(The Lack of) Tampons in Australia

6 Mar

One constant source of frustration when traveling or living abroad is being unable to find products you are used to back home or even an acceptable substitute. It might be a favourite food or your favourite shampoo or a preferred OTC painkiller or jeans that fit as nice as the kind you are used to getting back home.

I’ve experienced a lot of little frustrations like this on a near daily basis over the years, and I can usually cope, but today, I’m going to go on a hormonally inspired rant about the lack of tampon selection in Australia.

You heard me right. Tampons. Men, feel free to stop reading now. 😉

When it comes to having a period, it sucks bad enough without having to stress out about finding the right sanitary product. When that time of the month rolls around, you just want to be able to go to the store and get what you need without thinking too much about it or having a PMS-induced psychotic breakdown in aisle 3.

I’m partial to the Tampax Pearl line myself. They come with nice little plastic applicators that make the entire disgusting job relatively neat and pain free. Failing that, a cardboard applicator is acceptable, though less desirable, and Tampax tampons expand into a nice shape that prevents any kind of leakage, which is always a plus.

So now that I’ve run out of my stash that I brought from America, I’ve had a chance to explore the feminine hygiene aisle here in Australia. (Travel tip #1787630: Always bring a “stash” of essentials from your home country to buy you plenty of time to find an acceptable local substitute or until you can get back to your home country to restock.)

Let me just say that I am less than impressed with the female sanitary products on offer. Every store I have been to has had shelf upon shelf upon shelf of sanitary pads and the tampons are confined to a small corner of a bottom shelf somewhere.

Upon crouching down to the ground and getting on my hands and knees just to inspect the selection of tampons, I realised it hadn’t even been worth the effort. Nothing to see here, people! Move along!

A typical non-descript box of Australian tampons. Kind of hard to tell what you’re getting in this box.

In this country, tampons are packaged in non-descript little boxes. You really don’t know what you’re going to get when you open the up the box. It may have an applicator… or not. It may be unscented… or not. It may be flushable… or not. Hmm. What to do? Discreetly open up every package to see what’s inside or buy a few different kinds and see what surprise is in store for me in the privacy of my own home? Despite not being rich, I opted for door #2.

I almost didn’t even recognise these as Tampax. And they were the only ones in the store that specifically said “applicator tampons”.

I saw they had Tampax of some kind, so I got one of those. And then I got some kind called Libra which I’d never heard of, but occupied the most shelf space, so I figured it must be popular. Having never seen Australian TV in my life, I couldn’t refer back to any commercials for advice.

I passed over most options because the packages were so tiny it was clear to me that they did not come with applicators and were the disgusting kind that you have to shove inside yourself with your finger. Can I just say how gross I think that is?

First of all, there’s disgusting stuff up inside there during menstruation that I’m not particularly interested in touching. Second of all, my finger is probably not always totally sterile, being a finger and all, and I don’t really want to stick it up there and give myself an infection.

You can sort of get around some of the ew-factor in your own bathroom at home, but let’s say you have to do this in a public restroom. I don’t want to put the same fingers I’ve used to touch the bathroom stall door up inside an infection-prone part of my body. I know that some women probably do this anyway and it disgusts me nearly to the point of vomiting to think of them doing that and then touching the handle on the stall door afterwards. GROSS!!!!! Now all their menstrual germs are all over the handle! Even more disgusting is the number of women who don’t wash their hands at all.

I wonder how many STIs have been transmitted through public bathrooms in Australia for this very reason? Fortunately, I’m such a germophobe that I always use a paper towel or tissue of some kind to manipulate the handle if I absolutely must use a public restroom. If you ever see a blonde girl doing this in a public restroom, it’s probably me. Feel free to say hello.

So yeah. Tampons without applicators are just a no-go. That is so beyond disgusting that it doesn’t even bear thinking of.

And what’s up with the row upon row of sanitary pads? While we’re on the subject of disgusting, let’s talk about that. I cannot for the life of me understand why someone would prefer a pad to a tampon, especially in such a warm climate. Walking around with a veritable diaper between one’s legs while soaking it through with blood is very uncomfortable.

When I was a teenager, my mother wouldn’t let me use tampons, so it was pads only. I remember that it was awful. They smell. They leak everywhere. You constantly have to be on the lookout for a bathroom so you can change it every few hours. Gym class with a pad was a nightmare.

