Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sizing Up o.b. Tampons

Hygiene & Grooming

Posted by WriteTheCompany.com

A few things about a friend’s favorite brand of tampons were making her feel anxious and irritable. Just hearing about this made me feel the same way. I contacted o.b. Tampons to see if they could help…

Dear Tampon Technicians:

I’m writing on behalf of my friend Brooklyn. She tells me she’s been buying o.b. Tampons for over 15 years. Why she’s telling me this is beyond me, but since I’ve always wanted to be a gynecologist, I agreed to look into her area of concern.

According to Brooklyn, Super size o.b. Tampons aren’t so super anymore because they’re now more like the size of a small regular. She claims they used to be the size of the current Ultra Plus. As a guy, I’m not sure what any of this means. All I know is if I’m getting the Super size of anything, I want fries and a beverage with it, too. So, the first question is why did you shrink the Super size tampons? Did you suddenly discover you were using too much cotton unnecessarily? Or, are your tampons the same size as they’ve always been, but perhaps Brooklyn’s tampon holding muscles are starting to loosen-up with age? If this is the case, can you please suggest some exercises for her?

Upon further research, I believe Brooklyn’s primary problem is related to absorption. She used the word “Monsoon” to describe her flow. At that point I wanted to do what most people do when a monsoon is coming — RUN like hell! This brings me to my next question: Is the o.b. Tampons Super size actually too small for some women? Should I suggest she insert two of them to make up for the shortfall? Why has this size worked up until now and all of a sudden she finds herself up a creek without a paddle with a monsoon on the way?

She is also upset that while the tampons are shrinking, the price isn’t. It’s really not fair for you to expect consumers to absorb higher prices if your product isn’t absorbing its end of the deal. That much I do know. Please tell me how to advise Brooklyn on these issues.

Very tamponly yours,
“Me”

A Consumer Care Center Representative responded with:

Thank you for contacting McNeil-PPC, Inc., makers of tampons. It is always important to hear from our consumers, and we appreciate the time you have taken to contact us.

We would like the opportunity to speak with you personally at your earliest convenience.

Our Consumer Care Center is open (hours of operation and phone number followed).

Final Thoughts: On one hand, it was nice of McNeil-PPC to invite me to call. On second thought, it wasn’t. Sorry for the mood swing, but the last thing I want to do is have a personal chit-chat with a Consumer Care Center coordinator about Brooklyn’s feminine hygiene history. Aside from the fact that it would also require additional research, I don’t own a suit of armor in case the monsoon hits full force during the consultation.

If I wanted to call, I would have gotten the number off the product box or their website in the first place. Maybe it was that time of the month when the Consumer Care Center was backed up with inquiries, so instead of providing answers, it was easier to send out a “call us” form letter.

The reason I believe this was an impersonal response is because even though I was the one who wrote, the polite thing to do was to ask me to have Brooklyn call. It’s not like I put the title “Tampon Insertion Consultant” under my name. I’m just a friend who, at this point, is wondering why I didn’t have a friend having issues with something more like bikini waxing instead of this. Brooklyn didn’t feel comfortable calling, either. So, the flow of communications stopped there, even though her other flow continued without a solution.

Here’s where you can do your own research on o.b. Tampons. However, whether you’re trying to help out a friend or find answers for yourself, you may want to call the company. But for me, I always prefer to get my thoughts together with no strings attached and Write The Company.

News:
The heavy flow of comments you are leaving below is being heard!
New York Times | Health
: The Case of the Missing o.b. Tampons
Jezebel: The Mystery Of The Missing OB Tampons
CBS News Health Blog: Women in Dismay Over o.b. Tampon Shortage

Fans of products for women will also enjoy:
The Nipple Effect
Getting to Know AZO
Matters of the Bladder
U by Kotex, not by Nose

494 Responses to "Sizing Up o.b. Tampons"

Ex-20 year loyal customer

April 8, 2010 at 10:50 pm

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First, I want to thank you for making me laugh while I was also upset about my “Monsoon” and my used to be favorite product. I came across this while I was researching to see if others were having the same issue as me. I guess you answered my question. After 20 years of using OB, I can not believe that I now have no choice but to find another brand. I know times are hard and companies are trying to find ways to cut cost but this should not be one of them. Instead of cutting cost OB is losing money because they are losing customers. What used to last 6 to 8 hours now barely makes it through two hours. Sorry OB but you have now lost a 20 year loyal customer. You may not think one customer matters but think of the “ripple effect.”

Write The Company

April 9, 2010 at 3:47 pm

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I’m sure my friend will be comforted to know she’s not alone. Tell o.b. how you feel. At obtampons.com you can submit a question or find information about calling or writing their Info Center. If the “ripple effect” turns into a tidal wave of feedback, I bet they’ll hear you. At the very least, if enough Monsooners step forward, perhaps you can all form a support group. Thanks for sharing your story.

25plus

June 11, 2010 at 4:10 pm

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I cannot be more relieved at finding you all. I’ve got ya’ll beat, as I have SO happily been using OB for 25 years. Yet I guess truly I’ve been unhappy for the past 5? Whenever they screwed with a perfect product to make one that has now caused 1. leaking 2. fibers from whatever they’ve stupidly added? to cause the fibers to “stick” and build up, kind of like “lost” tampon syndrome to the point of physical ill health, emotional turmoil, and the disgusting finally expunged by-product. This can kill a woman. Now I will write, now after 25 yrs. I will switch. But to what? I’ve done some research, and find that these comp’s are changing things and we as women are hostage. Help?

Write The Company

June 12, 2010 at 7:48 am

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Glad you found us! There are clearly better ways for a woman to get her fiber and this version of “Lost” sounds like a horror show. I hope someone comes up with some answers soon for you and other women dealing with these serious issues! Thanks for commenting and let us know if you discover any new information if you Write The Company.

Sharon Dragan

September 23, 2010 at 1:34 pm

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I, too, am upset that I cannot find OB Ultra tampons anywhere. For 25+ years I had been using them and they were great. Now, I have to curtail my athletic activities (such as swimming) on certain days and I also have to worry about leakage at night. I am glad that I am not the only one who feels this way–I have tried to contact the company in writing, but have received form letters that don’t respond to my question. Maybe if enough people demand the product, they will put it back out into distribution again?

Write The Company

September 23, 2010 at 6:11 pm

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It’s a sad day when tampons start to affect swimming schedules and no woman should have to worry about springing a leak at night. Looks like o.b. is starting to stand for “outraged buyers” for some former fans of this product. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

LG

October 1, 2010 at 3:21 pm

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My concern is the ‘temporary’ discontinuation of the Ultra size tampon. After childbirth this is the only tampon that I could use. What is misunderstood by the company may be not just the monsoon, but also the width of the storm. Size does matter in this case.

I phoned the company twice and the call center (a nice representative, because she was nice) though was still unable to tell me how indefinite this discontinuation would be. It was told to me that the company intended to bring back the ultra product, but due to manufacturing concerns at the moment was unavailable. The company did not inform the call center as to what kind of manufacturing concern they had nor did it indicate how long or even if in reality they really truly would restore the product.

Write The Company

October 11, 2010 at 9:27 am

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Unfortunately, this is a storm many women apparently have to weather. Thanks for sharing what you learned after calling the company!

klm

October 19, 2010 at 8:12 am

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I am one of the outraged!!! I spoke with the company yesterday and was told that they would resume production sometime next year. Thanks.

In general, I am always in awe…that’s not the right word…of the feminine hygiene product business. It seems that products are constantly ‘updated’ and the result is they cost more and decrease in quality and function. We are hostages to this nonsensical market…can’t live without the product, have few options and can never trust that what we buy is anything like the last package purchased.

I find it humorous that Mad Men takes on this product market…and shows that it’s all talk and ad lingo with a bunch of guys trying to sell something they don’t use! Go Peggy!!

CACS

October 19, 2010 at 8:56 am

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If you did indeed send the letter here posted perhaps the company wishes you to write future ad copy, you address the subject in a most original manner. Along with ‘Ex-20 year loyal customer’ above I thank you for the sense of humor you have brought to the messy subject.

I have had similar experiences to other writers here. I not only would like to see my preferred product available, I would also like to see the quality I had become accustomed to restored. (The shedding thing is icky.) I have looked into other products, but none seem to rise to the quality or comfort of the present OBs.

If the issue is possible toxic shock, why should responsible users do without a size they find necessary because some other women fail to follow the clear product instructions?

Write The Company

October 19, 2010 at 11:18 am

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klm, It’s not just the feminine hygiene products business that treats consumers like that. It seems many manufacturers across all kinds of product genres do it. Perhaps too many companies are being run by mad men. Thanks for sharing your outrage!!!

Write The Company

October 19, 2010 at 11:35 am

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CACS, Indeed I did send the letter. So far, no contact from them to write copy. Glad I was able to bring some humor to the subject for you. I wonder if it brought a smile to anyone’s face at the o.b. office.

Toxic shock is a very serious issue. I’ve experienced toxic shock just walking into a portable toilet. The only kind of shedding I’ve encountered is with my hair, so the ickyness you refer to regarding this product is something I haven’t had to deal with. Thanks so much for your comments!

Mary Raum

October 19, 2010 at 12:23 pm

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I contacted the manufacturer of OB by e-mail and asked why I could not find OB Ultra Absorbency tampons anywhere and also noted that I had seen lots of postings from upset women. They replied to my e-mail that the product had been discontinued. No reason. Nothing about resuming production at some unknown time in the future. That’s it.

Write The Company

October 19, 2010 at 12:53 pm

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I hope o.b. starts listening to all you upset women! Discontinuing Ultra appears to have created an ultra big problem for so many.

Lisa Ely

October 19, 2010 at 5:41 pm

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I just spoke with a CSR @ OB who says their phones are ringing off the hooks and the women calling are NOT HAPPY! They’ve been told that the production lines for the ULTRA have been shut down temporarily to upgrade the manufacturing process and that we should be seeing the ULTRA product back on the market in MAY! MAY! Can you believe it? A little warning would have been nice–must have been men making those decisions…as it is, I’d like to quit using their products all together to illustrate how ticked off I am but, frankly, no other company has a product that even comes close!!!

Write The Company

October 19, 2010 at 6:57 pm

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MAY!? MAY!? For all those unhappy women, that does translate to a warning: MAYDAY! MAYDAY! Thanks for the update.

klm

October 20, 2010 at 6:12 pm

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I’d like to speak for all the women who’ve posted here and of a big THANK YOU to Write the Company. I agree with CACS that the original letter is a masterpiece of consumer commentary. Really, for a guy to take on this product in such a sensitive and objective manner is as refreshing as it is rare.

Thanks for your effort and support, WTC!!!

Write The Company

October 21, 2010 at 1:25 am

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My pleasure, klm! When I posted this letter, I had no idea so many women were going through the same thing. I’m happy to help bring attention to this issue. It’s not always easy to go public with private matters. Thanks for your comments and compliments, which are very appreciated!

Dianne

October 22, 2010 at 12:02 pm

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Here’s the response I received this morning. How nice that they offer to use the next size down. If I wanted the next smaller size, I wouldn’t be writing them about the Ultra size, now would I? That would be kind of stupid. Like writing a company about their XL shirts when I wear a L.

“Dear Dianne:

Thank you for contacting McNeil-PPC, Inc., makers of o.b.® Ultra Absorbency Tampons. It is always important to hear from our consumers, and we appreciate the time you have taken to contact us.

Unfortunately, our o.b.® Ultra Absorbency Tampons has been discontinued. We understand your disappointment and are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause for you. Our consumers’ opinions are very important to us and we assure you that your feedback will be shared with our marketing management.

As an alternative, you may wish to try our o.b.® Super Plus Absorbency. We are pleased to send you a coupon that may be used toward the purchase of this product. You can expect to receive it in the mail within the next 7 – 10 business days.

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 http://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.

The Information Center”

Sorry for any inconvenience? Like the woman who can’t go swimming at certain times? Like having to get up 5x during the night during monsoon season? Like staying home and altering your life because you can no longer buy the needed product? Bah!

Write The Company

October 22, 2010 at 12:52 pm

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Dianne, too bad McNeil-PPC didn’t provide a reason for discontinuing the product. Not that it would make getting through Monsoon season any easier, but it would be interesting to know since so many women miss it. Thank you for helping to size things up for my readers and adding your Write The Company experience to mine!

CACS

October 22, 2010 at 1:15 pm

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On reflection I suspect that if toxic shock syndrome is the concern some clever lawyer at corporate suggest that they might want to proactively eliminate the product … before they find themselves sued and in a publicity nightmare. (I know a woman who had to have a hysterectomy due to toxic shock; I agree it is not a good thing.)

Thanks to all of you who have posted the responses you have received from the company. What confuses me is the fact that the company does not seem to know if the Ultra is actually discontinued or is temporarily suspended and will be re-introduced sometime next year. While we wait there will be those days where some of us will be restricted in our activities and leashed to the bathroom…this is not something to which I wish to become accustomed.

ssh

October 22, 2010 at 1:19 pm

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Why are the ultras still pictured on their website if they have discontinued them? I was going from store to store to store searching for them because I thought they were still available. Ugh! Now at least I know they are discontinued and can stop searching for them.

Debby

October 22, 2010 at 11:11 pm

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If they do indeed resume production of the Ultra size in May, I believe that will represent a TWO-YEAR absence of this size. I bought a bunch of boxes last year online (at a source that is no longer); but, I’m on my last box, and will likely find myself unable to leave the house (or, maybe even the bathroom) for two days a month if they don’t bring the Ultra back!

That so many people have received differing/vague responses is of concern as well. How aggravating!

brooklyn

October 23, 2010 at 11:12 am

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Well I guess I did start a flood indeed in the O.B. tampon arena. I had no idea I would be the one to start such an effect.

I am glad to know that there are other women out there that are ticked off of the cheap way this company is handling their product. In particular the Ultra Size O.B. I’ve been using this product for about 20 years also. The Ultra size was the only tampon that was perfect.

I am shopping for another brand indeed. O.B. apparently has zero customer loyalty and it is probably a team of men that are designing and RE-designing these formerly great tampons because they want to save money. Aren’t they wealthy enough????

Write The Company

October 23, 2010 at 3:28 pm

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Brooklyn, this is the flood after the monsoon, which is a far cry from the calm before the storm. Many women are with you (and me) on this and have made it clear that these tampons should not have been tampered with. Thanks for speaking out and helping generate this tidal wave of protest.

limeginger

October 25, 2010 at 1:57 am

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Add me to the list of horrible upset. Someone’s whose life has suddenly been severely negatively affected. This is horrible to say but I had to LEAVE WORK last month because of leaking—after 1 hour. When OB Ultra would have lasted 3. I cannot get a full night sleep anymore. I have to sleep with wadded up towels under me.

What is this—-the 1950s??? where women used to call it the “Curse” because they couldn’t live normal lives for up to 25% of their lives each month?

So everybody knows: I have tried Kotex Ultra and Tampax Ultras. Neither are as effective or as comfortable as OB **used to be*** in its heyday. But they are better than any other OB Product on the market. I find it egregiously insulting that the makers of OB would give out a $%^ consolation prize of their Super Plus, which is now the size of what used to like regular or MAYBE Super. Those things are USELESS to me.

I think we should start a nationwide boycott of all OB Products, start a Facebook page, and go viral with this. We might also find out what instigated this. My educated guess is some number crunching geniuses figured they could sell TWICE as many smaller tampons if they got rid of the larger tampons. In fact, maybe we’ll use 2 at a time! Double their sales. And once we learn WHY they discontinued it perhaps one of the other manufacturers, other than the makers of OB, will create a new product. And put OB out of business. Nothing like a little competition giving the people what they truly need.

OB has handled this really, really poorly. If they don’t turn this around and provide better service and products they deserve whatever happens to them now.

gmknyc

October 25, 2010 at 10:09 am

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This past weekend I looked for OB Ultras in: Walgreens, CVS, Duane Reade, Eckhard, and various small pharmacies.

I logged in today to buy them online but I can’t.

This is awful. Even the Ultras weren’t complete protection for me on the heavy days.

Now what?

Canadian Girl

October 25, 2010 at 8:47 pm

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Can anyone tell me why the drug stores and Walmarts of this world must taunt us with the stickers still on the shelves for OB Ultra’s?! Don’t bother coming to Canada to look for them because I have checked everywhere for them.

I, too, am a 25 to life long user of these damn things and need them for my monsoons, too. There’s that stupid company out there taunting us to “have a happy period” so I won’t be using their products either. If a facebook page is started, I’m in.

Brooklyn, you’ve got a keeper there! He’s da bomb!

Melissa

October 25, 2010 at 10:21 pm

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I have loved O.b. for years and now that they’ve discontinued the Ultra I’ve been looking for Ultra in other brands and there is nothing! I’ve looked at tampax, playtex and kotex even the no name brands. tampax says on the box that it goes up to Ultra but there is nothing on the shelf. And none of the other companies even list an Ultra tampon. This is ridiculous, how could they leave us with NOTHING to replace the ultra tampon? Don’t they understand that I don’t want to have to stay home to change my tampon every freaking hour because the Ultras were discontinued? This is BULL!

tracey beckman

October 25, 2010 at 11:32 pm

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I am not going to buy any O.B. products at all until the O.B. company brings back the Ultra tampons. If you are as disappointed as I am you won’t either. These tampons have made my periods at least bearable and now I really do not know how I will even manage to get through a day without them. They are the only tampons that I have used that don’t leak and have even close to enough absorbency. Even with them I wear a pad. Now I will have to stay at home whenever I start my period. This company has no idea of the anger of a pmsing woman. LET”S SHOW THEM WHAT WE”RE MADE OF!!! DO NOT BUY O.B. UNTIL THEY BRING BACK THE ULTRA!!!!

NancyCP

October 26, 2010 at 9:08 am

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This is what Johnson and Johnson sent me. I am going to email them everyday and make my voice heard. I think you guys should too. This reponse is BS!

Dear Nancy, Thank you for your contact regarding o.b® Tampons Ultra Absorbency. We appreciate your loyal use of our o.b® Tampons Ultra Absorbency in the past. However, we made the decision to discontinue this product. This was a business decision based on competing priorities and consumer acceptance. As an alternative, Ob® Super Plus, may be of interest to you. This product is available at most major retail stores. If you have problems finding it, please ask the store merchandiser for assistance. Should you require further information, I invite you to e-mail us again or call the Information Centre at 1877 454-7843. (Name of Representative), Consumer Care Center

Write The Company

October 26, 2010 at 9:35 am

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Nancy, that reply doesn’t sound so Super to me. Plus, it’s not going to satisfy the concerns, or needs, of all the women who have been speaking out against this move. If it’s consumer acceptance they’re after, they are not going to find it here! Thanks for writing the company and sharing what you found out.

Dee Anderson

October 26, 2010 at 2:10 pm

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Well, I just called o.b. at 1-877-454-7843 to inform them that their customers DESERVE A REASON for the Ultra’s discontinuation (or temporary withdrawal) and that many women are now BOYCOTTING ALL O.B. Products until the Ultra is back on the shelves. I alerted them to this forum so that they can read the growing complaints for themselves.

