampons in longer than eight hours because toxic shock syndrome is a serious risk.

Dr. Shafer-McLean added if the shortage continues, there are long-term alternatives for women to limit heavy flows and their period as a whole.