Tampons basically changed my life. No smell, no leaks, and lasts for up to eight hours, so you can go out during the day or sleep through the night without needing a replacement. And in public facilities, having something that is flushable is a major bonus. It’s also useful when hanging out with guy friends who may not be thrilled about having used feminine products turning up in their waste bins. It’s a lot easier to dispose of a tampon discreetly.

No one will ever be able to convince me that wearing something like this in my underwear is comfortable or sanitary.

Now back to my rant about the lack of selection in Australia and the abundance of pads. I’m convinced they are trying to force women to use pads at least some of the time. I have been unable to find tampons for light flow days in any store, except for one brand that only came in a non-applicator version. You can get super and regular and that’s it. So what do you do on days when your period is winding down or if you’re like me and just have a light flow the entire time? Well, you can either risk a yeast infection by using an absorbency that is too high or use pads. Pick your poison.

I considered trying to order my preferred tampons from America, but I couldn’t find anyone who would ship them to Australia. My Plan B is to bring an entire stash of them from America next time I go back and then hoard them. When I told H about my plan, he offered what he thought was a better suggestion: “Or you could just be pregnant all the time. I’d like that.” Gee, what a charming alternative!

Fortunately, I’ll be back on my birth control soon and then I’ll be a lot less narky and won’t get so stressed out about minor inconveniences like not being able to find the right tampons. (Did I mention that I got four months of birth control for only $14? The same drug in America used to cost me $135 for four months! How cool is that?) Once I’m less hormonal, I’ll go back to complaining about more practical things, like reusable shopping bags and feminism. 🙂

Update (22 Jan 2013) : A lot of people find this article from searching on Google for Tampax Pearl tampons in Australia. Sorry to say, there are still no Tampax Pearl tampons in Australia. As of yet, the only Tampax tampons in Australia are the kind I mentioned above. If Pearls ever do make an appearance, you can bet that I’ll be making a huge celebratory post about it. Procter & Gamble, the company that owns Tampax, doesn’t seem to be all that interested in building the brand here, even though I’m convinced Tampax Pearls would be a big hit here. You can always email them to let them know you’d like to see a better Tampax selection in Australia or ask USA Foods to start importing them.

Update (27 Feb 2013): When I wrote to Proctor & Gamble to ask about Tampax Pearl and also whether or not they might ever offer tampons for ultra lite or ultra heavy flows, they ignored the latter question completely, but they did say they do have Tampax Pearl tampons in Australia and provided me with a list of stockists (see below). When I checked online, I could not find any evidence that any of these places stock Tampax Pearl, although some commenters have said they have found them occasionally in their local stores, which is great for them but isn’t so good for those of us who can’t find them in our local stores and were hoping to order online. Priceline Pharmacy, however, does currently offer one variety of Tampax Compak online, saying that it comes with a plastic applicator, though it is not advertised as a Pearl applicator. I haven’t tried these, but if you have, please leave a comment and let me know how they compare.

List of stockists:

Big W                         1800 251 311       www.bigw.com.au
Chemist Warehouse 1300 367 283        www.chemistwarehouse.com.au
Coles                         1800 656 055        www.coles.com.au
Franklins                    1800 004 844        www.franklins.com.au
IGA                                                           www.iga.net.au
K Mart                        1800 051 800        www.kmart.com.au/
Priceline                                                   www.priceline.com.au
Target                        1800 814 788         www.target.com.au
Terry White                1800 653 662         www.terrywhitechemists.com.au/
Woolworths               1300 767 969          www.woolworths.com.au

Update (28 Feb 2013): Please see my post about ordering Tampax Pearl online from Australian retailer, Fishpond. As of today, they have all varieties of Tampax Pearl in stock!!!

48 Responses to “(The Lack of) Tampons in Australia”

  1. megalagom March 6, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    I love that you have no kinks writing about anything- I am just too shy to touch on some subjects publicly lol I have had similar problems here, but not nearly as bad. The brands are recognizable, the light- heavy is available, but the selection of tampons is smaller than the pads and often without applicators. You are lucky to have a light flow or you would understand why pads exist, until I started taking the pill I had to use both simultaneously and I know other women who had to do the same, Good luck on your search- you don’t have anyone back home that can buy them and ship them to you? Tampons aren’t heavy, seems like a good thing to mail 🙂 14 bucks, that’s amazing. I wonder how much mine will cost.