If their reasoning involves being concerned about law suits for toxic shock syndrome due to the Ultra’s super-absorbency, then they need to highlight the risks on the packaging and let consumers make their own informed decision about what risks they want to take (like with cigarettes).

If it was a business decision based on something like Ultra’s sales not being profitable enough (which is highly unlikely as just about everyone I know uses Ultra o.b. tampons!), then I deplore their lack of loyalty to their customers and their casual dismissal of so many women’s needs.

It is important that we continue to have our voices heard. Remember the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Dee

Write The Company

October 26, 2010 at 6:39 pm

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Dee, this might be more of a girlcott than a boycott. I hope they’re listening!

DG

October 27, 2010 at 12:57 pm

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UPDATE: Perhaps because of our clamor the call I made this morning stated that they are bringing the OB ultra back! – but we still have to wait until the summer of 2011!!!! Okay, they say it is manufacturing updates so perhaps it is. However, waiting through a miserable winter with the next smaller size down is going to be a bummer. (Still not sure about the situation, but I’ll wait and see)

KI

October 27, 2010 at 3:40 pm

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bringing the OB ultra back! What are you Thinking why would you discontinue something that so many women use….?

Kathy

October 27, 2010 at 6:51 pm

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After looking for my old favorite tampons (Ultra by OB) and finding this blog, I realized that what you are all saying rings absolutely true. Of course the companies will pull in more money by ‘down sizing’ their tampons therefore causing us to use more of them. I also noticed the disgusting habit of the OB tampons to start to pull apart while inserted. Completely unsanitary if not just plain yucky!

I did a search for ‘favorite tampon forum’ in order to find out what others are saying and using. I know…you have to love the electronic age and I found out about a product called ‘The Diva Cup’. It’s a plastic cup that you actually insert and it collects everything. Then you rinse and reinsert. (And disinfect after each period). It couldn’t be easier and guess what? You only buy the one!!!! That’s right!! No more buying hordes of tampons and spending so much every month!! I bought one at a local store and ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!! Please do a web search on The Diva Cup and see what you think. I can sleep in it for 12 hours without a problem!!!

Write The Company

October 27, 2010 at 7:18 pm

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Kathy, thanks for your comment and sharing your ‘Diva Cup’ suggestion. Hopefully this is one cup that never runneths over.

DG

October 27, 2010 at 10:45 pm

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I’m still upset over this- and concerning the diva cup BTDT and didn’t like it. When you take it out there is a mess factor and if you are in a public rest room? Or camp ground! Just saying there are some drawbacks.

I just purchased a not so great replacement kotex super plus tampons. But I hate applicators! *sighs*

Heather

October 27, 2010 at 11:32 pm

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I have been having to go into WalMart to stock up on the Ultra for a couple of years now, ever since all of the other stores stopped carrying them. Today, I went to WalMart — NO ULTRAS! What am I to do? That size keeps me from uncomfortable and embarrassing situations on a monthly basis. What, am I supposed to wear pads with my supers? I can’t believe that they are not manufacturing this size. I was glad to see that I am not alone in needing this size. I hope the company is listening! WE NEED ULTRAS!!!!

NancyCP

October 28, 2010 at 9:50 am

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Write the Company~

The reason as to why their response to me was insufficient was because my email to them was about me ‘girlcotting’ their tampons until the Ultra came back. So suggesting I use the Super Plus tampon was an insult because I had already stated bluntly that I will not be using OB Tampons anymore.

Also ladies if you look at their response to me, they discontinued it for BUSINESS reasons. Not Toxic Shock Syndrome. Also I get the feeling that this decision was made by MEN. Who have no idea what it feels like to have a monsoon. If their ‘manhood’ gave them monsoons this product would be on the shelf til the end of time.

Also I am getting conflicting news about them bringing back so maybe the Diva Cup. Another friend of mine is RAVING about it.

I have 6 18 Packs left and am figuring out a way to prolong them as much as possible.

Ultra users PLEASE make your voices heard…I AM.

Write The Company

October 28, 2010 at 11:07 am

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Nancy, men may not have to suffer directly from monsoons, yet the impact can often be felt when we find ourselves in their path.

While I can definitely relate more to The Stanley Cup than The Diva Cup, I’ll leave that one for you women to decide.

Arlene

October 28, 2010 at 4:40 pm

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All I can say is PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE BRING BACK O.B. ULTRA TAMPONS!!!! NO OTHER TAMPON WILL DO! We can NOT wait until next year….we need them now!!!!

Kim

October 28, 2010 at 10:24 pm

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I just found out today (after searching 4 stores and then going online) that the ultra has been discontinued and I am so upset! It is the only thing that makes my period bearable! I sincerely hope that the company really is going to bring them back next year; otherwise, I am going to be completely miserable! I did write to them through their website b/c I am so angry!

JB

October 29, 2010 at 9:38 am

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OMG….why, oh why do these companies, run by MEN make decisions for us and NEVER EVER explain???? OB Ultras were the BEST of the BEST!!! After 3 children the storm’s width is my concern! I have tried all different tampons and on my Monsoon days & NIGHTS!!! they fall out!!!! I go to the bathroom and ploop…then I’m having to Fish them out!!! NOT A PRETTY SIGHT!!!! OB Ultras never did that because they expand sideways NOT up and down!!!

I have now resorted to inserting TWO tampons in order to 1. keep them in and 2. be able to leave the house for a walk or do errands. Pads SUCK!! and I get burns, scratches between my legs from them!!!

Why can’t the company that makes OB at least inform us that they are discontinued?? so we are not all running around “LOOKING” for our tampons??????????

BRING THEM BACK!!!!!

Signed,
VERY UNHAPPY

bridget

October 29, 2010 at 10:11 am

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I never thought the day would come where I am posting a comment online about my tampon preference! ULTRA, Where are you???!!! ATTENTION O.B. foks: Get the hint already! We are nearing desperation in our quest to navigate the monsoon! Help us! There seems to be enough of us scrambling for YOUR product! Give it back to us please!!!

Siobhan

October 29, 2010 at 11:05 am

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I called the customer service line. They say they had to do manufacturing updates, and would be bringing ultra back in the future, no time line, they are sorry (like that’ll help), and it wasn’t a planned decision. My eye, manufacturing updates… unplanned? Bull.

It’s a simple question of fluid capacity. The ultra holds over two ounces of fluid. No other tampons even come close to that. The cups you insert hold right around two ounces, but there is significant risk of leakage on your heavy days.

On my one heavy day per cycle I go through an ultra in an hour to an hour and a half and I have to wear overnight pads the whole day to ensure I don’t have serious problems before making it to the bathroom.

There USED to be other brands and other products that held as much or more, but they got pulled because some women and girls were misusing them and got toxic shock. So the rest of us who really NEED products like this actually suffer because some women are idiots.

Anyway, added my voice to the pile of complaints and I recommend everyone here do the same. They need to hear the clamor.

Their contact info: http://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.

Charlotte

October 29, 2010 at 6:09 pm

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Just adding my voice to the growing chorus of “Without these, I guess I need to just sit in my bathroom for a few days every month.”

It’s funny…10 years ago when I saw a gynecologist and said “I have this really heavy bleeding, like I soak an Ultra tampon in 2 hours on my heaviest day,” the gyno patted my hand and said “Oh, that’s nothing to worry about.” This year, the same doc was all “Wait, what? Wow, that’s a problem.”

So apparently my doc and O.B. agree…us heavily bleeding ladies are…dun…dun…DAH…pathological!

Awesome.

As a coping mechanism at bedtime, for what it’s worth, I wear a pair of Depends. I sleep on my stomach, so this works pretty well for me.

LISA

October 30, 2010 at 8:03 am

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I just e-mailed the company also. For a while, drugstore.com had them but now they are out of stock there too. I just checked e-bay and someone wants $38.00 for a box of 40 tampons. Are you kidding me? This is a nightmare and Johnson and Johnson needs to realize that women are being extorted out there because of their bad business decision. I will NOT be buying any J&J products until the Ultra comes back.

Renee

October 30, 2010 at 6:17 pm

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I, too, am beside myself. I’ve called the company twice and wasted a ton of time trying to track the Ultras down to no avail. This just feels random and punitive. Anyway, there’s a petition that has been started. I encourage everyone to sign it. Thanks and good luck. Let’s see if we can reverse this awful decision.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/ob_ultra_tampons/

Christine

October 30, 2010 at 10:30 pm

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The ‘business decision’ is, actually, very easy to figure out.

When there are no ultra’s women will (hopefully) simply buy more of the lesser sizes.

The ONLY answer to that is a complete boycott of ALL ob products.

spread the word…..

Kristy

November 1, 2010 at 2:24 am

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I’m in the same boat as the rest of you.
I just want my Ultras back, tonight!!
Not happy to think the smaller sizes and a “diaper” is going to have to be my MO on my one-1/2 SUPER heavy days, but there ya go.
I will be calling them tomorrow, but looks like I’m not going to get a different answer than anyone else.
Might as well get a coupon out of it, though. ;-)

OH MY GOD!

November 1, 2010 at 12:31 pm

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OMG!! I thought it was just me. I’ve had trouble finding Ultra for a few months but have been able to get a box here and there, and this week have had no luck and now I find this. All I can say is SOB SOB SOB. These are the only tampons that work for me. The only ones. This is really really a big deal. A REALLY big deal. I guess my only option now is to just wear a freaking diaper…er pad… because no other tampon works.

OH MY GOD!

November 1, 2010 at 12:33 pm

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I am right now scouring the “period” pocket in all my purses and have scrounged up 6 Ultras. :) well, tomorrow is covered anyway.

OH MY GOD!

November 1, 2010 at 12:39 pm

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Ok, called OB and they also told me May 2011. The CS rep also took my zip and went through a list of local stores who have sold the product in the past 6 weeks. She said it’s possible that some of these stores still have the product – one box maybe – in stock.

I’m off for my ultra adventure now.

Becky Lee

November 1, 2010 at 3:16 pm

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I’m appalled at this. Congrats to you all who could go an hour and a half or more with OB Ultra. I was thrilled when I found the Ultra and could go 1/2 hour. And I have to have a super pad on always, and every 1/2 hour I go thru the Ultra AND the pad (and sometimes only 20 minutes.) So yes, the Super is just a joke. What, I run to the toilet every 10 minutes? How many pair of panties can YOU change a day? And doctors, they’re all stupid. Don’t care about us monsooners…
But this is BAAAAD. What losers. I’ve used OB for 35 years, and now what? In my time of need, they leave me out in the cold. It won’t be forgotten.

Marcia

November 1, 2010 at 3:28 pm

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I can’t believe this! I have been going from store to store trying to find Ultra’s – Nothing! I finally got on line today to see what I can find out, no, no!
May of 2011 – come on!!!!!!

Char

November 1, 2010 at 6:56 pm

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As I sit here reading these posts (with legs crossed due to ‘monsoon season’), I can’t fathom WHY they would do away with a product that obviously is in such a large demand! Don’t bother looking around local stores, the lists they give you (if not within the last couple of days) is of no use, trust me…been searching for an entire week now and calling every store (and lucky me, having a MAN answer and search for the product to see if they carry it) to no avail. There is a petition out there (See Renee’s post!). Let’s sign that sucker and try to get them to bring these back PRONTO! Production Stop? Manufacturing Updates? What does that mean?….It means we’re all SCREWED until May 2011 (IF we’re lucky!) :(

Lee Ann

November 1, 2010 at 8:32 pm

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I am so upset. I also went from store to store looking for o.b. ultra . I couldn’t find them anywhere. I finally went online because I thought I could order them. That is when I found out that they have been discontinued. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I am a monsooner also, and ultras were the only tampons that would help me make it through an hour. I have been using o.b. for 34 years. No other kind of tampon would work for me. Within the last year, I got my daughter hooked on them too. She is a dancer and they worked so well for her. They have to bring them back now. HELP!

Staci

November 2, 2010 at 9:01 am

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I have been using OB for more than 30 years and my daughters only use OB. In my 40s I need the ultra brand, and unfortunately one of my daughter’s has a heavy flow and relies on it too. It is only brand that works. OB is reliable in that other brands leak, and I have only been able to count on OB. I have been going to all kinds of stores looking for Ultra, and am in shock now! I wish I had known I would have bought years of supplies like Elaine did on Seinfeld with the sponge birth control :)

This is very serious, maybe someone with manufacturing knowledge should come up with an ultra and make it for this niche in the market!

MR

November 4, 2010 at 11:03 am

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I just called to complain and tell them that I will NOT be buying any ob products until I can get ob ultras again, just like I used to – easily and whenever I need them! The customer service lady was really nice actually. Now in the meantime, WTF AM I GONNA DO!!!! Woke up with a flood at 4am this morning with a Super Plus (they are a joke). Couldn’t go back to sleep, so tired today. This is serious ob – get your crap together and get ultras back on the market!! Until then, no $$$ from me.

Catherine

November 6, 2010 at 7:06 pm

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Another very, very disappointed OB Ultra user here. I wish that they had given us some sort of heads up that the product was going to be discontinued. I’ve recently begun to deplete my supply of 40-count boxes that I picked up on sale earlier this year, only to discover that I won’t be getting any more!

I have no idea how I’m going to cope. I have fibroids, and bleed incredibly heavily for about 48 hours every month. I NEED a 15 to 18g absorbency just to leave the house on those days, and as far as I know, this was the only such high-absorbency product on the market. How am I going to work? Sleep? Function???

Until and unless OB Ultras are returned to the market, I will never again buy any of their products, and will encourage everyone I know to boycott their brand.

Lori

November 7, 2010 at 4:35 pm

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I remember when OB’s first hit the market and were advertised as a product created by a woman gynecologist for women. WHAT HAPPENED!!!???

I join every one of the above responses and really wonder how a company can be so oblivious to the needs of their clientele.

What’s next?

Will we go shopping for dresses only to find them available in size 2, will we scour the supermarkets for gallon containers of products that have all been reduced to pint-sized, will everything we order come in one color?

This is ridiculous, and a far cry from the company that earned its place filling the needs of women by women that understood those needs. But then again, in today’s commercial world who’s going to notice a little more blood in the streets when it’s only the green that lines their pockets that interests them?

Write The Company

November 7, 2010 at 5:58 pm

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Lori, I’m sure many people will notice if there’s more blood in the streets. Come on, o.b., give the women back their Ultras. There’s already enough blood in the streets!

Laurie

November 7, 2010 at 9:57 pm

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Well…. I am so upset. I am a 20+ year user of OB Ultra. I use Ultra with a pad… lasts less than 1 hour on heavy day. I have thought the issue was with Walmart for 3 months. Then, none elsewhere. Finally today decided to purchase them online. Nope! Thank you for this forum. I am officially joining the OB Girlcott. If I have to use an inferior brand for the first 3 days of my period, I will use the inferior brand for my whole period. Until I can buy ultra, I will no longer buy OBs. And yes, when they “improved” them, the super pluses were smaller and they do unravel, which is just gross. OB U Fd up.

Mary

November 8, 2010 at 10:25 am

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I was first introduced to ob tampons 32 years ago and never used anything else until the ultras were discontinued. I recently used another brand of tampons and hated them. And I got more angry with the ob company and have decided to stop buying anything that the company makes. Since the ultras were discontinued I wouldn’t leave the house on monsoon days. It seems that the older I get the heavier and longer the flow has been. I can’t wait till the time comes when I don’t have these monthly calls anymore! Out of desperation (not wanting to becoming a monsoon prisoner anymore), I’ve decided to try the menstrual cup as recommended by a previous post. I will not use anything else but the cup for my monthly needs. Like all of you, I was so angry with the company’s thoughtless decision, I was fit to be tied. But now, I want to thank the o.b. company for forcing me to try something new and loving my new discovery (in fact, I think I’ll write them to let them know what a huge favor they did for me). I will not be going back to tampons or pads anymore!!! In fact, I plan to tell all my friends about my new discovery and strongly recommend that they try it. What’s that old saying? “When you have lemons, make lemonade.” The menstrual cup is my “lemonade”. Thanks ob for the lemons.

Karen

November 8, 2010 at 3:41 pm

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WTF?!?!? I too have been looking everywhere for these. Cannot do without them!! The super cannot compare to the ultra. I called OB and spoke with a nurse who said she would document my complaint. They say it is a marketing decision! But how? Why? Why would they discontinue a product that is SORELY needed by us women? Why? Because men are making the decisions, no doubt. Unless they return the Ultra to the marketplace, I say we no longer purchase ANY Johnson & Johnson product whatsoever. They have F’d up royally this time!!!!!

Karen

November 8, 2010 at 3:53 pm

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I phoned the company today and was told they are discontinued PERMANENTLY! I cannot believe this. I’m about to cry. What am I gonna do – sit on a toilet 24/7 on my extremely heavy days? A marketing decision? Whoever made that “marketing decision” ought to be fired, blindfolded, put in a jail cell with no food or water, and forced to listen to chalk scraping on a blackboard for an entire year!!!!!!

tawanda

November 8, 2010 at 7:18 pm

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I started out using tampax tampons, because I hated pads. One day I went to my local market and discoverd OB Ultras . Been in love with them ever since. Over the last few months I noticed they had been harder and harder to find. Now they’re discontinued. Crazy. Super Plus never really worked for me. So now what? The Diva Cup sounds a lot like the Instead, very messy. I’m going to call the company and complain, sign the petition, and then crawl up in a corner and wait for another miracle product.

Cindy

November 8, 2010 at 8:58 pm

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Well, today was the day I used my very last OB Ultra Tampon. As a loyal OB user of 27 years, I am very disappointed in the company discontinuing this product. I hope they will consider reading through these blogs to review for themselves what a POSITIVE change they could make for woman by bringing back this product – swimming, running, sitting and sleeping and this tampon never failed AND the Super Plus does not come even close. A tampon can change your life!

Former o.b. customer

November 9, 2010 at 12:13 am

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Because of the conflicting reports I’ve read online, I emailed the company and asked if the ultras are temporarily or permanently discontinued, and this is the response I received today:

“Thank you for contacting McNeil-PPC, Inc., makers of o.b.® Ultra Absorbency Tampons. It is always important to hear from our consumers, and we appreciate the time you have taken to contact us.

Unfortunately, our o.b.® Ultra Absorbency Tampons has been permanently discontinued. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause for you. We assure you that your feedback will be shared with our marketing management. Please note that we do not sell our products on a direct basis, nor do we keep inventory of discontinued products on hand for distribution to consumers or retailers. All remaining inventory of this item has been shipped to our distributors.

We encourage you to try one of the other fine products we offer. Please do look for our products at pharmacies, grocery stores and mass merchandisers.

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 http://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.

The Information Center”

I’ll have to switch to another brand now, because their super-plus certainly aren’t acceptable.

Trisha F.

