The shortage of tampons can lead to serious health problems.

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“When people don’t have access to premium products, what we find is that it puts their physical, mental and emotional health at risk,” an expert said.

ARIZONA, USA – Add tampons to the list of things to be in short supply in 2022. The problem is more than just a minor inconvenience, it’s also a health concern.

Demetra Presley is the executive director of go with the flowa non-profit organization that has been providing college students and low-income women with menstrual products since 2017.

According to Nielseniq, the average price of tampons has increased about 10% over the past year.

“One in five students in the United States will miss either part of their school day or an entire school day because they don’t have access to menstrual products,” Presley said. “When people don’t have access to premium products, what we see happening is putting their physical, mental and emotional health at risk versus their physical health.”

Add in the fact that Arizona is one of 27 states that tax tampons as a luxury item (7.6-11.2%) and the gross price is even higher.

Dr. Leigh Lewis works at Arcadia Women’s Wellness. Dr. Lewis says prolonging the use of menstrual products due to lack of access or affordability can have life-threatening consequences.

“Basically, in this situation, where a woman uses a tampon or menstrual cup for longer than what’s recommended on the package, she can really increase her risk of getting vaginal infections, and in the worst case scenario, toxic shock syndrome,” Lewis said. “Access to these products is necessary for women’s health.”

In 2017, State Rep. Daniel Hernandez (D) co-sponsored a bill to exempt tampons, diapers and infant formula from taxes by placing them in the category of “essential” goods. Even though the Democrat co-sponsored the bill with a Republican, it never made it to a vote.

“If we eliminated this sales tax, the net impact to Arizonans who purchase these products would be zero because we would have gotten rid of this tax a long time ago, Hernandez said.

Here in Arizona, Presley says the shortage of tampons isn’t a big deal at local stores. But if you go with an online retailer, you will find that in some cases the prices have doubled.

Sanitary pads and menstrual cups can also be used to control flow.

But for some women, this is the preferred option because it allows for more activity.

“It’s a personal choice. And it really becomes one of those reproductive justice issues that women should be able to choose which product they’re most comfortable with,” Dr. Lewis said.

In a statement to NBC News, consumer goods maker Procter & Gamble, maker of Tampax tampons and Always pads, acknowledged that some consumers may currently be unable to “find what they need.” They described the situation as “temporary”.

VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL: The break in tampons can lead to serious health problems. Esto es lo que necesita saber

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