  2. jannath March 7, 2012 at 4:34 am #

    Bravo on touching such a “sensitive” topic, first of all.
    AND oh my goodness, my condolences on the lack of tampon choices available. I’d go nuts. I agree that pads are really horrible, but as the commentator mentioned, sometimes u don’t get a light flow and end up using both a tampon AND a pad.
    And those pads were Godsends after I delivered our baby. No tampons allowed then either. I still hate pads though 🙂

    awesome post!

  3. housewifedownunder March 7, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    I’ve often been told I have no filter between what I think and what I say. :-p Of course, the anonymity of the internet is also helpful. 😉

    I used to have really heavy, painful periods. I only have a light flow because of the birth control I’m on, which has also helped relieve a lot of the cramping and nausea I used to get, too. I can see how if you have a very heavy flow that you could get some leakage from a tampon or have to change it very often. But when I had a heavy flow back in high school and was only allowed pads, I hated it. It also tended to leak out the sides or back, especially because a lot of the desks in the classrooms had these weird seats that sort of tilted slightly back. After a while I started keeping a spare pair of jeans in my locker in case I got any stains from the leakage. So embarrassing! And the nighttime leaking was pretty bad too, but at least that was in the privacy of my own home. (I never went on sleepovers during my time of the month!)

    And obviously, pads are a requirement after having a baby. That’s one thing I do not look forward to! Having a heavy period for ages after the fact sound really unpleasant!

    I wonder why some countries don’t have much choice of applicator tampons. I just don’t understand why someone would prefer a digital tampon. And if they are concerned about the environment, why even use tampons at all? Why not use one of those cup thingies? (Which I also think is gross!)

  4. Cosette May 18, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

    Yes, yes, yes. Before I went to Oz, I had read on an forum about this and I shipped ahead several boxes of Tampax Pearl and my preferred pads. It didn’t get me through the whole time I was there though and I totally found the local supply inadequate. In the future, I will shipping a lot more of my preferred tampons and pads.

    • housewifedownunder May 19, 2012 at 12:12 am #

      I’ve decided the Libras with applicators are acceptable, but still have not found any light flow options that come with applicators. Travel tip: the Pearl compax travel in luggage a lot better. They don’t get as crushed and the boxes are a lot smaller so you can fit more. I might have to open an importing business to bring in Tampax Pearl!

      • Cosette May 19, 2012 at 12:13 am #

        Let me know if you open that business. You’ve got a customer here!

      • housewifedownunder May 19, 2012 at 12:25 am #

        I’m seriously considering it! Right now, I’m skipping periods with my birth control so I can make my stash last longer.

        A local lady told me when I complained about the problem that she thought the poor selection might be due to the fact that a lot of immigrant girls will not use tampons, so maybe manufacturers here just don’t bother with them.

  5. Sylvia Cary June 6, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

    Very true, same issue here. I was shocked and still am when I found these products in stores in Australia, I just bring packages back from Canada. What to do??

    • housewifedownunder June 7, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

      It is frustrating! Maybe all us ladies should get together and organise a letter writing blitz to Tampax in Australia demanding plastic applicator tampons.

  6. UK_to_Oz July 11, 2012 at 11:59 pm #

    Oh yes, if you do start importing Tamax Compak, I will be forever grateful to you!! I moved here from the UK last year, and am appalled by the lack of applicator tampons. Woolies had something called Wonder for a while, although the only acceptable one now is Libra. I am on my last box of the tampax stash I got when I went for a visit in November … at my wits end.

    • housewifedownunder February 18, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

      I agree. Libra is the only other decent applicator brand here. My biggest gripe, though, is probably the lack of options in terms of absorbencies, as if all girls have the exact same kind of period. Super-plus types are hard to find anywhere, except maybe online. And ultra-lite types are rare and only come in non-applicator junior versions. Grr! Maybe the solution is just to be perpetually pregnant so you don’t have to worry about tampons and periods, lol. :-p

    • housewifedownunder February 28, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

      I just posted today that Fishpond has Tampax Pearl available on their webstore!

  7. julie January 17, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

    Hiya I am just wondering if Tampax Pearl are available in australia yet….my daughter has just started using tampons and I didnt know what to get for her but found your article on google and the Pearl Tampax sound like they would be good for her as a newbie….I thought your article was excellent and just wondered if you have found them yet downunder. I would be so grateful if you could let me know. kind regards julie xx

    • housewifedownunder January 17, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

      No, unfortunately Tampax Pearls aren’t available in Australia. You can get Tampax with applicators in regular, super, and super plus absorbencies, but the applicator is cardboard. In my opinion, they’re still the best thing Australia has to offer in the way of tampons. If it’s specifically the plastic applicator you’re after, the Libra brand comes with plastic applicators. That said, my first tampons were Tampax with cardboard applicators and I found them easy and comfortable to use. Maybe buy a couple different brands for her try?