November 9, 2010 at 2:29 am

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I was wondering why I could not find them anywhere after coming to the web site to find a number I could call, I see you are no longer making this product. Do you know how long it took me to find a tampon that I could use that didn’t cause toxic shock, or vomiting or seizures? I am highly allergic to most everything that my body comes in contact with on the market. I have been a very heavy bleeder since I was 12, I usually have to use a tampon and a pad at the same time, but the ultra solved that problem for me. I can’t believe that I’m at ground zero again. I don’t wear pads, because they make me feel nasty, the ultra was the only hope I had. THANKS A LOT FOR TAKING THAT AWAY.

STUCK AT HOME

November 9, 2010 at 1:28 pm

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It’s horrible not being able to find a tampon that (on some days) won’t last more than 30 minutes. THIS SUCKS! I normally keep a few boxes on hand so I didn’t even realize the product had been discontinued. I didn’t think anything of it when there weren’t boxes of ultras on the shelves because they were so often sold out. But, now I’ve been searching for months and when the empty spaces on the store shelves disappeared, I finally decided to look online to find some. No luck, but I certainly found a lot of other women in the same situation.

I don’t like being stuck in the bathroom all day. If I didn’t work at home, I’d have to call in sick. I can’t even sleep. I have to get up a couple times an hour or wake up in a puddle. I’m in my mid 30’s. I’m not ready for Depends yet!!!

O.B., if you’re listening, please, please, please bring the ultra back (and FAST)! If that’s not possible, could you switch the super plus back to what they used to be? I swear they used to be twice what they are now. I’d settle for that… or I would happily spend more for ultras… just PLEASE BRING THEM BACK!!!

Linda

November 9, 2010 at 2:18 pm

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AARRGGHH! I’m down to my last 3 tampons. Had I only known that these were being discontinued!

My Target stopped carrying them months ago, but old reliable WalMart still had them. Suddenly WalMart no longer carried them. Now I’ve hit all the RiteAids and CVSs and they all can’t get the Ultras either. What’s a girl to do?

I called OB and the story I got was that last week, the company officially decided to pull the plug. Prior to that, the product was to be available “early 2011″. Delays were due to a manufacturing issue.

I’m an engineer, and that line is a bunch of BS. Pure and simple, this was a management decision.

On the plus side, the CSR said their phones have been ringing off the hook with complaints! We can only hope they will hear and respond.

Cat

November 9, 2010 at 7:59 pm

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I just wrote the company. I’m so upset about the ultra tampons. I can still find all the other sizes, but none of the ultras, which are the only ones that work for me on that day and half of the cycle when I really need them. I’m housebound without them. Ridiculous. I’ll have to go to my gyn and get on the pill now as my only solution. That really is stupid. Yes, let’s increase women’s chance of stroke and cancer by making her take hormones instead of providing products that help her live a normal life. MEN must run this!!!!!! Specifically MEN LAWYERS scared to death of a TSS lawsuit!

Robin

November 10, 2010 at 7:24 pm

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Just want to add my voice. I just called the company, and they are taking names of people to send to their marketing department in hopes that with so many calls, they will hear us. Please call 1-877-454-7843 and add your name to the list. Also, tell them that until the ultras are back, women will be boycotting OB!

Cari Featherstone

November 10, 2010 at 8:36 pm

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OMG – Check out Ebay Canada – some bright person is selling 4 boxes of OB Ultras – still days to go on the auction – 25 bids and the price is already $135!!! I thought it was just me looking for this size. I have read all the comments and yes it totally sucks, now I know the score I too will not buy OB on principle – I do use natural tampons for lighter days they are shaped just like OB with no applicator but again NO ULTRA. Sucks for us eh ladies!!

Cil

November 11, 2010 at 1:29 am

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I am joining the voices in the forum to complain against this marketing decision. I can’t help but imagine the boardroom meeting when this decision was handed down. Undoubtedly, this was a male-centric decision. Males would have no idea the suffering they are causing. All they care about is that without the Ultra, we have to use many more of the next size down. LOTS of money to be made. As many others said, OB has been my choice since the initial commercials of a tampon ‘made by a woman gynecologist’. From experience I know that women gynecologists are the most knowledgeable and the most sensitive about women’s issues, so I trusted. The fact that the tampon expands outward was, oddly, a genius idea. Men designed tampons that expanded up and down….I guess their obsession with size/length dominated THAT decision. I mean, what could be more pleasant to a woman than a filled tampon that grows to extend outside the body, huh? Lovely. OB fixed that problem and the problem with leakage that these male designed tampons had. The comfort level is SO MUCH better than anything else on the market, I can’t imagine going back to those brands. It is a real shame that there is nothing close. Because of that, the makers of OB can do anything they want…..no competition. This world is a very sad place…

Cat

November 11, 2010 at 8:26 am

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This is what I got back, ick!!!

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.

Write The Company

November 11, 2010 at 8:43 am

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Cil, men may actually understand the suffering they cause women better than you think, which is why so many are currently sleeping on couches. The same applies when you’re in bed with a company and their products. Hopefully, sending o.b. a wake-up call will help everyone get some action.

Cil

November 11, 2010 at 3:19 pm

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I hope so, Write! I sincerely hope so!

Diane Reppert

November 11, 2010 at 4:35 pm

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Well they lost ANOTHER loyal customer for 10+ years. Just bought 3 boxes of Tampax Ultra on drugstore.com cause it’s the only other option for me. Besides the small size and convenience with OB I might boycott OB altogether. Get a Facebook page started chicks, we need to get the message out loud and clear to OB ..I called them today just to confirm for my own ears it’s gone and I told the nice cust service rep that hopefully millions will be calling in too.

Write The Company

November 11, 2010 at 5:42 pm

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Diane, the word is getting out. This is a petition that has previously been posted: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/ob_ultra_tampons. Thanks for submitting yours, too. Good luck!

Frustrated

November 11, 2010 at 8:18 pm

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Someone just “won” four 18-count Ultra boxes for $154.50 on eBay today. That comes out to more than $2 per Ultra tampon! I give up.

Nancy

November 12, 2010 at 1:37 am

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I have been trying for the last few months to find Ultras too. VERY ANGRY they have been discontinued. Only a few ultras out there by other manufacturers. Tried the Tampax Pearl ones and threw out the box after using only 3. Leak horribly due to the traditional Tampax style. Found Playtex Gentle Glide Ultras at Walgreens. These are made more like the o.b. tampons — expands in all directions. Not quite as good as the o.b.’s but 100x better than Tampax or using a smaller size. Just don’t like the applicator. But I am considering switching to Playtex for lighter days too, just because I am so angry about losing o.b. Ultras. So Johnson & Johnson, you may have lost a customer permanently, just like the Ultras have been permanently discontinued.

Mary G

November 12, 2010 at 3:20 pm

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I too have used the Ultra OB tampon for about 30 years and have searched, called, searched the stores the company suggested I try and they never once said they were discontinued. In October asked point blank if they were still manufacturing the product and the woman said YES. They lied, they have let us all down. I am sooo disappointed in Johnson & Johnson and their bad decision, and especially that they did not warn us of this.

However, I am sort of relieved to find out that it is not just me facing this problem – for the last few months I too blamed Walmart and then I thought it was still just me (and my three teen age daughters) who were having the problem locating the product. Having read all of the above, I am ANGRY and they will be hearing from me in many ways – phone, email, letters, Facebook, and I will be boycotting their other products as well.

Thank you Brooklyn for letting your friend know about the problem and letting all of us vent about this MAJOR issue in the lives of women!!

Anntonette

November 12, 2010 at 8:42 pm

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I am another woman who will “girlcott” OB until the Ultras are brought back — I am not going to reward them for their poor decision. Though, in the stores around here, you can’t even find Super Plus anymore — not that I would buy them if they were there. I wrote the company and signed the i-petition and will try the Diva Cup. I will also try the Playtex Ultras. And I hope that the manufacturers of other brands see this as a great opportunity to win new customers by offering a product that works for us.

Cary

November 13, 2010 at 2:53 am

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Arggh! I cannot believe this. No more ob ultras??? This product has saved me more times than I can count. Has made my life livable, truly. I’m going to email the company and sign the petition and try other products, but after 27 years… I’m really upset. Dang it!

Lesley

November 14, 2010 at 2:30 am

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Before I moved from the UK to Canada I used Lil-lets Super Plus, which also expanded outwards. Not being able to get these in Canada, I was relieved to find the OB Ultra. And now horrified to discover these have been discontinued, especially since my monsoons are getting heavier.

So I Googled Lil-lets and found they now make a Super Plus Extra for very heavy periods. I ordered a few boxes from Amazon UK and they should be here within the week. The cost is about $4 for a box of 14. I don’t even care that I have to pay $20 shipping, it’s worth it to know that I have good protection.

Maybe I’ll write to Lil-lets manufacturers and suggest that should they wish to extend their horizons, they’d have a ready made market in North America!

Write The Company

November 14, 2010 at 8:41 am

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Lesley, let us know how Lil-lets Super Plus Extra sizes up to the o.b. Ultra Extinct. Thanks for your Super suggestion, Plus going the Extra distance to share it!

Lisa

November 14, 2010 at 10:18 pm

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I not only can’t find Ultras anymore, but it is difficult to even find the Super Plus (which as others have mentioned isn’t enough for monsoon days). In the past week I went to 9 different stores, most had shrunk their shelf space for ob tampons down to almost nothing, and 8 out 9 didn’t have Super Plus (several didn’t even have a label for Super Plus on the shelf anymore). Is OB going out of business????

Beth Ann

November 14, 2010 at 10:22 pm

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Until something better comes back around, I use Kotex ultras. I toss the applicator and use them just like OB. I usually have to use 2 at a time, and that still only gets me about an hour on my monsooniest days. However, it it the best for now. And perhaps the OB company wants to know how they are helping other companies with business, as I am using more of them. Still, I am very disappointed in the business making decisions of the company that manufactures OB. They don’t appear to listen to their customers.

Linda

November 15, 2010 at 11:11 am

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Latest response from OB:

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 appreciate your loyal use of our o.b.® Ultra Absorbency Tampon in the past. However, the decision to discontinue this product; was a business decision based on competing priorities and marketing feedback. We are sorry once again for any inconvenience this has and/or may cause you; and appreciate the important feedback you have shared.

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 http://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.

BUSINESS DECISION BASED ON COMPETING PRIORITIES AND MARKETING FEEDBACK??????

Anyone here participate in any marketing surveys? I wonder what kind of marketing feedback they are getting now? How about we send them all the results of their business decision – i.e. every piece of ruined clothing. Do you think that might catch the attention of their marketing department?

Gina

November 15, 2010 at 1:17 pm

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OMG….I’ve been trying to find the Ultras everywhere….I had no idea they were discontinued…..I’ve been using them ever since I started my period….this jus sucks….my periods are so f’n heavy…don’t know what to use now….i wonder why they discontinued them….i wonder if they found they were causing something with health risks….we all have extremely heavy periods…maybe caused by using OB for so many years.,….i really do hope that is not the case….how many ladies here have had any kind of cancers down there or miscarriages….

Susan

November 15, 2010 at 1:27 pm

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I have been using O.B. for 34 years. The Ultra could not be found on store shelves about two years ago, but I could always order from Drugstore. com, but no longer. I called O.B. and they told me Ultra is discontinued. I put my name on the list they are compiling for marketing. I also emailed O.B. I also signed the petition at E-petitions. I also placed my first order for Lil-Lets super plus tampons in the U.K. They look very similar to Ultra. We shall see. Bring back the Ultra!

Write The Company

November 15, 2010 at 4:41 pm

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Gina, just reading between the lines, it’s clear that your periods are heavy. I hope you find a solution!

Beth Presley

November 15, 2010 at 6:26 pm

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BRING IT BACK. I need them. Why would they do this? Ultra are the only one that gets me through the day! This is a very sad day in my life if I can’t get them back. UGH!

I have been using these for over 25 years as many have posted and it is a shame that they are taking away some of my freedom. It is now a pain in my neck to have my period where it use to not be!!

If you are reading this OB people – bring it back!!

Lilia

November 17, 2010 at 10:35 am

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OB Ultra worked for me the best, forced to try DivaCup – still learning how to use.
Just advise how to reduce the flow: 200mg Ibuprofen every 4 hours, 30% of flow off.

Frustrated

November 17, 2010 at 3:52 pm

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Noticed that even the OB Super Plus (the next size down from Ultra) is becoming hard to find, several online retailers I checked are out of stock. Was the manufacturing of Super Plus also suspended?

Lucy

November 17, 2010 at 10:35 pm

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Joined the Facebook group and would really love to try the Lillets from the UK or anything from overseas. @ Gina They say on TV heavy periods are a medical condition, I have had no serious issues like cancer, but have been treated for anaemia since I was a teenager (I used to faint at school) I get very lethargic and depressed. Maybe this kind of tampon could be prescribed.

Dianna Anderson

November 18, 2010 at 8:28 pm

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So sad to hear the news of the discontinuation of the Ultra product. I teach and I can’t go out and take care of my needs when nature calls. The Ultra’s was the only brand that could get me through a 2 or 3 hour stretch..even with a pad as a backup. My sister suggested that I try Ebay…they are there if you’re willing to pay up to $40 for a box of 40! The whole debacle reminds me of the Seinfeld episode with the contraceptive sponges….

Susan

November 19, 2010 at 12:20 am

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Okay….so I have been using the Super Plus OB and now those are nowhere to be found either. Everywhere I look they are out of stock. This has been going on for a little over a month now. I am running out! No Ultra’s and no Super Plus. Is the company going under?

donna

November 19, 2010 at 4:49 pm

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Can’t find OB ultra tampons.. Every where I go all OB are sold out or just discontinued. I went to cvs, walbaums, rite aid, duane reade and none in sight! I’ve tried tampax and I get cramps. I tried playtex..and they are just ok..but OB are the best. Please help me find them. Thank you

Dianna Anderson

November 19, 2010 at 7:56 pm

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I went out today and found 2 boxes….you would have thought that I’d struck gold! You can go to ebay and bid on boxes….they’re running about $25 a box! Crazy! You can order super plus from familydrugstore.com

PDamian

November 21, 2010 at 12:23 am

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BOYCOTT! And not just the ob line, but the entire Johnson & Johnson product line! Sorry, but simply saying you won’t buy o.b. tampons is insufficient. To make a major corporation sit up and pay attention, you have to cost them real money. Like here’s what to avoid:

Tylenol
Imodium
Motrin
Benadryl
Sudafed
Zyrtec
Pepcid
Listerine and REACH oral care products
Aveeno skin products
Neutrogena skin products
Clean and Clear skin products
RoC skin products
Stayfree and Carefree
Lubriderm
Vendome cosmetics
Splenda

Call or write and let them know that unless McNeil resumes manufacture of o.b. Ultra, your money goes elsewhere! STRIKE!

Eve

November 21, 2010 at 12:47 pm

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Just ridiculous, driving their customers away. Morons. I’ve ordered the Diva Cup and a competitor’s brand of Ultra tampons on amazon.

Denise

November 21, 2010 at 2:56 pm

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I am totally upset that I cannot find OB Ultra. What’s up with that? Are you all at J & J crazy? Please fix this now!!!

Cari Featherstone

November 21, 2010 at 5:36 pm

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Hi Lesley

Thanks for that reminder of Li-lets – I am also a Brit in Canada and had totally forgotten about Lil-lets. I had not had my kids when I left the UK so there was no need for this obsession, but peri-menopausal and two kids later it is a big deal!!! Ain’t life fun. Thanks again for the heads up – we also have a lot of Brits here going back and forth to the UK so Bye Bye OBs hello Lil-lets!! Cari – Oh and yes I will also girlcott all J and J products and I will sign on both petitions!!

Fortyseven Yearsold

November 21, 2010 at 9:02 pm

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I’ve been using OB’s since I was in high school playing basketball, softball, field hockey, and everything else under the sun. OBs were the only ones that prevented leakage during sports and overnight. My Aunt FLOW hasn’t stopped visiting me yet, and she’s as heavy as she ever was.

I knew something was up when I lived GA and had a hard time finding them in larger sizes…I’d have to travel NORTH to get them… and then I’d stock up! Now I’m living up NORTH and the shelves are bare! I tried all the others way back when and I don’t want to go through that all over again. Maybe OB has joined the pad people and decided a little OB and a cute winged, sticky pad looks better on their balance sheets. I don’t like the idea. FACE IT LADIES. OB STUCK IT TO US. So much for our loyalty over the years, eh ladies? Who’s with me for designing our own brand and STOCKING it on the shelves…. obviously there is a DEMAND for the product.

Can't Swim Today

November 22, 2010 at 8:53 am

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Well, I’m supposed to be in the pool right now, but I won’t be because OB has screwed me. I’ve been using their tampons for 31 years. I can’t believe it’s over. I just placed my first order with Lil-lets. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this site. I will be girl-cotting all J & J products.

Upset With OB

November 22, 2010 at 2:59 pm

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Called OB today. They will NOT continue the ULTRA. Asked about the other sizes, they say they will continue to sell them, they just have some supplier difficulties. Haha, that’s what they told me about the Ultras one month ago, too…

Right now on ebay: 3 boxes a 40 for $ 112.50, still 6 hours to go. What a fine marketing decision to discontinue. Who would have thought OB reach collector status one day? Maybe I should sell my 3 left for 10$????

Lisa

November 22, 2010 at 3:46 pm

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I’ve been using OB for almost 30 years and for the last several years it had been harder and harder to find the Ultras. When I found them I would buy all on the shelf (never more than 3 boxes) and stock up. This last year they have been scarce and the whole OB section on the shelves has been evaporating. I’ve started menopause and everything has become more unpredictable including how heavy or light a given day may be. I should only have a couple more years (!) until it’s all over but I didn’t need to lose my most reliable weapon at this point in time. I’ll be writing them as well.

Melanie

November 22, 2010 at 9:43 pm

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Kathy you are a LIFE SAVER!!!!!!
The Diva cup is WAY better than Ultra O.B. Goodbye to you… uncaring people at O.B.
Check out this great video on it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLPBZz3uJEg

Louise

November 23, 2010 at 1:13 am

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Have been using Lil-lets tampons most of my adult life and of late have needed the largest size. Moved to the US from South Africa about 18 months ago and was mighty relieved to find ob ultras as similar product to my familiar Lil-lets (but not as good).

Apart from the absorbency issues, why do women use applicator tampons which produce such mountains of unnecessary garbage, non- biodegradable in the case of plastic applicators? We should consider the environmental impact of our choice of sanitary protection.

I agree that we have been ill-used by the manufacturers of ob and they deserve to be boycotted. However, that still doesn’t help those of us who genuinely need this product in order to continue living with dignity and comfort on heavy period days.

Carol

November 23, 2010 at 1:28 am

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I have always had a heavy menstrual flow and have been using OB loyally for 30 years. I think it was 10-15 years ago that they “downsized” their products. It was also around the time that women were getting TSS. (Most women with the type of heavy flow on this forum are in no danger of TSS. We go through the product too quickly.) I wasn’t happy with the manufacturer’s change, because it meant that on heavy days I was going through more product and several accidents. I coped and sometimes doubled up on them. Using the KOTEX and PLAYTEX brands was just not an option. On heavy days those products would barely last 15 minutes.

