Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Tampon sales in the UK have plummeted dramatically, but why?

tampons.jpg

Those of us with wombs will know that tampons can come in pretty handy once a month when Flo cometh to town.

But, curiously, new figures show that women in the UK are buying five million fewer packets of tampons each year.

Research from market research firm, Kantar Worldpanel, shows that 23.2 million packets of tampons were sold in the year ending October 2016, compared with 29.4 million in the year ending October 2012.

It seems that these statistics do not come from a change in sanitary product preference, as the statistics also revealed a million fewer packets of sanitary towels were sold last year, compared with 2012. Additionally, sales of all sanitary products in the UK 2012 amounted to £236 million, compared with £221 million in 2016, with tampon sales seeing a drop of almost a quarter.


Read more: “Why are women still bearing the brunt of responsibility for contraception?”


According to the firm, retailers have been forced to reduce the amount of space dedicated to tampons, in stores. “When we look at the sales, we see people have left the feminine hygiene category completely,” Kantar’s consumer insight director, Lauren Feltham, told The Independent.

But why is this happening? Tampon prices have remained relatively stable during this time.

Kantar has attributed the drop in sales to the rise in certain types of hormonal contraceptives. Figures from NHS Digital reveal that the number of progesterone-only prescriptions dispensed between 2005 and 2015 rose by 1.5 million, with prescriptions of the combined pill falling by 1.4 million over the same ten-year period.

tampon sales

Increasing number of women are also using long-lasting contraceptive methods, such as the coil, injection or implants, according to Public Health England, numbers of which have risen by 4% since 2012.

The progesterone-only pills and long-term methods which have seen an increase, are the ones which halt or significantly reduce monthly cycles, providing a possible explanation to the reduced demand for tampons.

Additionally, as we are seeing an ageing population, there could be a chance that, with more women going through the menopause, fewer sanitary products are required.


Read more: Going beyond the pill: meet the women opting for a hormone-free alternative


“Some long-term contraception methods mean women's periods will become lighter or shorter,” Natika Halil, CEO of the Family Planning Association, told The Telegraph.

“Many may enjoy these benefits, as well as the convenience of not having to remember to take pills.”

But Julia Bradley, Bpas’s Education Manager and Lead Nurse, told The Independent that: “With all these things, it's often not one reason,” suggesting also that sales of eco-friendly sanitary products such as the Mooncup and reusable pads could explain the change.

Related

period rap.JPG

“I got that flow”: comedy trio's rap about periods goes viral

What-Women-Want-Postcards-6.jpg

These ’90s postcards reveal how times have changed for women – or not

vagina.jpg

How smart is your vagina?

More

Colin the Caterpillar has been given a cute Christmas makeover

We only just got over Halloween Colin – now Santa Colin is in town

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Sep 2017

Sabrina the Teenage Witch is conjuring up a seriously dark TV reboot

But who will play everyone’s favourite half-witch?

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Sep 2017

Elisabeth Moss isn’t done with powerful dramas about women’s rights

Call Jane is set to be as relevant for Trump's America as its 60s setting

by Amy Swales
20 Sep 2017

Why we all think we’re the least popular one in our group of friends

If you believe everyone’s hanging out without you, you’re not alone

by Moya Crockett
20 Sep 2017

Why that Doctor Foster conversation is so incredibly important

We really need to talk about last night’s episode…

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Sep 2017

What is panic disorder – and do you suffer from it?

Nadiya Hussain described it as a 'monster'

by Megan Murray
20 Sep 2017

This is the one thing people would rather have than a pay rise

And it makes us a lot happier

by Susan Devaney
20 Sep 2017

Nutella's newest product sounds like all kinds of deliciousness

Nutella feasting can now happen any time, any place

by Megan Murray
20 Sep 2017

Man recreates Chandler proposal so he can ask Friends fan to marry him

And he did it in the actual Friends apartment, too

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Sep 2017

Bake Off viewers are genuinely furious over THAT ‘shock twist’ ending

“Is there no justice in this world?”

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Sep 2017