  8. Kimberly February 8, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    I too found your article by searching Google. And can I just say, this is the funnies tampon related article I’ve ever read. And so so true, sadly. It’s almost like I could have written this myself. I moved from the UK and we were in the US before, I had no idea that tampons are the one thing that I would miss so much. I can’t even imagine having these really unpleasant non-applicator style tampons being my introduction to tampons. No wonder so many women here wear pads.

    Thanks for the great article!

    • housewifedownunder February 16, 2013 at 11:48 am #

      Glad you enjoyed it! My first introduction to tampons was when I was living in Poland at 18 and I got the Tampax ones with cardboard applicators similar to what they have here. If they hadn’t had applicators, I wouldn’t have had a clue how to use them! I was nervous enough as it was about switching, but Polish bathrooms don’t usually have a way to dispose of feminine products neatly and discreetly, so flushable tampons were great to have there.

      • Kimberly February 16, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

        By the way, the Tampax Compak has a plastic applicator and you can find them in Woolworth’s. Thank god!

    • housewifedownunder February 28, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

      Kimberley, check the post I wrote today. Fishpond now stocks all varieties of Tampax Pearl on their website!

  9. julie February 16, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

    Hi again just thought I would give you an update on the tampon situation…..I have written to Tampax here in Australia and have asked them if they would consider bringing the Pearl Tampax Tampons to Australia as I have heard such good feedback about them and they said they would pass the feedback on, gotta start somewhere I suppose….have you thought anymore about importing them to aussie land…..would love to hear xxx

    • Sylvia Cary February 16, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

      Yes I am in the process of researching but last time I read it was all complicated as I have no clue, yet, about it all 🙂 will keep you posted ❤

    • housewifedownunder February 18, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

      Maybe if we all write to them, they will do something about this problem! Did you try writing USA Foods and asking if they would stock them? I know they import quite a few non-food items (like laundry detergent, etc) and maybe they could import tampons, as well.

  10. Debbie February 25, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    Hi there, just letting you all know that I saw Tampax Pearls in a Coles Supermarket in Brisbane today. I came across your posts while searching for some info on what they are like.

    • housewifedownunder February 27, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

      I wrote to P&G and they told me they had Tampax Pearl in Australia and sent me a list of stockists. Except every stockist I checked (when I looked online- obviously I can’t visit them all) did not have them and I have never seen them in any store in Melbourne. Priceline Pharmacy carries a Compak variety (http://www.priceline.com.au/toiletries/womens-essentials/feminine-hygiene/compak-regular-tampons-16.0-pk) which comes with a plastic applicator, but I don’t know if it’s truly a Pearl applicator. What were the ones like that you saw at Coles?

      • Debbie February 27, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

        The ones at Coles were definitely Pearl applicators. I figured they were new cause I had never seen them before and that’s why I did a google search to find out more. I would send a link pic but I haven’t worked out how to attach a link from my iPad. If you google Tampax Pearl and click on images, that’s what they’re like. I’ve tried the Compak variety and they are plastic, but are similar to the cardboard shape. You could try asking your local Coles if they would consider stocking them, it might be worth a try.

      • Dee May 16, 2013 at 1:10 am #

        Coles & Woolworths in Eltham only stock the pearl ones.

    • Julie February 27, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

      Hi Debbie can you please tell me which Coles supermaket in Brisbane stock the Tampax Pearls please…..I would love to know….

      • Debbie February 27, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

        Hi Julie, it was the Everton Park store on the northside.

  11. Julie February 27, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

    Thanks Love….I will be calling my local store tomorrow (I am in SA) and telling them that the Brizzi Coles store at Everton Park on the northside has them so hopefully my local store can stock them too……internet….its AMAZING isn’t it !!!