During the past six months I have noticed that it has become nearly impossible to get the ULTRAS and increasingly difficult to find the Super Plus. I find myself in a panic trying to locate the OB. I just can’t believe how this has negatively impacted my way of life. I dread going to work on heavy days, expecting to “spot” on my commute to work and that I may not even last through a meeting. It is amazing how the discontinuation of this product has made so many people miserable. While I AM ANGRY that the manufacturer chose to ignore the pleas of its most loyal customers, I was somewhat relieved to find this forum. BECAUSE UNLESS YOU EXPERIENCE THE HEAVY PERIODS, YOU JUST DON’T GET IT! So, I have decided to pursue other options. I will not be held hostage to inflated bidding, nor while I reward the manufacturer’s decision by doubling up on the product. This has just pushed me towards a medical resolution to this issue.

Tina

November 24, 2010 at 5:55 am

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I have used O.B. in every absorbency for many years. I have bought countless boxes of this product & have told all of my friends to use it. Now that my body has changed and my menses is so heavy I desperately need O.B. Ultras. There is nothing else on the market with that same absorbency. I feel so betrayed! I teach dance classes I need this product. I go through @ least 2 an hour…..You do the math. Without the Ultras or something equal on the market I won’t be teaching dance much longer. If the makers of O.B. don’t want to hear our pleas then maybe another tampon maker would like to replicate the Ultra and get all the money.

Marcia

November 26, 2010 at 1:39 pm

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Here is something I have tried and it is working a little better. Get Playtex Ultras, remove a tampon from the applicator, fold the tips of the applicator down on the outside, put the tampon back in UPSIDE DOWN, with the string coming out of the top of the applicator, pull the string down one of the slit of the applicator tip and hold on to the string as you insert the tampon. Using this method it locks in place almost as well as the OB Ultra, make a seal at the bottom where we need the seal and works fairly well…. you can add a little string if you need too. I find that I do not.

Alex

November 26, 2010 at 5:58 pm

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Oh my goodness, I’ve been searching everywhere for OB Ultra.. now I find out they’re discontinued?!!??! Why?!?! I NEED this product….

Renee

November 26, 2010 at 6:14 pm

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I just sent OB the following email:
“Thanks OB. I wasn’t able to drive home for Thanksgiving this year because of you. Four hours in heavy traffic in a car with other people was not doable and then the embarrassment of having to excuse myself to use the bathroom every 30 minutes once I arrived just wasn’t worth it, so I stayed home. I know there are many, many, many women who are in my same position and believe it or not, we’re not stupid enough to fall for your obnoxious “Heavy period? Just take our medicine?” ploy. Your decision to discontinue the Ultra is capricious, immoral and unethical and you should be ashamed. Thinking you can manipulate women into ingesting expensive chemicals as if there’s something wrong with them rather than continuing to provide a safe, simple, non-medicinal product that works. All you see are $ signs. You’d rather make money by deliberately manufacturing the untruth that we are sick and in need of medicine rather than allowing us to make a choice about how to take care of our own bodies, which we were doing just fine, by the way, with a product that worked well. I think there is no coincidence in the timing between the disappearance of the Ultra and the emergence of the “heavy period” commercials. I have been angry about company policies before and have boycotted plenty of products in response, but this feels misogynist and personal and I am furious and disgusted. Thankfully, I have the brains and ability to boycott all Johnson & Johnson products (not just OB) and will definitely do so. I will also be extremely vocal about encouraging others to do so as well. You people totally suck.”

Please continue to write and call the company and sign the petition at:
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/ob_ultra_tampons/

Shannon Yvette

November 26, 2010 at 6:52 pm

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OKAY, so YES, I apparently DO live under a rock because I had NO IDEA that these had been discontinued until I drove around to 4 different stores today looking for them!!! How in the world could I NOT have known, you may ask? That’s because I’m completely OCD and I buy EVERYTHING in bulk. Yep, even tampons. I’ve used O.B. for over 20 years and got hooked on the Ultra about 5 years ago. I have a hard time finding them in stock locally, so I typically buy 6 boxes at a time in bulk on Drugstore.com. Well….Mother Nature decided to pay a visit early this month and I went into DEFCON 5 panic mode when I realized I barely had 10 tampons left. Hence, 4 trips to various stores across metro Atlanta to search for the infamous O.B. Ultra. NO luck :(

andrea kober

November 27, 2010 at 9:42 pm

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I am a 52 yr old woman who still has heavy periods due to peri menopause. I had no clue that this product was going to be discontinued. WHY???? I can not use any other tampon because I am so heavy. This is so frustrating. It is like OB is telling us we should have lighter periods, just like clothes manufacturers are telling us that we should be slimmer. Shame on you, OB!!!

CB

November 27, 2010 at 10:06 pm

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It’s not that there’s no market for ultra tampons – Ferring Pharmaceuticals is about to make a quick, large buck on Lysteda, a new formulation of tranexamic acid, to reduce HMB (“heavy monthly bleeding”).

I just wonder if it’s really a coincidence that the ultras have been phased out just in time for a $5-$10/pill solution (the dose is 6 pills per day for no more than 5 days, I think.)

Do the makers of ob tampons have any business ties to Ferring? Perhaps that’s something worth looking into.

Just follow the money trail, folks…It’s about their bottom line.

Susan

November 28, 2010 at 10:46 am

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I was at Wal-Mart yesterday looking for OB tampons. The shelf was completely empty. There was not a single size to be had. Maybe your boycotting campaign has been the downfall of the entire OB line. I wonder how the morons are liking their decision to discontinue the Ultra now?

I had not realized the Ultra was discontinued, like all of you it was all that worked on my monsoon days. They were my protection from the tidalwave. Now what? I can’t find another Ultra in my market. Does anyone have the order info for the Lil let I think someone called it?
I am desperate!!!

hmcp

November 28, 2010 at 7:08 pm

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Ladies, It actually looks like they are dropping the brand OB tampons completely. All major retailers only have the regular available online, if any. I think the Ultra may have been the most used and the quickest to be out of stock. This is very sad and I feel betrayed by the brand and a very unique product.

And why are they still showing Ultras on their website???? VERY MISLEADING!!!!

I have gone to many stores even trying to find the Super, and all OB tags were covered on the shelves at Target and CVS and none were in stock.

Great idea for the boycott of all of their products PDamian! It’s the only way we can hit them where they care about. Their actions show they don’t care about their decades of loyal customers and generations of users.

Shame on you J&J!

hmcp

November 28, 2010 at 7:29 pm

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I just purchased 5 boxes of Lillets from the UK, at only $22 + shipping. Cheaper than OB’s, wow! At least this might be a viable option!

good luck ladies!

DG

November 29, 2010 at 12:33 pm

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Well, for the first time they did not indicate that they’d be bringing back the product. So for the first time I’ve heard that it is totally discontinued. This is the third phone call, and the lady I talked to was again nice and sounded as frustrated as I am.

However, I did mention I would now be boycotting ALL the products listed. And that I would be calling every month like I have for the past 3 months. It is that life changing and frustrating!

If I find the ceo’s address or any of the big whigs information I will be writing the company!!

Nancy

November 29, 2010 at 12:42 pm

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I wrote the company as well and it seems that they keep changing their story(?) Now they are saying it didn’t sell well. Well I have no problem boycotting all J & J products…

11/29/10

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. Unfortunately, our o. b. ultra tampons were not selling as well as we had hoped they would. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. We assure you that your feedback is valued and will be shared with our marketing management as they are always interested in consumer feedback when developing products for the line. Please note that we do not retain inventory of discontinued products for distribution to consumers.

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 http://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

noraida

November 29, 2010 at 2:21 pm

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I”m very upset that you have discontinued the OB Ultras. No other tampons compare…I have never used anything else but the ultras. What am I supposed to use now?? I was going crazy hitting every store looking for them. I am truly upset and hoping the company reconsiders bringing them back>>Please>>>

Julie

November 29, 2010 at 7:56 pm

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I bought a Diva cup because I’m a monsoon bleeder too. Problem is for the first 12 hours of my period is was awesome. Then the monsoon started. I can’t leave it in for longer than about 20-30 minutes before I have to dump it. The ultra tampons used to at least buy me about an hour and a half. Not sure how I’m going to manage the next few days, much less my next few months of periods until the supposedly start production again.

Seventh Generation has their brand of OB tampons but there isn’t an ultra version, just their equivalent to the super plus. More expensive but if nothing else works (like for me) then at least it is an option. You can get them from Whole Foods (Whole Paycheck).

Nancy

November 30, 2010 at 1:32 am

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At Walmart I picked up a box of Tampax Pearl Ultra (only brand of ultra I could find) and super plus (with cardboard applicator). I don’t like buying the Pearl Ultra b/c it has a plastic applicator (bad for environment) but there seems to be no other choice. I don’t know how they will work but it’s all I could find – all stores only had the smallest size OB on the shelf or none at all.

Lesley

November 30, 2010 at 1:44 am

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I e-mailed Lil-lets to let them know about the ready made market they would have here in North America and got the following reply:

“Thank you for your e-mail with regard to the availability of Lil-lets tampon in either Canada or the US.

I am sorry to inform you that currently due to the FDA regulations on tampons sold into the US and Canada Lil-lets are not able to sell their products direct to these countries. We are however, looking into this matter for future projects.

Whilst I appreciate this is not the response you are looking for I would advise you that our website currently sells all of the products in the Lil-lets range including Super Plus Extra and if you wish to purchase direct from us then we would be only too pleased to calculate postal costs to your destination.

Once again I am sorry that at this time I cannot be of assistance and I do appreciate the benefits a 15-18gram tampon brings to a great many women.

Assuring you of my best attention at all times.

Kindest Regards

Vicki

Vicki (Last name withheld by WTC)
Quality Assurance & Technical Manager

Lil-lets UK Limited
2nd Floor, Radcliffe House, Blenheim Court,
Solihull, West Midlands, B91 2AA

Tel. + 44 (0)121 270 8104
Fax. + 44 (0)121 270 8120
Email. vicki.buffery@lil-lets.com

The Super Plus Extra are slightly cheaper direct from Lil-lets (they only come in boxes of 8 or 14) and I’ve e-mailed Vicki again and asked her to let me know the cost of shipping five, 10 and 20 (of the 14 box) to Canada and the US.

The ones I ordered from Amazon UK arrived yesterday so it took probably a week and a half from order to delivery.

Lesley

November 30, 2010 at 2:01 am

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Just read on another website that someone contacted McNeil labs about the Ultra and was told that all OB products are being discontinued because they’ve been absorbed by Johnson & Johnson and are therefore in direct competition with their products. I think I need to start a Lil-lets import business!

http://demigoddessunderglass.blogspot.com/2010/11/ob-apllicatorless-tampons-discontinued.html

KBJS

November 30, 2010 at 9:58 am

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I, too, found out a few months back that OB Ultra were hard to find. I bought out my local grocery, but could not find any elsewhere. I alerted my sisters to prepare them. I e-mailed OB with no response to the shortage. I am a 20+ year user, and after 4 kids needed a higher-absorbency product. OB is the only one that works for me. I have tried other products, but they are all too long and become extremely uncomfortable after only a brief time. I have expended my supply and this month had to “downsize”. After needing to wake 3 or more times during the night to change the smaller product, and also back everything up with a maxi pad, I am done. I have researched the Diva Cup as well and plan to order one right away. Hopefully it can provide the same protection and I can say goodbye to OB and their bureaucratic decisions on the part of women. I appreciate this forum and the support that we can all have for each other.

Bethany

November 30, 2010 at 10:37 am

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I’m so glad I found this site… and all of you that are having the same difficulties as myself. I have been going store to store to store (Maine, Mass, NH, RI and CT) looking for the Ultra’s. In most cases I couldn’t find an OB display anywhere… our Walmart’s don’t even carry the OB Brand at all… none! What are they thinking??? Hmmm lets discontinue something that EVERY woman wants, ask them to try something else (that doesn’t work) and then expect to stay in business long…?? Nope… I am soooo tired of spending dollar after dollar on other tampons to only use one or two and find out they don’t work AT ALL and then go spend more money to try another brand. I can’t even believe I’m getting this upset about a tampon that I CANNOT find in stores but when OB Ultra helped my period last for only 4 or 5 days and the others drag it out for longer, and leakage morning, noon and night… and having to change every hour instead of every 4 or 5, yeah, I’m not going to be happy. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE BRING IT BACK!!!!!!!!!

p.s. I found Ultra OB on Amazon.com… 3 pack (120 tampons) for $30.00… more expensive but they are on their way!!!

Marcie

November 30, 2010 at 1:21 pm

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This thread has made me feel like less of a freak of nature when it comes to my monthly monsoon plus it has answered the question of why I haven’t been able to find Ultras for almost two months now.

It is almost impossible for me to function on the two heaviest days of my period now that I have to use Super Plus (which, by the way, is more like the old OB Super). I was speaking at a chamber of commerce event when I experienced a flood through my dress pants due to having to resort to a Super Plus – can you say embarrassing? I have to change the Super Plus every 30 minutes on those two heavy days. How can I function in the business world that way?

Has anyone found a product that is comparable to the OB Ultra? I refuse to wear a maxi pad, they are uncomfortable and unpleasant. HELP ~ my period will be here soon and I have so many holiday events to attend during the heaviest days.

Marcie

Rose

November 30, 2010 at 2:36 pm

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I, too am disappointed to hear that OB has discontinued their ultra tampons. Have they discontinued the entire line? I have been searching for them for months, thinking that my drug store(s) had not been stocking enough and running out when I needed them.

These are by far the best tampons, and there is so much less waste to pollute the environment – no applicators, etc. PLEASE reconsider and give us back this product.

heather

November 30, 2010 at 5:32 pm

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I too have searched at least a dozen stores looking desperately for the Ultra before finding this website and learning the bad news. I wrote to the company and received this reply today:

Dear Heather,

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 do intend to bring this product back to market; it has an estimated time frame of return for the spring of next year. Please feel free to contact us at that time for further updated information that may be available.

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 or by calling our toll-free number. Our specialists are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m – 8:00 p.m. EST and will be happy to assist you.

Should you require further information, I invite you to e-mail us again or call the Information Centre at 1877 454-7843.

The Information Centre

I wish they would make up their minds! Discontinued or not? And if not, what is the holdup until spring???

LiAnne McCririck

November 30, 2010 at 10:40 pm

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I’m beginning to think that there’s a conspiracy going on between Ferring Pharm and Johnson and Johnson. Maybe they think they can get all the Ultra users switched to Ferring’s drugs for heavy periods. I found the below two paragraphs after I googled Ferring and Johnson and Johnson. Also interesting was that Ferring’s Lighter Periods.com was the first thing that popped up on my google search of OB Ultra’s.

“Ferring, a biopharmaceutical company with its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland announced today that Dr. John L. McGuire has been appointed as the President of the Ferring Research Institute.

Dr. McGuire joins Ferring after 25 years with Johnson & Johnson. His most recent position was Corporate Vice President of Business Development in Johnson & Johnson’s Pharmaceutical Group.”

So yeah, I’m thinking it was a guys decision, typical.

trix

December 1, 2010 at 9:59 am

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Ditto here on the absence of OB products on shelves at my grocery and Duane Reade here in Northern NJ/Greater NYC. I have been wondering what’s going on – I assumed it was a Duane Reade problem, but it appears that it’s a much bigger issue. It’s not just Ultras–it’s all of them.

A friend gifted me a DivaCup earlier this year, but I’ve been hesitant to walk away from my OBs–the only brand I’ve used for the past 20 years. Looks like I may not have a choice! I also haven’t been satisfied with the product lately – there’s more fluid or moisture leakage – not blood, but moisture. Anyone else have this problem? It’s really messing with my head and interfering with my ability to leave the house, even on lighter days.

cheryl

December 1, 2010 at 3:26 pm

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Well, this explains why I can’t find anything either. I was wondering what was going on. But yet, this doesn’t explain why all the shelves everywhere are bare. Even my hubby has been looking when he’s out and buys up all the Super’s for me (I’m not an Ultra user – hugs to those that are). I wonder what is going on. Did they stop production of ALL tampons? I’ve been to 6 different stores….and the shelves are empty.

Rose Ledbetter

December 1, 2010 at 6:03 pm

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Now what? Getting up several times during the night instead of being able to sleep through? Wearing both a tampon and a pad? Embarrassing accidents? Being unable to work or having to go to the restroom every hour?

I can’t help but think that a man made this decision. Even a woman who doesn’t need the Ultra OB herself has a friend or family member who does. She’s had accidents too and can empathize with a woman whose flow is so heavy that those accidents are a daily occurrence.

What are we to do? Go back to a time when a menstruating woman is “unclean?” Spend a week in a hut apart from others? Please OB, reconsider your position. Even if they were a specialty, on line ordering item, that would offer us some relief!

When I went to their website to complain, I noticed their new ad campaign revolves around the Ob’s size the new tag line is even “mighty small.” I wonder if that is the reason the marketing team got rid of their largest most absorbent tampon.

Shawn Williams

December 2, 2010 at 10:53 pm

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The shelves are bare in Edmonton as well. I’m going on a 5 week holiday and I’m not concerned with malaria or tsunamis, only my impending period. I may get a prescription for the birth control pill to halt my menstrual cycle for a while. I just can’t cope with “Super plus”. Unsatisfactory.

I’m also considering the “Instead Cup”, but that is also hard to find and takes up too much room in my backpack. Sigh…Hurry up menopause.

Sebastian

December 3, 2010 at 1:18 am

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Forgive my intrusion here, but I drove around for a couple of hours today, trying to find Ultras for my wife, who couldn’t get them this afternoon at the local RiteAid. She’s another 30-year user who’s rather upset.

A few thoughts:

1. Maybe we need WikiLeaks (no pun intended) to help expose the cynical decision making process at J&J. (Business would be so much easier if it didn’t involve customers)

2. ob’s are alive and well in Germany, where any such action would cause riots. (bit of trivia: o.b. started in Germany, stands for ‘ohne Binden’, meaning ‘without pads’, and probably outsells any other brand) (made by J&J there as well, but market and regulations are quite different)

3. There’s no Ultra size in Germany, but it’s rather likely that the German ‘Super Plus’ is pretty damn close, at least to the last Ultras that were available here.

4. Amazon Germany will not ship tampons to the US (I tried).

5. J&J has been partnering with Ferring since 2002.

6. J&J owns Ethicon, a company that, among other things, specializes in ‘pelvic health’, including various surgical procedures which help relief heavy menstrual bleeding. Never mind pills for a few bucks a day. Now we’re talking thousands. They would have to sell a lot of tampons, even ultra sized, to match that.

7. ob must be cutting into J&J’s carefree and stayfree product sales. they pretty much depend on leaky tampons.

8. The price of cotton doubled in the last 6 months. Rayon is a fiber made from recycled cotton, so it is likely to be more expensive as well.

