O.b. Ultra Absorbency Tampons Discontinued Without Reason or Warning
This article concerns the discontinuance of Johnson and Johnson's o.b. Ultra tampons in the US and Canada and heavy flow menstruation. Articles listing alternatives to ob ultras are linked.
- Where have all the Ultras gone?
- So why would a company suddenly discontinue this product?
- Is it a move by J&J to sell Lysteda?
- What can you do now?
Where have all the Ultras gone?
The following email was received after inquiring why the above-mentioned tampons were nearly impossible to locate and the item is being offered on ebay for exorbitant prices of up to $80 a box (over $2/tampon with shipping charges).
Thank you for contacting the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. Information Center. It is always important to hear from our consumers, and we appreciate the time you have taken to contact us.
We regret to inform you that production of o.b.® brand Ultra absorbency product has been discontinued. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.
Again, thank you for your interest in our company. Should you have any comments or questions in the future, please contact us via our website WWW.OBTAMPONS.COM or by calling our toll-free number, 1877 454-7843. Our specialists are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. EST and will be happy to assist you.
Consumer Care Center
Women with heavy menstrual flow and a preference for applicator-free tampons use this product to get a few hours of sleep during the night, or to get through a busy day at work without frequent ‘pit stops’.
In the US there is no comparable item on the market, and Johnson and Johnson gave no warning or reason for their action.
Applicator tampons and various pads flood the market but are less discrete, cumbersome to use, create more waste, and fail more often by allowing leaks than the o.b. brand tampons. Many of the other tampon brands expand lengthwise, which allows leaks along the sides of the product. Some tampons are so flimsy that they fall apart during removal, something that is rare with the o.b. brand.
While apparently the lower absorbency rated tampons remain on the market, the question is of course for how long, and should stockpiling begin?
But the still available products are no equals for the discontinued tampons. For heavy days they would require such frequent replacement that irritation of both physical and psychological kind is sure to aggravate the monthly menses.
So why would a company suddenly discontinue this product?
These tampons are sold around the world, and while briefly associated in the early 1980s with toxic shock syndrome, this has long been realized to afflict only about 1.5 in 100,000 women and can be avoided by using pads or frequently changing tampons. It is not linked to the absorbency rating of the tampon per se, but was more prevalent with the higher absorbent tampons, as they were often used for extended times.
Toxic shock syndrome is linked to all tampons, not only the applicator-free style.
There has not been a recent resurgence in TSS.
There is also no shortage in cotton or other materials used in the manufacture of the tampons.
Is it a move by J&J to sell Lysteda?
There is apparently no reason necessary to deprive women in the U.S. and Canada of a proven useful product that made their lives easier and in some cases bearable. Women are expected to work through menstruation, pregnancy and lactation, without loss of productivity or more than cursory time allowed for those natural biological consequences of being female.
Smokers are given more consideration for their addiction than most women receive for a biological fact, or as it is apparently perceived, a 'birth defect'.
But wait, there is news for women with heavy periods: Lysteda, a non-hormone based medication. Lysteda is an anti-fibrinolytic agent, meaning that it prevents blot clots from being broken down in the body. Naturally the side-effects of this medication include danger of stroke and other clot-related problems, as well as the loss of color vision and other vision problems, which is mentioned in an off-handed way.
Clearly, to women who do not want to risk Lysteda's side effects and prefer to use o.b. Ultra tampons, Johnson and Johnson has only platitudes to offer.
What can you do now?
For women who need to find an alternative to o.b. Ultra tampons, there are a few suggestions found here:
Alternatives to ob Ultra tampons at:
Alternatives to o.b. Ultra absorbency tampons
Use of menstrual cup, first time user:
The suggestions were compiled from women for women, and a big thank you to all who commented and contributed. There are too many to mention.