    • housewifedownunder February 28, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

      Julie, I just posted today that Fishpond currently has all varieties of Tampax Pearl in stock. 😀

  12. Julie February 27, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

    What did we do before it !!! Ha ha ha

  13. towardshealthylife March 1, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    When I was in Oz there was no aplicators at all, just had to put up with it 🙂

  14. Corrie March 8, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

    Hi Ladies, I too was researching these in AUS and came across this blog and after loads of research I found that Coles online DO sell some varieties (Regular & Super) but I also found the website Vitacost.com which are a US based online pharmacy that ship to Australia for a small price (about $9.99 for the slowest shipping). Hoping this helps in the slightest 🙂

  15. alittlecameo April 4, 2013 at 3:27 am #

    I just came across your blog today and your recent post about about tampons with the link to this page. It´s all relative. As an Australian living in the US 2 years ago I couldn´t understand why finding tampons WITHOUT applicators was so difficult and wrote my own little rant (of the opposite nature!) on my blog: http://alittlecameo.com/2011/03/03/a-carefree-package/

    It shows how much we are accustomed to what we grow up with and I guess these are cultural differences we don´t really expect to find between Australia and the US. Now that I´m living in Colombia, I can find the kind of tampons I want (OB brand non-applicator ones) without too much drama, although they still don´t live up to the comfort and quality of my favourite Carefrees in Australia. The only gripe I have now is that pantyliners here (which I always use in addition to a tampon) only come in g-string shapes or with wings. Neither of which appeal to my Plain Jane pad preferences.

    I´m glad you and all the other commenters on this post can now find the tampons you like in Australia and I like that companies diversify their product ranges providing us with more choice. It´s great, just as long as the supermarkets don´t destroy all our options with their house label product strategies (a rant for another day!).

    • housewifedownunder April 12, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

      I remember my mom always used the non-applicator OB tampons. I think back in her younger days, that was the only kind you could get and that was just what she was used to. But to someone who has grown up with applicator tampons, not having the applicator part is a major “ew’ factor!

      I also have a lot of pantiliner gripes, too. Mainly that none of the ones here have an adhesive that extends all the way to the edges, so they get all bunched up once you start moving around. And since light flow tampons are hard to find here, that makes pantiliners sort of a necessity. I wonder why they only have G-string and winged liners in Colombia?

      You know, a lot of days (especially days when I’m on my period!), I just wish I had been born male. Life would be a lot easier! And cheaper.

  16. Elle May 13, 2013 at 1:00 am #

    For light flow we call it “mini” or “slim”, but now Coles sells pearl.
    Okay, I was at Coles in the tampon section and this guy about 16 was restocking (very awkwardly I might add), and then I saw it- tampax PEARL! I flipped out, got excited and totally freaked the poor boy out at the same time. I was in the US a while ago and fell in love with the pearl. It was so much more sanitary then using carefree or libra, anyway I ran out and got super depressed because you couldn’t get them here, then BAM! Like 9 months later- they arrived! And for $7 it’s pretty reasonably priced too!

    • housewifedownunder May 17, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

      I have occasionally seen mini or slim, but never with applicators, so I don’t bother with them. I just keep having them shipped over from America. I must be looking in all the wrong stores because I still have not seen Pearls anywhere in Melbourne!

      I don’t like Carefree at all. Libra is an acceptable substitute in a pinch because of the similar applicator, but they are too short and too wide and they seem more prone to leaking. I’ve never had leaking with Tampax. If I see Pearls in a store, I will probably buy their entire stock.

      • Sylvia Cary May 17, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

        Yes, I Have seen PEARL Tampax in Melbourne in Southland shopping centre at Big W & Woolworths

      • housewifedownunder May 17, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

        Ooooh! I go to Southland occasionally, so I will look there next time. Thanks for the tip!

  17. Dee May 16, 2013 at 12:56 am #

    Hi There,

    Your article is so interesting. I don’t think I even thought about the possibility of more variety elsewhere. I guess you just get used to the choices you have. I’m totally with you on the applicator type for all the same reasons but also because I’ve just never been able to use the non applicator ones (fingers just not long enough?). The funny thing is that I can only use the cardboard ones, I can’t grip the pearl ones and here in Melbourne everyone (Coles, Woolworthd etc) seems to have stopped selling cardboard and only sell the pearl ones and I feel like my life is over. Such a small thing that can make you feel like you’ve completely lost control. Seriously don’t know what to do and I do not want to use pads!