9. Finally, we shouldn’t treat J&J as if they’re the only company that is able or allowed to make a good tampon. A business opportunity if I ever saw one. Except it’s not for me. This one should finally be run by women.

10. Joining the boycott of *all* J&J products

11. Just saw what looked like an older box of Ultras on amazon. 40 for $54.99. And no, my wife isn’t willing to drop that much money for a box of tampons. At least not yet.
http://amzn.to/e1MN4k

Sandra Robertson

December 3, 2010 at 8:31 am

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LiAnne, that is a very interesting connection you found! Things that make you go “Hhhhmmmm.”

Maybe all of us Ultra-users should band together and form our own company to manufacture an Ultra, non-applicator, outward-expanding tampon and maybe an overnight panty-liner that covers all those areas that can get leaked on at night. We could call our company “Monsoon Days.”

In the meantime, I will not be using any Johnson and Johnson products.

Ex-OB User

December 3, 2010 at 12:55 pm

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Okay, ladies….I wrote to OB as many of you have, and this is the reply I had back, followed by my reply to them. I was polite, but very pissed, as you can probably tell:

Thank you for contacting McNeil-PPC, Inc., makers of o.b.® Ultra Absorbency Tampons. It is always important to hear from our consumers, and we appreciate the time you have taken to contact us.

Unfortunately, our o.b.® Ultra Absorbency Tampons has been discontinued. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause for you. We assure you that your feedback will be shared with our marketing management. Please note that we do not sell our products on a direct basis, nor do we keep inventory of discontinued products on hand for distribution to consumers or retailers. All remaining inventory of this item has been shipped to our distributors.

We encourage you to try one of the other fine products we offer. Please do look for our products at pharmacies, grocery stores and mass merchandisers.

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 http://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.

My reply back to their customer care:

I’m just wondering which of the other “fine products” you offer would fill the gap that remains from the Ultra sized tampons? For those women who depended upon this product, many of us had searched and tried other brands and finally settled upon your Ultra product with an enormous sense of relief. To my knowledge, there is nothing equivalent on the market in the United States.

I’m not sure what your company’s reasons are for discontinuing the product, however I suspect it has absolutely nothing to do with keeping your customers satisfied, and far more to do with selling OTHER products (that we don’t actually want, or that don’t fulfill our requirement), or with the bottom line – profit.

The fact that your website points to a link recommending women self-diagnose themselves and then choose from various medical interventions simply makes us all assume that:
a) your company is either part-owned or has some other financial arrangement with the company providing these medical “services” and products
b) you really don’t intend to ever continue with the Ultra products, despite hints at updating the manufacturing process, which was your company has replied to some of the other women who have contacted you when faced with the loss of a product they really relied upon.

I can only assume your company thinks that it can make more profit by directing us to medical interventions and leading us to believe something is “wrong” with us, instead of supplying a product that caters to women who are at one end of the spectrum when it comes to the level of NORMAL menstrual flow.

This is insulting to our intelligence, and patronizing. I suggest your marketing team remove the link before it causes further offense as more women realize this transparent attempt to have us seek expensive and unnecessary medical intervention.

I am extremely disappointed with your response. No real reason was given that has brought me any satisfaction, so I am forced to make assumptions. Please feel free to share this with your marketing team, and I will be sure to share your response, along with my reply back, with many of the women I know who have been missing this product and angered and distraught by its sudden discontinuance. Do you realize boxes of this product have been for sale on Ebay, Amazon and elsewhere for over $1 per tampon?

I will be sure to avoid all O.B. products in future, and will do my utmost to avoid ALL Johnson & Johnson products unless I receive a more satisfactory explanation. I am not going to buy twice as many of your smaller tampons in order to fill the gap left by the removal of your Ultra product. That would simply be rewarding your company for being greedy, I can only assume.

If you can offer me a better explanation for the discontinuation I would love to hear it, and am quite happy to re-assess my assumptions and judgments. I would love to know that your company is actually trying to do the right thing, but for lack of any evidence in this direction I am drawing my own conclusions to the contrary, as you can see.

Ex-OB User

December 3, 2010 at 1:00 pm

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Oh, I think we should start a petition too. Maybe we can get our German sisters to support us? I’m sure even the whiff of discontinuing this product in Germany would really get them going, as the very helpful poster Sebastian suggests….

DG

December 4, 2010 at 5:16 pm

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Current boycott, and competitor. I’ve decided to take my complaint to a competitor of ob. I’ve decided that kotex might want a few more customers and might be willing to listen to significant market share so please join in and contact the competitors of ob and put them in the know that there are displaced persons looking for a product that fits!

Jill

December 5, 2010 at 12:39 pm

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It appears that ALL ob tampons are not available. I went to several stores yesterday and now they are out of stock of all sizes, not just the Ultra. There appears to be no news about this at all. Why doesn’t anybody seem to care about this?

Laura

December 5, 2010 at 1:27 pm

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Just sent this off to OB:

I have looked around online and discovered that McNeil-PPC has discontinued OB Ultra. Why? Please do not suggest that I use another size of your tampon; been there done that. I’ve been using OB products since the 70s, and have recommended Ultra many times to other women who have needed something “extra.” While I’m hoping to be close to the end of menstruation, I’m not done yet, and I feel great anxiety over how I’m going to manage the activities of daily living without Ultra!! With the hope that more people are changing their thinking about the need for making more trash with plastic and cardboard applicators, I would hope that OB would be right there to provide that alternative, in ALL the sizes that women need.

Linda

December 5, 2010 at 1:57 pm

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@Jill – I have found the same thing. I am FURIOUS. Just the other night, I woke up around 4:00 am. I had forgotten to put on a pad in addition to a super plus OB. I was soaked! I left drips across the floor as I ran to my bathroom. I had to clean the bedroom carpet, the bathroom floor and my bathroom rugs. Then I had to scrub the toilet and put my pj bottoms in cold water to soak.

What am I supposed to do now?????

And what does OB do? Just that day, they sent me some coupons for $1 off, plus a little purse pack with regulars. If I sneeze, I’ll blow one of those out!

Tracie Martin

December 5, 2010 at 4:31 pm

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I find it ridiculous that the ULTRA size is no longer available. I have been using this product for 20+ years and now I have to run all over the place just to find more than 1 box of the next size down in order to control “mother nature”. I now not only have to wear tampons but also a bulky pad in case the tampon leaks. I am at a job where I can’t go to the bathroom every hour.

It is very frustrating that not only did I not hear that this was happening but now am wondering if there was something “wrong” with the ULTRA because of all the hush hush of why it is gone. In a world where woman have to endure a lot, this is one thing that we should not have to worry about. I am now thinking of just leaving OB in the dust and switching to something else that is more flexible with size and as well as abundant in the stores. That is a shame because I was a very loyal customer and spread the word about your product.

Marianne

December 5, 2010 at 5:54 pm

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I found this blog while searching for anywhere online to buy some OB Ultra Tampons. I’m down to my last 1/2 a box with the monsoon just around the corner and cannot find them anywhere. I’ve used this brand since my teens (I’m now 42) and this particular size for at least the last 20 years. I’m shocked to find these are discontinued. Now what am I supposed to do each month?

Jo-Jo

December 6, 2010 at 10:21 am

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Good Morning Everyone,

I to was disappointed to find that o.b. would be discontinued. I was told by the Asst. Manager at a Rite-Aid Pharmacy that I frequent in my neighborhood. I have been using o.b. since I was about 19. I am now 39. I am a plus-sized woman and feel very confident when my menses comes and I can “pop in” an o.b.

I do like the word “monsoon”. When you are wearing a pad alone you can feel the blood gushing on every turn. With the o.b. in you know you have to freshen up a few hours but at least you have the confidence to get up and go without “looking back” every time you get up from your chair or wherever you’re sitting. Bring back o.b. in ALL SIZES NOW. Have you ever heard of the old saying, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. It seems every company is solely about the “money”. You shut down the product because it’s not producing the funding you think it should. Whatever happened to putting the customer first?

lisabee

December 6, 2010 at 2:10 pm

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gotta say, i did not see this coming and am pissed off. i was hoarding the boxes when i could find them, but they’ve become so hard to find that i have three ultras left in the house. that won’t get me through. thank god i work at home–i cannot imagine what it’s like for, say, a teacher!

i ordered a box of lil-lets here http://www.lil-lets.co.uk/shop/non-applicator-tampons/super-plus-extra-tampons/ and will have to see how they do. i have a ladycup (a competitor of divacup, the one with the highest capacity), but it does NOT do the trick on the first 2.5–3 days. leakage is not okay.

i think y’all are right about the connection with the new drugs and medical procedures. i’m not willing to take more meds–i already take dailies for migraine prevention and control, and they contraindicate so many other things–but i am going to ask my doctor about ablation. have been thinking about it for years, and this just cements it for me. i’m 44 and have some symptoms of perimenopause, but no luck shutting down the monsoons yet. thanks for providing this info, everyone.

ELIZABETH

December 6, 2010 at 2:51 pm

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Has anyone been able to get any reason other than the generic “it’s a manufacturing issue”? I’m seriously in shock over this, and still don’t know how I’m going to cope when I need the protection they gave me.

Jill

December 6, 2010 at 3:05 pm

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I just called ob and they told me discontinuing Ultra was a marketing decision and that the reason the other sizes aren’t available is because there is a run on them since the Ultra was discontinued and they haven’t been able to restock. I think it’s bullshit. Duane Reade or CVS in New York doesn’t even have the stickers on the shelves anymore for any size o.b.

Annie P.

December 6, 2010 at 7:30 pm

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I have four boxes of 40 OB Ultra’s left from a bulk buy this past summer at Walmart. When those are gone (or if I decide to sell them on EBay to finance Christmas expenses) perhaps a hysterectomy would be easier than putting up with the wimpy alternatives in the marketplace. Shame on J&J for turning their backs on their loyal female customers!!

Lle

December 6, 2010 at 9:59 pm

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Shame on j&j. Just saw a box of 40 ultras on sale for $79.00 online!!! Look what poor business judgement has done for women who use this product. I guess I will call in to work two days a month now to get thru the monsoon days. My patients will have to take care of themselves. Already a nursing shortage but can’t be productive in the bathroom every 1/2 hour. Ripped off and angry
Lle

Tammy

December 6, 2010 at 11:01 pm

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Shocked and devastated to say the least. I need my ULTRA like nobody’s business. I did not know that they were being discontinued until today when I went shopping and was told they were gone. (ALL THE SIZES……THE ENTIRE OB COLLECTION IS BEING DISCONTINUED.) I’d like to know why! I was told by my doctor to go thru menopause and deal with the heavies…..I get extremely sick and have to use a pad also. Can’t do it with the product I have used for more than 25 plus years. What do we do? What’s going to replace this particular product. Talk about angry, I’m just getting started. Does the company want us to buy any other of their products? Talk about a revolution that we can all get started. The company may not know what is waiting out there in the wings of very irritated and angry women who have used OB and can’t stand any other. Playtex, Always, Kotex… Are you kidding me. What do you plan to do McNeil-PCC, Inc.? Mind explaining this one to all of us why some MALE decided to strip us of our ULTRA and the other sizes of OB. Maybe his xxxx could be used. Thanks alot………………..I really think the company needs to get their arses in gear and bring back what we want as here in Portland, OR, you can’t find hardly any boxes on any shelf. Men – you will pay the price for your decision and will have to live with it each time you come home and deal with a woman who doesn’t have what she really likes and wants and you will PAY THE PRICE… Like the bedroom down the hall! Go figure this one as a business decision? Well what is the CEO’s pocket lined with? $$$$$$ obviously and a total disregard to every woman who uses this product and now can’t! You now have a HUGE problem on your hands and all of us ladies need to start a massive protest and write in campaign to maybe relieve the company of the IDIOTS who made this decision to totally discontinued what we have used for years. We need to UNITE. This is one angry/ticked off consumer who will not use any other type of tampon because they suck. How about a man trying them out? Go figure that one. They wouldn’t know how to use it, let alone know where it really should go. Get your butts in gear and bring back what we all want. The entire OB collection including the ULTRA…..Soon, or maybe you’d like to clean the mess up that happens when an OB ULTRA is not used. It’s not a pretty sight. WE NEED OUR OB BACK…..

Elizabeth

December 7, 2010 at 9:26 am

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I think I’m going to write to The First Lady about this. She, after all is a woman who obviously is still within the age range to know how it feels on a monthly basis to worry if you’re leaking or not.

Maybe the d*ckheads who made the decision to discontinue making OB Ultra (and ultimately, I believe will discontinue the whole OB brand) will listen to someone like her as it seems our pleas are falling on deaf ears.

Ruth

December 7, 2010 at 8:35 pm

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Thanks, Lesley, for all your info!! I bought a year’s worth of Lil-lets from Amazon UK. Next order I’ll ask Lil-lets.com to figure what shipping would be to the US. It’s an international order, but from now on, it’s Lil-lets Super Plus Extra for me.

The straight scoop (thanks to Lesley):
According to McNeil labs, *ALL* OB products are being discontinued because they’ve been absorbed by Johnson & Johnson and are therefore in direct competition with their products.

Lil-lets Super Plus Extra tampons are equivalent to OB Ultra.
Order either from Lil-lets.com or Amazon.co.uk:

http://www.lil-lets.co.uk/shop/non-applicator-tampons/super-plus-extra-tampons/ ( http://www.lil-lets.co.uk/about/contact/ to request quote for international shipping rate.)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lil-Lets-Super-Plus-Extra-Tampons/dp/B0034LUELM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1291771827&sr=1-2

Kathy

December 7, 2010 at 9:42 pm

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I’m back again to let you know that I have used The Diva Cup now for two periods that were both monsoons. My Diva Cup never once leaked or caused discomfort. It is seriously worth it to at least try this product (and no, I am not affiliated with the company. I am just another ‘angry at ob consumer’ who was forced to look elsewhere for relief). I am actually happy about ob pushing me to this decision because I have found something that has saved me money and worry and midnight runs to the bathroom after leaks. Why hasn’t this idea been spread more widely by women for women? I know some people have had trouble making it fit right at first and give up, but it is SO worth that try because the benefit if it works is immeasurable. This little cup has saved me and I hope that I can save a few others their discomfort and distress by passing on this information. Good luck to everyone.

Kate

December 7, 2010 at 10:46 pm

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Disgusted over J&J to pull this “life saver” of a product. If anyone has a connection to Oprah please get her involved. This is truly upsetting to all of us faithful users.

AG

December 7, 2010 at 10:50 pm

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UGH!!! I can’t believe this! I have been searching for the last two months and have just thought I was going crazy!! Couldn’t they have at least given a heads-up . . . “your nightmare is about to begin.” OB’s are the only thing I have used EVER! I HATE the other brands. And now as Dianne has said and CACS, “I’m leashed to bathroom and waking 5x at night just to avoid disaster.

ELIZABETH MEADOWS

December 8, 2010 at 1:32 pm

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I just purchased 3 boxes of Lillets Super Plus Extra (for very heavy flow) from britsuperstore.com. Total cost was about $30, which includes shipping. Until they arrive, I am considering using adult diapers at night, along with nighttime pad and super plus tampon. Has anyone ever tried adult diapers? I know that may sound crazy, but I don’t know what else to do. I have to be able to get some sleep. Even with the above set-up, I will have to get up at least 3 times. Thank you all so much for your comments!!!

Tammy

December 8, 2010 at 2:40 pm

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If anyone has connections to OPRAH and even ELLEN, get them involved. I really can’t believe what is going on and that a company would even try to discontinue something that has been used by me over the past 25 + years and there is no replacement. I have already given a bit of my anger earlier and if the company (J&J) thinks that this product is direct competition to them, then they had better get their head out of their backside and really open up their eyes. Who is going to buy the trash that is on the shelves right now that are not OB. I’m not. The stuff is garbage and not worth the money that is being charged for some of it. I’d rather sit in the bathroom, depriving men their place there as it’s a better option than leaking all over the place and having to explain when I have to leave quickly at a function or job because I need to change my clothes. Holding up the bathroom seems like a better option when men are around and they have to go elsewhere. They can, we can’t. Anyway, the moron that made this decision has really irritated many of us and since we are all stuck at the moment with nothing, maybe we all should take over the bathrooms for 48 to 72 hours with food and pillows and tell the men to find somewhere else as it seems that it was a man who decided this. Maybe the outdoors would suit them better even when it is freezing outside. Anyway, we really need to get a petition/campaign started to let the USA know what women are really feeling about this. How about President Obama himself? His daughters will be experiencing what we are all dealing with now at some point soon. Everyone keep sending in your comments and don’t hold back. I’m not looking forward to late next week when I have to decide what I will be doing when the flood begins for 2 full days. Good luck to you all also.

Lesley

December 8, 2010 at 3:49 pm

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I got another e-mail from Lil-lets regarding the cost of extra postage for overseas destinations:

“I write further to your query to Lil-lets with regard to ordering Lil-lets tampons from our online website.

I would advise you that at this time our terms and conditions apply to orders within the UK and because of this we are not able to take a one off payment from you including postage to the US.

Therefore if you would be so kind as to place your order following our usual ordering process, and then log on to your paypal account and make a further payment for the extra postage outside of the UK to marketing@lil-lets.com

I am sorry that you have to go through this extra process and we are looking at ways to make payment easier for our overseas shoppers.

The following table will give you the extra postage costs for each products pack you have requested.

5 Cartons of Lil-lets Super Plus Extra £3.80
10 Cartons of Lil-lets Super Plus Extra £7.18
20 Cartons of Lil-lets Super Plus Extra £13.17

I trust this information is acceptable and look forward to your order to Lil-lets UK Ltd.

Kindest Regards

Tracey

……………………..

Tracey (Last name withheld by WTC)
Consumer Relations Assistant
Lil-lets UK Limited
2nd Floor, Radcliffe House, Blenheim Court,
Solihull, West Midlands, B91 2AA
Tel. + 44 (0)121 270 8112
Fax. + 44 (0)121 270 8120
Email. tracey.malone@lil-lets.com

Still way cheaper than buying from the vultures on e-Bay, even if there were any still available.

Lesley

Deborah

December 8, 2010 at 8:15 pm

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I just drove around to every store in my area looking for OB ultras. So I looked online and found all this information out. I could cry. Since having two kids and some pelvic prolapse this is the only product that stays in place and doesn’t leak. The other brands truly do not work. When a product gets longer it doesn’t stop leaks! I’m also boycotting all J & J products until OB Ultras are reintroduced. I agree, it has to be a man that made this decision or a very uninformed group.

Liane

December 8, 2010 at 9:02 pm

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I was so relieved to find this blog and know I’m not crazy! I too have been searching in every store for my favorite tampons (25+ years). I hadn’t ever thought I would have to go without them. This is awful! Why would any company want to lose this much “guaranteed” business from such loyal customers? After all, if we are willing to write about this issue on the internet we must have very strong feelings on the matter! I don’t think I would write about many other products.

My question to you all is….Is the company going through reorganization or is there going to be a new advertising campaign…? I noticed that the new website includes KY and mighty.small etc. but the old box says McNEIL.

Any new information? I’m really frustrated that I have been left to find another product that I know I’m not going to be as satisfied with.

ELIZABETH

December 9, 2010 at 9:37 am

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I have yet again received a bog-standard reply from McNeill company. I am going to make it my business to keep on writing and phoning at least a couple of times a week just because I don’t want this issue to simply go away. We all must keep on bothering them about this, it’s too distressing to let it go. I can’t believe I am so passionate and bothered by this.

Nancy

December 9, 2010 at 2:39 pm

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Here is a response I wrote to J & J after I received their form letter:

Thank you for your reply. It seems to me that Un-Ethicon is trying to deprive American women of products they need in order to push them into surgery. I came to this conclusion because your website has a link to women with heavy bleeding issues to recommend surgery. You are taking away products which allow women freedom to work and move around freely. As you may know there are no equivalent products here in the US. I just had to spend lots ordering product from the UK. I can only hope that the news media somehow becomes aware of this. On a personal note, I had an ablation procedure but still need an OB Ultra type product. Thank you (NOT) for taking away this necessary product. I will not be purchasing any J & J products in the future.

KM

December 9, 2010 at 2:51 pm

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FYI…O.B. now has a Facebook page called: mighty. small.™ movement.

I ‘liked’ it so I could join and post my complaint about Ultras no longer being available. Someone else posted bring back Ultras. Then, I suggested a product boycott (I’m sure that went over well…).

I was glad to find this page here, because I did not know I was not the only one with this issue nor that the product was pulled until I found this info. I travel frequently for my job east coast to west coast. Being peri-menopausal with fibroids, it is impossible to fly without Ultras. Even w/them, I still barely contain the monsoon.

Ladies, we cannot allow them to permanently pull this product. Please go to the O.B. facebook page and post your comments there.

Deana

December 9, 2010 at 5:39 pm

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I thought I was the only one. Last night I went to 5 different stores looking for o.b Ultras. My fiance said I should google it and to my surprise, they are discontinued!!! UGH!! I decided to go on ebay today. The bid is up to $81.00 for ONE box!! I’m not sure what I am going to do until May but I’m sure I’ll figure something out.

cec

December 9, 2010 at 6:22 pm

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I must be the LAST to know. I just found out about this from this site. I just called the company at least, and gave them my 2 cents. Also thinking of writing someone on the corporate management team, so they know how this “marketing” decision affects real people. My only hope is that acupuncture continues to lighten my flow and that menopause comes soon.

Sorcha

December 9, 2010 at 9:54 pm

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Am I the only one who noticed that this bonehead move has been done by a company whose name is slang for “Penis & Penis?”

ELIZABETH

December 10, 2010 at 10:17 am

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We all must continue to bombard this company with complaints about this. Do not let it lie, don’t get used to using another product and give up demanding OB reconsider this BAD decision. I keep writing and asking them daily to explain the reason WHY they stopped making the Ultra and all I ever get is “it’s a marketing decision.” I understand that the people responding to the e-mails are not likely to be in marketing dept, but hopefully if we keep on and on like a thorn in their sides they will forward our voices and maybe we will be heard.

Ex-OB User

December 10, 2010 at 12:52 pm

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Here is my latest reply to their totally useless response that directed me to suppliers of their tiny and not-up-to-the-job tampons:

Thank you for your reply. While I appreciate your list of mail order and on-line retailers for your remaining OB products, this actually does not give me any satisfaction.

For women who are on the heavier flow end of the normal menstrual flow spectrum, the OB Ultra cannot be replaced by any of the alternative products you suggest. There simply isn’t another tampon of this quality without an applicator and with the same sort of absorbency available in the United States. These “alternatives” are just not going to do the job properly, and women are not prepared to take risks when it comes to this.

I have been frequenting a website where many, many women are extremely upset because they have relied upon the Ultra (not the Super or any other size) for many years, and consider it a complete joke to suggest that the smaller sizes will be a suitable substitute. Many have decided to boycott Johnson & Johnson, and there has been talk about taking this to the press, particularly television media. If your company assumes we are too embarrassed to speak up about this issue, then please correct this perception. Every day more women are finding out that the Ultra has been removed without word or warning. They simply discover after HOURS of driving around (sometimes sending husbands on long drives too) and finding it no longer on the shelves of any suppliers, and then resorting to a Google search to discover the awful truth. Many search on Ebay to discover the last few boxes on sale for over $1 per tampon. I find this appallingly poor customer service on the part of your company. No wonder people are upset! Even on your website, you don’t actually state that the product is discontinued! This is a disgrace! There are simply offensive links to expensive, unwanted and unnecessary (for many) medical procedures….this is extremely insulting and rude.

Please can we get some honest answers as to why the Ultra was discontinued. None of the answers given so far have provided a thorough explanation. We have been given contradictory responses. What is going on? Who made this decision? Why? Is there any possibility of the decision being reversed, and if not, why not?

Ex-OB User

December 10, 2010 at 12:56 pm

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@Elizabeth – I completely agree. I don’t think we should let them get away with this. We need better explanations, and we need them to reconsider. I think the press is the way to go at this point. Some bad PR might make them decide it would be a sensible “marketing decision” to bring this product back. What really gets me is the rude, inconsiderate way that it was withdrawn. Even their own website to this date STILL doesn’t say it is discontinued….

Nancy

December 10, 2010 at 1:13 pm

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Mighty small = mighty useless

(Mighty small seems to be their new marketing slogan.)

ELIZABETH

December 10, 2010 at 2:52 pm

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@ EX-OB user, yes I know, this is why I am getting more and more furious by the day, as they don’t even have the decency to explain on their website that it’s no longer available. How does one go about highlighting this kind of problem in the media though? I may have had comments posted in local newspapers from time to time, but how does someone begin to bring attention to a problem such as this? Another idea was mentioned here too about contacting Oprah or Ellen or some other female figure (I thought of Michelle Obama too) because these women must know how it would feel if they couldn’t rely on their sanitary protection. Does anyone here know how we would start to get this issue to the fore and how we could shame J&J into re-thinking this heinous decision? Also, does anyone know a telephone number or e-mail address for the marketing dept of J&J? As far as I know, the only people reading our complaints are most likely some poor souls on minimum wage who are given a standard script to quote in a reply.

I still can’t believe I actually cried when I discovered they had stopped the production of Ultra size…and still just as distressed 6 weeks later (managing now -just- on some super plus I managed to find because this is a particularly ‘light’ month due to peri-menopause not being able to make up it’s mind and keep me regular.)

ELIZABETH MEADOWS

December 10, 2010 at 3:52 pm

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Interesting note: ABC News reported last night that J & J has been forced to issue recalls on 8 of their products in the past year. Although OB Ultra was not one of those products, it makes me wonder if they are getting paranoid, and proactively discontinuing products they suspect might be recall candidates.

Sandy

December 10, 2010 at 4:28 pm

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Now I know why I have been gushing! I thought it was because I’m nearing menopause. I’ve had to leave work, change my sheets, and change clothes because I’ve been leaking so badly. I have been using O.B. Tampons since the 1970’s. We are talking more than 30 years! Now this product is not only defective, but going away. I can’t find any size anywhere. Who are the brainless fools who came up with this stupid idea? Count me as another extremely disappointed and angry woman, and include my 2 friends and daughters who are also now up a creek. Way to go Johnson & Johnson, you morons.

lydia

December 10, 2010 at 10:22 pm

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I too am very very disappointed. First of all I have a very heavy flow the first 3 days of my period. When O.B. came out with the ultra sized tampon I was ecstatic. Instead of having to change my super plus every 2 hours I was able to go more than 6. It was awesome. But lately I can’t even find the o.b brand anywhere. I know that they have stupidly decided to discontinue the Ultra size for reasons no one seems to be able to explain to me, but have they gotten rid of the brand entirely?? APPLICATOR TAMPONS ARE NOT FOR EVERYONE!!!!!! Bring the applicatorless tampons back. And make them big enough for people such as myself to be able to use comfortably. Otherwise you have lost a loyal o.b. user and will continue to do so as more and more customers are disappointed.

Teresa

December 11, 2010 at 9:32 am

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I just wrote the Ellen show with a plea that they pay some attention to the women being held hostage by the decision of this company to discontinue a very needed product. We’ll see if anything comes from this.

kim

December 11, 2010 at 12:13 pm

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i can’t believe what i’m reading!!! i’ve been loyal to this product and now i’m forced to buy something that, until i found o.b. tampons, has never done the job quite as well.

BAD FORM MCNEIL LABS!! and J&J!

cindy bishop

December 11, 2010 at 3:04 pm

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Teresa- thank you! Just emailed this to Rachel Maddow.

Dear Rachel

I have been to 20 stores to search for my favorite tampon, OB, and there are none to be found. After some research on the web, it appears that without warning, Johnson and Johnson (and perhaps the manufacturer, McNeil Inc) has decided to discontinue this very successful, effective, environmentally-conscious and well-loved product.

if you check out http://writethecompany.com/sizing-up-o-b-tampons you’ll see that a huge number of women are entirely pissed off about this, and the site is getting updated every day.

I refuse to be made to use plastic applicators and tampon products that do not work (re: leakage) and are landfill-bound. What can we do?!?

Very very suspect decision, especially since it seems that drugs and surgery are proffered as solutions to a heavy menstrual cycle, rather than a $6 tampon.

Christina

December 11, 2010 at 3:33 pm

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I’ve been using OB Ultras for 20 years as well, because no other tampon (believe me, I’ve tried EVERYTHING!), including other OB products, lasts longer than an hour during my first 3-4 days. However, there is one product that may work for some. It’s called ‘Instead’, and it’s a “softcup”, instead of a tampon. They’re safer (no shredding) and you can leave them in for up to 12 hours instead of 8. They are messy to take out, however, so they aren’t as practical if you have to change in a public restroom. It is worth it to me right now, though, because it’s the best product available now that the Ultras are gone. Check them out at http://www.softcup.com/ to see if they are a viable alternative for you. I’ve been using the Insteads for a few years on my medium and light days, but have been hesitant to try them on my “monsoon” days. Now that I have no alternative, I’m hoping that they work. The real test for me will be at work this weekend. I wait tables, and I’m lucky if I have time to go to the restroom once in a shift. During the holidays, I don’t even have time to think about the restroom. We’ll see… BTW, the Insteads are available at most Wal Marts and grocery stores now.

Leekie

December 11, 2010 at 11:00 pm

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Wow! You go, ladies!

They’ve all got us by the short hair! I thought I was the only one banished to silence about this because I’m too embarrassed to compare notes with my friends! I thought I was Leonarda Da Vinci discovering that with Ulra OB tampons — those and no other product– and a pessary, I could resume my athletic activities without being incontinent! First the American medical establishment has no time for you when you’re in labor so they perform the huge episiotomy, then a few years later you discover you’re becoming incontinent. THEN when you go back to the darn OB/GYNs they tell you to get surgery which includes getting everything taken out. I don’t agree with that so I came up with this other option that works. But now I can’t buy the OB. So now besides the medical establishment having us by the short hairs, it’s J & J. Shame on them and all the other companies who don’t produce an adequate product for ladies with heavy periods and those of us with this other problem! First I noticed that Albertson’s stopped selling the product a few years ago. When I complained I was told Ultras weren’t being produced anymore. After a while the only place left was Fred Meyer and now they have become unavailable since last Fall.

Has anyone tried to contact the marketing people at J & J to let them know how “depend”ent we are on their product?? How about their biomedical engineers or whoever invents these things? Have mercy!!

Vanessa

December 12, 2010 at 2:38 am

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Well, heck. Guess I’m not a freak after all. That’s a relief. Monsoon? Deluge…. Flash Flood…….Fire Hose…….take yer pick. None of them are pretty, but all are fairly accurate. On my heavy days, I can go through an Ultra in half an hour. And I agree, they ain’t what they used to be, but they were all I had and at least I could deal.

The last couple of years, even with them, life has been challenging, to say the least. I get invited to go places, do things and I have to make up a fib about why I can’t go if its during or going to be during my period. I have to plan my whole bloody life around my period. Pardon the pun. Little menstrual humor… Reading about others going thru this has been healing and empowering. Not being able to sleep….the ruined clothes, sheets, mattresses…..all of it.

And then, as if that’s not enough, to be treated like we are ABNORMAL, in need of medical intervention. And yes, I agree. Follow the money. I just love that corporate America and pharmaceutical companies are making millions off of our desperation, don’t you? They can’t let us just be women, in all our plentitudiness glory.

And now, to top everything off, they STOP MAKING ULTRAS????????

I guess I can stop cussing out Wal-Mart. And Target. And Fred Meyer. And Rite-Aid….you get the picture.

I have been stealthily combing the tampon isles for weeks, trying not to appear as desperate as I truly am. Hoping beyond hope to find one last box of the Holy Grail of tampons, only to be repeatedly disappointed. I always bought as many boxes as I could afford, just in case, because they were always so hard to find. Now all is clear. The scum. There is nothing on the U.S. market to compare. They all suck. Yeah, whoever came up with brainchild of “lengthwise expansion” needs therapy. Or a brain. Or a cervix, vagina…whatever.

I can’t believe it is almost 2011 and we women are STILL being held hostage by our periods! That a man stepped up to the menstrual plate, as it were, is a wonderful thing. Bless you.
But really. This entire episode with the makers of o.b. smacks of disrespect, dismissal, and MANIPULATION. Made by a woman for women. Right. Well, there aren’t any heavy bleeders on their marketing team, its a good bet! Or management.

Well, I for one, have HAD it. I will boycott Johnson & Johnson. McNeil Labs. I will spread the word to my friends and family to boycott them as well.

My great hope is that some enterprising person with the tools necessary (har-har), will come out with a product that puts the Ultra to shame. Yes, there is the whole issue of dimwitted women leaving them in too long, but the rest of us shouldn’t be punished for their lack of common sense and inability to read directions. Someone is going to make millions off of J&J’s screw up.

I used to be angry that o.b. tampons were so expensive, but at least they worked, sort of. Now I am just plain angry. Adult diapers, here I come. Really great for a woman’s self esteem. Maybe Victoria’s Secret will come out with a sexier version.

Violet

December 12, 2010 at 2:52 am

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Tampax now carries Ultra Absorbency tampons which have the same absorbency (15-18 Grams) as the O.B. Ultra Absorbency tampons. I’m ordering Tampax Pearl Plastic Ultra Unscented Tampons 36 Ct. through walmart.com for $7.97. I haven’t tried them yet, but they should work the same. If that doesn’t work, I’ll have to try the Instead Menstrual cup, I heard they’re better than tampons because you can leave it in for 12 hours, it’s cheaper, better for the environment, plus other benefits. Either way it’s good to know there is other alternatives.

cindy bishop

December 12, 2010 at 1:37 pm

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plastic applicators!!?? come on ladies, do you like finding plastic applicators along your streets on garbage days, not to mention piling up in landfills?? I don’t understand why we don’t demand more ‘comfortable’ cardboard applicators, if one must have an applicator at all.

Vanessa

December 12, 2010 at 3:09 pm

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OMG!!!! People, I had an epiphany!!! Do you know who would help us??? DR. OZ!!!! He is a huge advocate for women! No embarrassment zone and all, he would be perfect!! We need to flood (tee-hee) his email, letters, and calls. Won’t work if he only receives one or two.

And I can tell you Violet, Tampax aren’t worth the price of admission. They expand lengthwise and it gets ugly. They do NOT hold as much, no matter what the package says. We’ve all been there, done that. That’s why we ended up embracing Ultra with so much love and affection. I am afraid of the cup, but may have no choice.

What I can’t understand is that even if the men in these decision making positions can’t access their empathy chip, it would stand to reason that just productivity alone should make them want to give us something that will hold us longer. How many women have to call in sick because of this issue?? How many of us have to stay home for 3 days at least every frigging month? It’s just common sense, for Pete’s sake.

Ok. Let’s get Dr. Oz on board!!!!

paula

December 12, 2010 at 4:08 pm

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I tried the Tampax Ultras last month and they worked fine. They seemed to expand width-wise not length-wise like other Tampax products.

I do not like the applicator but it was better than leaking. *Bleep* the environment. I would rather dump some plastic applicators than add extra clothes and sheets because they were ruined. The applicator is too big to carry in most pockets too. But it’s better than nothing. I hope they don’t decide to discontinue them like OB did.

I contacted OB too and was not at all satisfied with their response. Very poor and disrespectful customer “service” to assume we could use a smaller size or be content with a non-answer.

Frustrated

December 12, 2010 at 8:38 pm

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I was reading & so humored by the comments about the monsoon. The comment about blowing out a regular one when sneezing almost made me fall out of my chair!!

I’ve been searching online and found a place to buy Super Plus. I’m sorry but there didn’t seem to be any Ultra available for those of you experiencing said Monsoon, but the other sizes and multi packs were available. It’s a website called “My Cycle Supply” I am not associated with the site, just excited to share the info with some of you.
https://www.mycyclesupply.com/
Hope this helps!

Good luck to all. BTW, some sites claim that they will be in stock in 4-6 weeks????

Dawn in MASS

December 12, 2010 at 9:52 pm

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Holy cow!! I’m having a serious PMS moment. I went out to the local Wal-mart yesterday to get my monthly supply of OB Ultra or OB Super Plus tampons and the shelves were bare! I hopped into my car and drove to Target. Hmmm…empty shelves where the OB tampons should be. Weird. I tried CVS later that night and found nothing. ZIP. No OB tampons in ANY size. Heck, at this point I’d even try the “Barbie” size (regulars).

Are you guys finding ANY OB tampons in your stores? What in the heck are we going to do? Have you checked the prices for a box of Ultras on ebay??? NUTS, people are paying 20 bucks a box!

What to do?
-DMS

Frustrated

December 13, 2010 at 1:35 am

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Found some Super at my local Walgreens today. I bought the last 2 boxes for my light days. Or, should those become extinct maybe I’ll consider listing them on Ebay! Those prices are ridiculous, but they’re selling! Those people should be embarrassed to list such a commodity for such a ridiculous price.

I am laughing at how some of the sites justify the inflated prices noting that it’s only .76 per piece when selling a 40 count box for over $30.

The Johnson & Johnson site has a page for the mighty small size. It even offers a link to purchase other sizes and you’re directed to a KY page?! There you can order & it claims they will be available in 10 days. Now J&J wants our money to hold us hostage until they decide to eventually make and send them. I’ll just explain to my body that she needs to hold off a little this month until J&J decides they’re going to set us free. What a joke!