  18. Naomi July 3, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    Hi I have to say I love your Blog. it’s awesome… I’m 19 and I’m going to Australia in 4 days.. To keep my freinds up to date I write a blog as well.. I’m super nervous and exited of course!! 😀 But at some points I feel not entirely informed.. so I stumbled over your entry about tampons and its really helpfull! (I even made notes so I can use everything you foud out :D)
    one last thing: do you have any tipps for me either about going to australia or writing a blog? that would be nice 🙂 naomi

  19. Rosie July 17, 2013 at 1:43 am #

    Hello there I live in Australia and the last few weeks I have noticed my favorite brand TAMPAX APPLICATOR TAMPONS are no where to be seen !!??? Not only is it frustrating that we have NO SELECTION of applicator tampons here in Oz but you have to pay through the nose for them (when you can find them). Well I emailed Proctor & Gamble today and low and behold TAMPAX ARE NO LONGER SUPPLYING AUSTRALIA OR NEW ZEALAND !!!!!!!!! Now what ??? I can’t use regular tampons without an applicator how disgusting ! Does anyone know where to order applicator tampons with free shipping to Australia. So far the sites I’ve tried have cheap tampons but the postage outways the cost of the product making it such an expensive exercise.

    • housewifedownunder July 18, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

      Really? I’ve seen Tampax on all the store shelves lately, both with cardboard and plastic applicators. It would be awful if they ran out! Libra makes some with plastic applicators. Have you looked for those? I don’t think you’ll find anywhere that does free shipping to Australia, unfortunately. A company would probably go out of business doing that.

  20. Carol August 23, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    Ok – that’s it! I’m going to find a way import and sell online – leave it with me and I’ll get back to y’all.

    PS: Am a US Citizen born Down-Under so have never liked the options here in the Aussie market. On to finding a solution!

    • Carol August 23, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

      So! I called P & G about the product and Tampax is still in production but the Australia buyers are not placing orders (i.e. Aussie supermarkets and online pharmacies are not requesting this line of product due to the smaller market for it) So!! I asked how to create a working relationship with P & G and it looks like I will need to put a business proposal together and bid for a place in the market here in Australia.

      Ladies – I am willing to do this, however do you the public think it’s worth it?

      Let me know your thoughts below…

      Cheers Carol

  21. Tay October 6, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    Australia does have Tampax Pearl’s with the applicator! Well, where I live anyway, which has a population of like 7,000, a small country town.
    Really, I guess the whole non-applicator prospect is less disgusting for us because we’ve grown up around it, and us Aussies are toughies 😉 And our mums have passed down their knowledge, or lack off.
    But really, more than half the girls in my grade still wear pads. I’m certain we never have the ‘sweaty, diaper feeling’ all that much. We are used to our climate of 45 degree heat plus.
    Liked your article though; seeing the perspective of those who aren’t used to what Australia has to offer.

  22. Gemma November 17, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    Gah!!!! I’ve been in Aus for about 4 months and have just run out of my stash. Didn’t realise it would be such a hellish task to find something as simple (and hygienic) as applicator tampons.
    Just looked up on Amazon. Postage to Aus is about $70 lol. Am gonna look online and in ALL of the shops you listed. Or send my mum (at home in the UK) a really lovely email begging her to send me supplies. She’ll love that after having just sorted out my atm card being eaten.
    Luckily I have the implant so don’t have “lady’s week” that frequently. That’s not the point. GET WITH IT AUSTRALIA!!!!!

  23. Rochelle January 12, 2014 at 12:25 am #

    I love this article =) I am a new zealander who has always used tampax compak (plastic applicator). When I moved to oz 6 years ago I didn’t anticipate this issue but sure enough I couldn’t get them here. So I too stockpiled from home. Then woolies started stocking them a few years ago and I so pleased! Today I was gooling because woolworths in sydney have stopped stocking them and I don’t like the cardboard applicators. These little gems are discreet as the applicator pulls out so they are half the size, they are super easy to use as the plastic easily slides and the applicator has a ridge so you can insert with one hand. I have never had any leaks or issues with them. .I don’t understand why so many pads either they are horrible. I used these too when i was a teenager as I was nervous to use the digital tampons & also agree on the “ew” factor gross!. When i discovered the applicators it was life changing. How wonderful that we are talking about these issues now – it will help so many girls new to this whole period thing =) Also i haven’t seen pearl but I will keep my eye out for them now too. Thanks again

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  1. Tampax Pearl in Australia! | Housewife Down Under - February 28, 2013

    […] normally wouldn’t make a post like this one, but about a year ago I made a post bemoaning the lack of tampon selection in Australia, specifically my preferred brand, Tampax Pearl. That post has been one of my most viewed posts […]

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