Ms. Monsoon

December 13, 2010 at 3:38 am

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I am also an outraged customer! I have been using OB ultras for 20 years to get me through life… and sometimes, they weren’t even enough! I wrote to the company today before I stumbled upon this site. After stocking up on several boxes a while back, I have been on the prowl for more Ultras for the past few months. I refuse to pay ebay prices, but I am afraid I have only 3 left! I am a teacher so next month should be fun… I really will need to start storing an extra pair of clothes in my desk just in case. I have tried those cups to no avail, I hate other tampons, and I cannot use the pill/IUD due to past health concerns. So here I am, like many of you, anxious as to how I will get through my busy life without a big red stain trailing behind me. Hopefully our girlcott revolution will benefit us in some way. I hope that the rumors are true and that there will be Ultras available by the summer as my husband loves being on the boat all day… aka no bathrooms and in a bathing suit. I survived on advil and an Ultra in the past. Now what? Maybe we should start posting signs to show where the nearest bathrooms are in all public locations with an additional caption to boycott the company. Stupid men with money.

Sandy

December 13, 2010 at 7:12 am

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I just got this reply to the question of WHERE ARE THEY? Because I cannot find any size anywhere:

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.

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.

Our tampons are still being made. However, it is our o.b.® Ultra Absorbency Tampons that has been discontinued. Please be assured we will share your feedback with our marketing management.

Our products are sold at mass merchandisers, grocery stores and pharmacies. A partial list of the nationwide chain stores in which our products are sold include Walgreen’s, Sav-On, Rite-Aid, CVS, Phar Mor, Duane Reade, Kroger’s, Safeway, Giant, Pathmark, Albertson’s, Winn Dixie, Publix, Wegman’s, Fred Meyers, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, Shoprite and Meijer’s. You will find that Johnson & Johnson products are generally shelved together by product category. If you do not see the product you are seeking, a retailer may sometimes be able to order it for 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 http://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.

Chrystal D.
Consumer Care Center

Funny, I had tried all of those places that exist within a 50 mile radius. Nothing. Not even a spot on the shelf or anything online. Even Alice.com doesn’t have any.

Sandy

December 13, 2010 at 7:14 am

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Oh, and the reply above, does actually repeat this:

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.

I guess they put much thought into their form letters as they do to taking away Ultras.

Lydia

December 13, 2010 at 1:42 pm

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I used (now they’re gone) two Ultras with a pad every two hours for the first day. It was the ONLY tampon that could handle my flow, and allowed me to hold down a job. I even got my daughter hooked on using them. Because of their size and lack of applicator, she feels secure carrying them in high school, and they are better than any others on the market – and she buys her own. If a WOMAN designed these for our comfort, why did a MAN make a financial decision to make us miserable? Yes, there are stupid females out there that shouldn’t use tampons (TSS), but the majority of us prefer to be clean and healthy, and know how to change ourselves on a VERY regular basis. OB, YOU LOSE!!!! Unless the Ultra is brought back ASAP, I will run my big mouth to ALL my friends (read that to include the 643 friends I have on FB) about how SEXIST and MONEY-GRUBBING you are. READ YOUR OWN EMAILS!!! We ARE loyal – YOU ****D UP!!!

DarkRose

December 13, 2010 at 2:16 pm

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I’m so beyond angry over all of this BS. I have been trying all the other ultra-type tampons on the market and NONE of them work worth a damn. I have a box of the Tampax Pearl ones right now and they’re useless. They sort of “butterfly” open in one direction, they don’t expand all around to conform to your body. So even wearing one of these ultras with the same absorbency rating as the OB Ultras, I still get leakage. I’m perimenopausal and have been experiencing the heaviest bleeding/clotting of my life, and not just at my normal cycle time. Now I’m bleeding pretty much all the time, with heavy flow/clotting at least two weeks every month. The Super Plus size *work*, but I have to change them every 45 minutes, and now even THEY are impossible to find. Here on the Central California Coast, the shelves are either altogether bare (with the stickers removed) or only the light/regular ones are left.

I just want a conclusive answer from the company as to whether or not they’re actually discontinued or if they’re coming back in Spring. I mean… why still have the website/new ad slogan if they’re discontinued? And even if OB isn’t altogether discontinued, why still list the ultras on the site?

Moxie Girl USA

December 13, 2010 at 4:18 pm

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Hello Ladies,

The Moxie brand (www.moxie.com.au) does produce non-applicator/digital tampons for the U.S. market. Our products are sold at retailers throughout the U.S. and online retailers including – Soap.com, Amazon.com and Beauty.com.

Our products are currently available in Regular and Super absorbency. They are sold in packs of 16 and include a tin compact that provides for convenient, portable and hygienic storage.

We understand that some of you cannot find o.b. at present in your local store, so we hope you will give Moxie a try. Unfortunately, we do not produce an Ultra product at present, but we will investigate this for future development.

Visit http://www.moxie.com.au for more information about the Moxie brand and to locate your nearest retailer.

Best,
Moxie Girl USA

Write The Company

December 13, 2010 at 5:20 pm

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To their credit, this company does have a lot of moxie to write the consumer on a blog called Write The Company. For whatever it’s worth, they are from the land down under, which coincidentally is where this issue is also kind of originating. If o.b. isn’t going to protect you during Monsoon Season, can Moxie? Let everyone here know what you think if you give them a try.

Deb

December 13, 2010 at 7:57 pm

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ugh. I discovered the Ultra problem a couple of months ago, looked for them online, wrote the company, got the form letter and cried.

Today, having given up on the Ultras for the moment, I set off in search of ANY OBs. I didn’t find them at any of the usual places – Stop&Shop, Walgreens, CVS, Duane Reade. WTF? Are ALL sizes now discontinued??? Are other people in New York finding them anywhere?

I’ve been using these things almost all of my adult life, since the early 80s at least. I don’t need or want a frickin’ “applicator” and there aren’t any other non-applicator brands out there. [thanks to the Moxie person, but really? I need to order tampons from Australia???] The idea of using additional cardboard or plastic 10 times a day because American women are squeamish about touching their parts (present company excepted, obviously) makes me so mad I could spit. I DON’T WANT AN APPLICATOR, GODDAMNIT!

If anyone has a clear plan of action, I’m in. In the meantime, I’ll start harassing the company and maybe writing to Dr Oz… :(

ELIZABETH

December 13, 2010 at 11:59 pm

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Does anyone have addresses for Dr. Oz or Ellen? Maybe someone could compose a letter, short and to the point, that we could all copy and e-mail to the above mentioned celebs. Unless we get this awful matter out there en mass no-one will even notice.

ELIZABETH

December 14, 2010 at 12:00 am

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Oh, and also….I’m not even getting answers from J&J now. I keep demanding to know why they’ve stopped making Ultra and they appear to have simply ceased answering. Anyone else who is writing to them noticed their lack of response?

Vanessa

December 14, 2010 at 3:21 am

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Ok kids, here’s my letter. I am sending it first thing in the morning. Hope it’s alright.

Dear Dr. Oz,

There is an issue that desperately needs your attention. It’s perfect for your no embarrassment zone!

Even though it’s almost 2011, we women are still being held hostage by our periods. Mankind can design space shuttles, stations, and computers that run at the speed of light, but can’t seem to provide women with a non-applicator tampon that can hold them for any length of time without embarrassing leaks and blowouts. There are a lot of “monsoon” bleeders out here (ie. Peri menopause, the way we’re wired, etc.).

For a while, we had o.b. Ultra tampons, which, though they been downsized several years ago due to TSS, cost, or to get us to use more of them, were at least enough to let us live our lives, albeit not without difficulties. Now, Johnson & Johnson has absorbed McNeil –PPC Inc. and has discontinued the o.b. line without warning. I can’t tell you how devastating this has been for thousands, if not millions of women.

There is nothing currently on the U.S. market that can take their place. Johnson & Johnson has been evasive, deceitful and manipulative in their response to those of us who have contacted them. They have instead tried to steer us to their “other products” (ineffectual~ been there, done that) and provided us with a link to a site owned by Ferring Pharmaceuticals, that promotes Lysteda and/or suggestions for surgical intervention. Incidentally, the new President of Ferring Research Institute just joined them after 25 years at Johnson & Johnson as VP of Business Development. Coincidence? Because I have to tell you Dr. Oz, there are a lot of us that don’t know what in the hell we are going to do. I would hate to see women pushed into unnecessary surgeries or medications just so they can function.

There is a website that you need to see, as it is very enlightening on this subject. http://writethecompany.com/sizing-up-o-b-tampons
A movement is starting and we need a champion who can bring national attention to it.

All we want is a non-applicator tampon that can hold us for a decent amount of time so we can live our lives. Something that won’t clog landfills, is small and discreet, and that WORKS. In short, we want something equivalent to our old o.b. Ultra’s or something better. We deserve it. We don’t want to be treated like we’re freaks of nature, because we’re not.

We sincerely appreciate your time, attention and help on this matter,

Thank you,

Moxie Girl USA

December 14, 2010 at 9:56 am

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Dear Deb,

The Moxie brand is available in the United States and you can find the brand at many retailers across the United States. You do not need to order our products from Australia.

Our tampons are available without applicators and if you are in New York, you can find our products at Duane Reade, Gristedes and The Food Emporium.

Moxie is also available at online retailers including Amazon.com, Soap.com and Beauty.com.

For more information visit http://www.moxie.com.au.

Best,
Moxie Girl USA

Ms. Monsoon

December 14, 2010 at 10:04 am

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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.

With regard to your recent inquiry, we are happy to inform you our o. b. Product Line has not been discontinued, only our o. b. ultra. Unfortunately, our o. b. ultra tampons were not selling as well as we had hoped they would. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. We assure you that your feedback is valued and will be shared with our marketing management as they are always interested in consumer feedback when developing products for the line. Please note that we do not retain inventory of discontinued products for distribution to consumers.

I got a letter from the company today. Below was their response to my concern about not being able to find the products anywhere… most specifically Ultras.

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 http://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.

Malinda D.
Consumer Care Center

Michele

December 14, 2010 at 10:06 am

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Add me to the list of faithful, furious OB-Ultra fans! I have been using OB since they were first introduced and have never purchased another brand.

I noticed a decline in availability last summer, couldn’t find them at CVS or Wal-Mart as I had in the past so started ordering them from Amazon. I’m down to my last 2 boxes and have no idea what I’m going to do when those are empty. Like many of you, I’m in peri-menopause and *nothing* else will handle the heavy flow other than Ultra!

I e-mailed the company and will be watching this thread for future updates, hope they come to their senses and soon or I’ll be housebound for several days a month!

Ms. Monsoon

December 14, 2010 at 10:06 am

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Good job Vanessa! Let us know if you get a response!

Ex-OB User

December 14, 2010 at 1:13 pm

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Ladies,

I am soooooo excited about you contacting Dr. Oz, I think he is perfect to expose this. GREAT WORK!!!!

I have also contacted Dr. Mercola (not sure if any of you have heard of him, but he is someone who speaks out online about idiocy like this), and Grist, though I’m not sure it is really their area, but they do expose things sometimes, and I thought it might be worth them looking at the connection with the “Heavy Periods” advert that suggests medical procedures instead of giving us adequate tampons!

I have also contacted J&J, but I don’t expect to get anything helpful back from them. I went direct to them rather than via the McNeil lot this time.

I am still so angry about this I am sure I must have steam coming out of my eyes. Messing with women’s period requirements is a BAD, BAD idea, J&J!

Ex-OB User

December 14, 2010 at 1:13 pm

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Sorry, steam is coming out of my ears – not my eyes! (I hope)

Oh, and Moxie are great tampons, I used them when in Australia, but that is still pretty pricey for a small amount, isn’t it?

Ginny

December 14, 2010 at 1:53 pm

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WOW!! I thought it was just Santa Fe!! Was at 4 stores today and all are out!! period!! everything gone! no more! then online to find No More to be had (at least at a reasonable price). And then found this thread! Damn it!! I want my monthly helper back yesterday!!! I hate being a perimenopausal woman reliant on maxi pads (aka Diapers!!) Ob worked for 20+ years of my life. I have tried others in a pinch and found that’s exactly what they do is pinch!! and leak!! HELP!!! please get us a new Old OB! My teenage daughter has had al the same problem I have had! I don’t want her to hate being a woman! Hopefully I will be done soon and as all of you will have to make do till then! :(

Vanessa

December 14, 2010 at 8:24 pm

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God, I am just SO MAD!!!! On the rag as we speak, but I can’t use my last 7 tampons unless I have to go somewhere. How sick is that? Having to ration my last precious few. So you all know where I’ve been all day. Errgghhh..

Thanks for the support with the letter. After mulling it over for a day, I wish I had changed a couple of things. but figure I will do that anyway and keep on sending it. Anyone, feel free to copy it (change it all you want) and send it along. The more voices the better. Good job on contacting others in the field of exposing this kind of bullshit!

I’ve been trying to think of a good, national investigative reporter we could contact, cause I really do think there is more to this than just a normal discontinuation. Maybe start local. Sometimes national will pick it up. Try to pull our plug? I don’t think so.

Keep up the good work everyone!!! Don’t you think its sad that our lives have to revolve around and be consumed by something that is just a natural process? I mean, really.

Frustrated

December 14, 2010 at 9:14 pm

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Now I’m more frustrated! Disregard the mention of the website that I suggested 2 days ago called My Cycle Supply. They’re a fraud. The site allowed me to order 2 boxes of super plus, accepted my payment and sent me a confirmation for my order. Today, 2 days later, I get a notice saying that they are out of stock and if they can send the Super instead. Of course I said no & asked for a refund. I also recommended that they remove the product from the site so as to stop misleading the consumer. Waiting for a response from them.

Dianna

December 15, 2010 at 2:37 am

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So, I’m just finishing up my first cycle since finding out that the Ultra was no longer available. I feel fortunate. The day I found out about the Ultras I went on a “quest” and was actually able to find two 40 count boxes of Ultras. I had one box at home and searched through every old purse, suitcase, backpack, drawer….and was able to gather up 26 additional. I noticed on my quest that the Super Plus were also absent so I ordered 10 boxes of those online and was able to get 7 of those (18 count) Now I plan my period. I use the Ultras when I’m at work, I teach and they are a must, and then at night. If I was at home I used the Super Plus. I went through so many super plus it was ridiculous. I think I’ll try the Moxies as a replacement to the super plus to see if they do the same job. I can’t believe I have to ration my tampons and plan my life around my period. Go on vacation during my cycle? Not a chance. I’ve emailed both companies and got the standard canned response…”Thank you for your interest in our company…” One of them did send me a $1.00 coupon toward an OB purchase…what good is that if you can’t find them. Just hoping that Santa fills my stocking with Ultras!

Jasmine

December 15, 2010 at 9:11 am

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To add insult to injury… Like many of you, I wrote the company about the Ultras. And of course they said “lower absorbency should still be available to you and we recommend that you try those for your needs.” – Injury of course. As most of you said, if I could get by on smaller plugs I would have! BUT.. They also sent me some snail mail. With a 3 pack of REGULARS! And… A coupon for $1.50 off….

A buck fifty off? On what? Surely they don’t think I am going to tape 6 regulars together to use at once do they? What idiots.

Has anyone found ANYTHING that works reasonably well?

Michele

December 15, 2010 at 10:15 am

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Like Dianna, I am rationing my tampons. After cleaning out my bathroom cabinet yesterday, I found a stash that should get me through a couple of months as long as I use the lower absorbency tampons for the lighter days. No more taking the Ultra for granted!

Oh, and an update..e-mailed the company as well and here’s the response I got:

Dear Michele:

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.

Our o.b.® NON-APPLICATOR Tampons have been placed on limited distribution, hence the possible reason as to why you have not been able to find them. We are working diligently to get this product back to full production as soon as possible. However, please note our o.b.® Ultra Absorbency Tampons have been discontinued. Please be assured we will share your feedback with our marketing management.

The Information Center

ELIZABETH

December 15, 2010 at 10:23 am

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@ Jasmine. I haven’t yet had a really bad month since discovering Ultra’s were no more (due to peri menopause I suppose) but so far I have been struggling with the awful tampax pearl ultra. I can tell they are NOT going to work when I eventually get a deluge/monsoon. I still don’t know what I’m going to do when the monsoon does re-appear :(

Christina

December 15, 2010 at 10:57 am

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Bring ultra back asap I will find another brand otherwise.

Barb Rose

December 15, 2010 at 11:04 am

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Okay, I’m glad to know I’m not alone. I too noticed the lack of Ultras, and am now incredibly incensed to find that no one near me is carrying ANY OB product. I posted a comment on the OB website; we’ll see if they respond. I did notice that they say they will get back to all comments within 3 business days…

And the fact that they have discontinued production of the Ultras (based on some of the posts here MONTHS ago!) but still have them on their website as part of the product line…well…somewhere I suspect there might be a lawyer that could make a lawsuit for fraud or something out of that…

This is what I sent to them:

“After doing some looking on the internet when I could no longer find the OB Ultra tampons I have been relying on for as long as I can remember, I discovered that apparently you have discontinued that level of protection. But now I can’t find the OB tampon brand in ANY absorbency size ANYWHERE–I have checked Target, Walmart, Walgreen’s, CVS, Stop & Shop, ShopRite, RiteAid, my local grocery stores, my local drug stores…in short, every store I go into that carries any sort of feminine product. Most of the stores don’t even have tags for the product anymore. This leads me to believe that production of the OB tampon has been eliminated completely, not just the Ultra absorbency.

Is this the case? If it is, would you PLEASE put this information on your website. If it is not, and this lack of product is due to some other issue, would you please put THAT information on your website. Regardless, if you have completely discontinued the ULTRA absorbency size, at LEAST take that product off your website; leaving it on there is misleading to consumers. Particularly since it appears you discontinued production some time ago, yet as of today (12/15/2010) the Ultra is still listed as part of the OB product line.

I would greatly appreciate some direct and honest information about the current and future availability of the OB Tampon product line.

Thank you.”

It’s all probably pointless, but we’ll see…

Deborah

December 15, 2010 at 12:33 pm

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I have an idea, what about Lisa Ling? I don’t have a twitter account, but hers is @lisaling.

Twitter away everyone!

KM

December 15, 2010 at 4:41 pm

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Don’t forget, ladies, O.B. has a Facebook page call MightySmall. This is usually designed and driven by the corporate marketing division. It can be more effective than the customer support line or at least a great tool to use in tandem. Easily, the last 20 posts on the FB site have been angry Ultra users. Vent out there — directly to O.B.!!

http://www.facebook.com/obmightysmall.

Btw…I just found ONE Ultra in my purse. I am hoarding it like it is the last tampon on the planet…..

Deborah

December 15, 2010 at 6:26 pm

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Check out Ob’s statement on their facebook page…and I left some comments for them to come check out everyone’s concern’s on this site.
http://www.facebook.com/obmightysmall.

Teresa

December 15, 2010 at 6:39 pm

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Thanks Vanessa,

All I want for Christmas are my OB Ultra tampons…or at least someone with some influence to help us fight our battle. I’m still waiting a reply from Ellen. Hugs to all from your Canadian sister…hopefully someone will hear our voices.

Elizabeth

December 16, 2010 at 12:30 am

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Ive so enjoyed reading all of your posts. Although not happy about the decision it makes me feel better that im not a crazy girl going to 12 different stores in a frantic haze going down the isle and praying that one box of ultras or a box of super plus will be there only to walk out empty handed and crying inside. With as many people that are being heard and are so upset by this someone will have to champion us women and allow all of our voice to be heard. I feel like i should say FIGHT THE POWER MY MIGHTY WOMEN PEOPLE FIGHT THE POWER!!!

Kathy

December 16, 2010 at 2:29 am

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Seems like a “family-owned & operated” company made a not so “family-owned & operated” decision that appears to be affecting a lot of women.

If cost was an issue, I would have gladly paid what was required in order to be able to function w/ less trips to a restroom. The decision to discontinue the product was all about the money.

So, let’s no longer buy any of their products. I for one, have little interest in supporting a “Family-owned” business that thinks so little of their customer base that they discontinue a product viewed as a necessity by many women.

VOTE WITH YOUR POCKETBOOKS AND WALLETS!!! It’s the only thing J&J truly cares about-BOYCOTT ALL OF THEIR PRODUCTS!!!!

Vanessa

December 16, 2010 at 2:34 am

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You guys all rock. Teresa, you took the words right outta my head. All day, all I could think of was “What I really want for Christmas, is…..”

Just posted a comment on OB’s facebook page that they will probably delete. Felt good anyway.

Ok. Now for the big news…..I went by Bartell Drugs tonight on a hunch…..their shelves were packed with o.b.’s! ON SALE, no less! Not Ultra, but lots of Super Plus. I know, it still sucks, but I bought every box they had. Nothing like rewarding a corrupt company, but I had no choice. I am that desperate. So much for groceries this month. Or next.

I loved the comment about wrapping a bunch together just to make one that worked! Sad but true. I also think that the Lisa Ling idea was great!!! I don’t Twitter, but anyone who does….let ‘er rip!

Was thinking today….I’ll bet they left the Ultra on their website for so long after discontinuing, because they knew that we would go there and see their very convenient icon next to it, which would lead us down the primrose path to Lysteda and surgery. It was no oversight. Just another way to reach their new customer base.

Marcia

December 16, 2010 at 10:08 am

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Why don’t we do a complete revolt. I am going to take apart one of my precious Ultra’s I am hoarding, figure out how much fiber is in the thing and how it is designed (because it is the only thing that works well for me). Then I am going to the feed store where they have equine supplies and purchase some of their cotton wound dressing which is really thick and I am going to start trying to “roll my own” and they won’t be any stupid whimpy ultra absorbency. They will far exceed that. I have been stewing over how to compress the fibers so they are firm enough to insert. I have thought about binding it tightly with string putting them in a steamer for a few minutes then baking them in the oven on low until they are dry or even running through a dryer cycle so the cotton will compress and harden somewhat. Tampons are NOT sterile so as long as you are using clean materials and making them in a clean environment they will be ok. I think it might work. Maybe someone out there could design some sort of molding process or something. Come on women we are smart enough to figure this out ourselves and we certainly do not need to be removing body parts or taking pills just because some greedy company decided to discontinue something we need.

Paula

December 16, 2010 at 11:17 am

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Well, I just called the CS line and for the first time think I actually heard the truth. The story is that Ultra was always going to be discontinued AND then the decision was made to drop the whole line and manufacturing of the entire line was stopped. However, they are fairly certain that they will bring back the entire line by Spring 2011. Sounds goofy since they’ve lost all of the shelf space at the big chains and getting that back is very difficult but at least the company is finally admitting that all manufacturing has ceased and the product is currently dead.

CB

December 16, 2010 at 8:25 pm

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Crazy isn’t it!

I think what they need is a new marketing team! This tampon simply sells itself–once people get over the idea of not having an applicator.

I have used this brand for over twenty-five years. Every family member or friend that I have suggested the product to loves them. They are earth friendly, you can hide them in your pocket, and they WORK!

I feel lucky that I have one and 1/2 boxes left. One box is from a friend that went into menopause! I am hoping they last until my Lil-Lets arrive.

I sent the company another email. It was my fifth. I just keep hoping someone on that “marketing team” will come to their senses. Truthfully, with the right advertising, I just can’t imagine that OB wouldn’t be the most popular brand.

Melissa

December 17, 2010 at 12:58 am

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Nooooooooo! It can’t be true!!!! Dang!! These things gave me my life back. Now I have to live in 2 hour intervals instead of 8. There are no other solutions for monsoon survivors. If someone finds them please post it!!

Roses

December 17, 2010 at 10:16 am

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On the recommendations I saw here, I thought I’d order Lil-Lets. I went to their site and ordered on line. This is the reply I got today:

I write further to your recent e-mail and placed order for Lil-lets tampons via our online shopping site.

Unfortunately, at this time we are unable to offer feminine hygiene products to our consumers in the US and Canada, as much as we would like to. I am therefore refunding your remittance of £11.00GBP back to your PayPal account.

We are however working closely with our legal team here in the UK in an effort to rectify this issue in the very near future. I will of course keep you notified of any progress in this area and will be only too happy to process your order in the future.

Assuring you of my best attention at all times.

Kindest Regards
Tracey

Deborah

December 17, 2010 at 10:17 am

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Ulgh, I had placed an order with Lei-lets, and just got this email…

I write further to your recent e-mail and placed order for Lil-lets tampons via our online shopping site.

Unfortunately, at this time we are unable to offer feminine hygiene products to our consumers in the US and Canada, as much as we would like to. I am therefore refunding your remittance of £8.80GBP back to your PayPal account.

We are however working closely with our legal team here in the UK in an effort to rectify this issue in the very near future. I will of course keep you notified of any progress in this area and will be only too happy to process your order in the future.

Assuring you of my best attention at all times.

Kindest Regards
……………………..
Tracey (Last name withheld by WTC)
Consumer Relations Assistant
Lil-lets UK Limited

Sandy

December 17, 2010 at 11:04 am

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I just got the same reply from Lil-lets. Dang. I had ordered 10 boxes. I will try the Moxie now.

I had one ultra left that I was hoarding rather than using. Being afraid of being completely out, I used a super plus, and within 45 minutes I had a huge mess – all over myself, clothes, toilet and the floor, the next time I went to the bathroom. Oh yeah. I was at work.

Thanks Johnson and Johnson. You know how to make me feel like a woman.

TH

December 17, 2010 at 6:10 pm

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Garrick,

Are you serious? Even as desperate as many of us are, the price….. You’ve got to be kidding. I have been without a job for almost 2 years and you expect me, let alone other pay the price for 3 boxes – over $74. You’ve got to be kidding. This was Amazon I was looking at. Heaven help us all if this is what the world is coming to. Maybe the women really need to run the world since men seem to be taking it down. Thanks.

By the way, your mycylclesupply shows out of stock for OB, let’s try Moxie. Well in reviewing Moxie – their tampons are coated with a glaze made out of what. I sure as hell ain’t going to use something with a glaze on it as – how do you know that it will absorb. Moxie must think they work. A glaze is like sugar coating. Would you want something like that? I wouldn’t. So, don’t say that you have an item in stock, when actually you are completely out of stock. I just checked your website. Go figure this one. You want to know how really mad we women are? Keep checking back. We are not in very good moods when a product is completely taken away and then someone says we have it or some to replace it with. I’m totally irritated about this.

ELIZABETH

December 17, 2010 at 6:47 pm

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I wonder why Lilets have decided for the moment to stop sending them to USA? Are they worried they may run out of them in UK or have J&J got hold of them by the short & curlies forcing them to stop sending the tampons, thereby rendering us poor, bleeding souls helpless?

I still am awaiting a response from my last e-mail to J&J….I’m thinking they’re now deleting my e-mails before even reading them.

Vanessa

December 17, 2010 at 8:36 pm

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OK. Well, I’ve been posting on o.b.’s website, thanks for the tip and link on that one and so far, they haven’t deleted me yet. And I haven’t been very subtle about what we think either. Some other gals are letting them have it too!

Wanted to let everyone know that Natracare makes a lovely non-applicator tampon in super plus. It won’t hold you any better than o.b. super plus, but its almost identical in every way, except its organic cotton and chlorine bleach free. No glaze, no weirdness. Actually, its BETTER than o.b., just not enough absorbency yet. And probably a little more expensive, but not prohibitive, I’m on a budget too. Can find it in many grocery stores in the natural section and also Bartell Drugs carries them. Or online.

I have contacted the company and begged them to make an ULTRA Ultra. The more requests they get, the better. Just google Natracare. Haven’t heard back yet. They already have the manufacturing in place, so would be good. Its also a good company. Quite a change from J&J.

There is a lot going on with all of the companies who make these damn things (Kotex, Tampax, etc.). Greed, manipulation, stupidity, all of it. The more we use, the more they make, etc. But I also think that that whole TSS issue years back scared the crap outta them and so now, everyone is playing it safe, which leaves us basically screwed.

I would also encourage people to keep posting on o.b.’s mighty small website. KM and Deborah were right. Cause we’re still mighty pissed and they need to know it ain’t going away any time soon.

Linda

December 17, 2010 at 9:44 pm

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Come on Johnson & Johnson, Fess up. Why are OB products, particularly the Ultra Absorbency tampons unavailable??? I have been using these exclusively for THIRTY TWO YEARS! There is no way I am switching to those silly teen-age plastic toys in middle age, after birthing 2 children!

BRING BACK OB TAMPONS or the women of America will revolt.

TL

December 18, 2010 at 1:08 am

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all i want to know is where i can find the ob ultra absorbency tampons NOW? i cannot be inconvenienced by getting up frequently during the day and night to change! the company has loyal customers still willing to pay that high a** price for the product, so provide it…before my next period would be nice!

Kimberly

December 18, 2010 at 9:33 am

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Ladies, I hate to give up this info for fear of running out of tampons for myself, but it is the right thing to do. I was able to purchase Lil-lets via Ebay from an independent seller. I would check out Ebay for options. I wasn’t able to buy them through Amazon UK, so I figured Ebay was the last resort. You just have to make sure it’s the purple “super plus extra” not just the plain super plus. They look just like OB Ultra, so I’m hoping for the best!

After making my purchase, I did notice that there is another UK company with applicator free tampons that look just like OB–also on Ebay. They were called Boots. I did not look further into it though since I already made my purchase.

To give you more info about my purchase…I got 100 super plus extra tampons for around $23 USD with shipping. This was the cheapest price *but* they are not in a box. They are in their wrapper though. Sounds a bit skeevy, but I did check out the reviews and they were all good. They did have other sellers offering them in the actual box, but the price did not compare. After going without my OB Ultra’s last month I feel I have to stock up for the apocalypse. I’ve been too stressed out worrying about how I’m going to handle next month. I will provide a review when I receive them. In the meantime, I think I will order some of those Natracare in case my Lil-lets aren’t here in time.

Vanessa

December 18, 2010 at 1:56 pm

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Kimberly, you are a sainted woman…..

I think I speak for all of us desperados out here, when I say a very BIG thank you!

I felt the same way when I saw all the boxes of super plus and supers (even though they are fairly worthless) at Bartell’s. Had to tell. Wanted to buy them all and then get them to all of you at cost, but knew some unscrupulous person would buy them and resell them for a ridiculous price, so gave up. God, I hope these new ones pan out. Next month could get really ugly otherwise…

Thanks again!!!

Deborah

December 18, 2010 at 2:47 pm

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Thank you Kimberly! I sent an email to NatraCare explaining how we’d all like an Ultra and sent them a link to this page so they could see all the comments.

CB

December 18, 2010 at 2:56 pm

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This is where I ordered my Lil-lets from. It will be up to 28 days shipping so plan ahead! http://www.britsuperstore.com/

Rwitherspoon

December 18, 2010 at 4:36 pm

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Like so many others who’ve posted before me, I’m most grateful for finding out that I have not LOST MY MIND! I live in a little town and it was already hard finding ULTRA as it was (the one CVS every now and then would have 2 boxes at best, and I would have to drive 4 towns over [15 mi] to the Wegmans to find them – at $8 box), but when I gave up on that dream and went looking for super-plus the other day, I thought I had entered the twilight zone, for there was NO OBs anywhere on the shelves to be found… not even shelf tags. Hind-sight is so 20-20… 3 months ago I was in Wegman’s (4 towns over!) and they had ULTRAs on sale for $5.99 box. I bought 2 boxes, thinking they must just be on sale as there was any “discontinued” tag in front. Knowing what I know now, I would have put back the bread and milk and bought all the boxes they had on the shelf (had to be at least 8 boxes) and would’ve asked them to bring out whatever they had from the back!

I am so mad right now! My monsoon is here and she’s like a stuck faucet. I’ve looked through every darn purse, suitcase, cabinet and dresser drawer and scrounged up about 10 ULTRAs. I feel like a crackhead! I know what I found will probably only get me through 2 days/nights at best. I have a 1/2 box of supers left from months ago when I bought a wrong box. Then what am I supposed to do??? I HATE APPLICATORS! Wasn’t that the WHOLE premise of OB’s in the first place? UGGH.

I’ve sent a message through their website. I expect to get the same canned and confusing response as everyone else has. I’ve “liked” their FB page only for the purpose of logging my complaint like the 100’s already on there. I don’t know if they have the nerve to be on Twitter (maybe not as OB), but if they are I will find them and trend the #OBTAMPON as much as possible. I just don’t want to lose sight of the goal of bring these products back and I’m sure every month my monsoon will remind me that it’s time to send another nasty email, tweet, and FB comment.

Oh, and to all of you OBTAMPON hustler’s out there, wanting to sell a box of tampons to the desperate for mega $$, you are scum of the earth and nucking futz!

MK

December 19, 2010 at 11:15 am

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Just wrote to Dr. Oz and Ellen. Let’s all get some “big names” working on this issue because, OBVIOUSLY, J & J could care less about us “little women.” This type of capricious (or worse – cold and calculating!!) corporate decision-making must not be allowed to continue!!

cindy

December 19, 2010 at 2:04 pm

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Thanks a lot the ob ultra tampon was the only tampon that actually worked for me. Not every woman is lucky enough to have a light happy period. It must be a man behind the desk making these decisions. Thanks for nothing.

TH

December 19, 2010 at 3:28 pm

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Kimberly,

Thank you for the information. Since I live where we have Fred Meyer, Whole Foods and New Seasons Markets – am going to check them out. Since I have been unemployed for many, many months and no $$ coming in, will check to see what the price is and hopefully not arm breaking. I am just finishing my month without any ULTRA’s and using the last two boxes of Super Plus that were an arm breaker for price, but at least I had something. I am hoping that the Natracare are just as good. Since I deal monsoons and the likes, anything other that Playtex, Kotex and the other cheaper crap will do. So will go and find and see.

Thank you for the early xmas present. Every one of us needs to really keep this list going as someone will get the picture. Will keep all posted especially next month when I try (if I can find them – Natracare) will send my views on them.

SA

December 19, 2010 at 4:45 pm

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Now that the snow has fallen, maybe we need to write our message of frustration (in red, of course) on the lawns of the J&J towers…I wonder if THAT would wake anyone there up? A flash mob of ‘unprotected’ women sitting patiently and quietly (without violence) on the pristine upholstered couches of their corporate headquarters’ waiting areas for a few hours? It would be well worth wrecking a pair of ‘that time of the month’ panties for that; and since we’re all resigned to ‘taking Carrie to the prom’ thanks to their non-existent ‘responsibility to their customers’, we could all get together and make it a decent, worthwhile and productive ‘visit’….

I’m going to try NatraCare’s offerings when my next cycle begins, and am awaiting a package from a friend in the UK to see if a viable alternative can be found overseas. There is nothing I have found on drug store shelves here in Canada that I can use. As someone with a latex allergy, any of the applicator tampons I have tried have left me with a burning sensation that lasts for many minutes…on top of the fact that the tampon contained inside is completely useless for my body.

In the meantime, I have tossed every J&J product I could find in my house in the trash can.

Dianna

December 19, 2010 at 5:29 pm

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Stopped at a Safeway on the way to a Christmas party last night. Next door was a RiteAid. My sister insisted on going to the RiteAid to see if they had any OB tampons (she’s not a user but has sympathy for those of us who do). She came back with four boxes of 18 count Super Plus. I found four boxes of 40 count Super Plus at the grocery store. Not as good as finding Ultras but it will help. I use my stash of Ultras very sparingly…on work days and at night during my heavy days. I use the Super Plus on my lighter days or if I know I’m staying home and have found that I go through twice as many as I used to so it’s good to have some extra. I’ve ordered some Lil-Lets super heavy tampons. Hopefully they’ll work as good as the Ultras.

I keep writing the company and posting on their facebook site…my main argument that I try to stress is: Women do not WANT the Ultra back, we NEED the Ultra back!

Vanessa

December 20, 2010 at 5:17 am

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One last thought, unless I hear back from the companies I’ve written or Dr. Oz…..

Time is on J&J’s side, not ours. They know that. Women are asking why they’ve discontinued the o.b. line and if they realize how negatively this has impacted our lives, etc. Not only do they realize it, they are counting on it.

I am not usually a conspiracy theorist, but this has been a carefully organized and executed strategy on their part. They are patiently waiting out our little “hissy fit” to see how it will affect their bottom line. They will wait for their quarterly profit statement to see if our boycott has made any impact. They want to see if desperate women, having lost their only other option, will feel compelled to turn to Lysteda, ablation, or hysterectomy, from which they hope to profit from tidily. More profit than the o.b. line could ever hope to generate. Enough to offset this wave of discontent. Then, depending upon the results, they may or may not decide to “bring back” the o.b. line. New and improved, no doubt and double the price. They’ve also witnessed to what lengths we will go to purchase the Ultra. For them, its a win-win. Unless, we can blacken their eye with negative publicity.

Also, I am no longer buying TSS as an excuse as to why we can’t find a decent tampon. One that can truly improve our lives. You can certainly buy cigarettes, and we know what the health implications are there, don’t we? They slap a warning label on them and make a fortune. There are any number of over the counter medications we have access to that can be potentially harmful, but we can still buy them. We’re supposed to read the labels and warnings and follow directions.

So where in the hell is our tampon?

I am tired. I am disgusted. Unless we can gain some media coverage on this issue, I fear we are screwed.

SA

December 20, 2010 at 1:42 pm

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Interesting that a new redirect on the US site leads to a company called ‘Ethicon’ (a division of J&J with quite the apropos moniker) and their GYNECARE THERMACHOICE® Uterine Balloon Therapy System.

I suppose they stand to make more from having us undergo an expensive invasive procedure than they will by selling us a few boxes of larger-sized tampons….the f*ckers. Unbelievable.

Sue San Diego

December 20, 2010 at 5:18 pm

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Ok.. I’m not nuts. I have searched everywhere.. yesterday the grocery store was out of ALL OB tampons. It was great to see all these comments. I have purchased the Diva Cup and as gross as it sounds.. I’ll give it a go!! I’m dreading my new period… No other tampon works like OB… I hate all the rest of them. I still think Obamacare might have something to do with this… I’m not sure what.. who knows.

LeAndra

December 20, 2010 at 6:56 pm

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Well, I read some of this while on hold and after getting off the phone with their “customer service,” which I called because their website is not working. As with everyone else, I could not get an answer as to whether or not the company was shutting down or if it was just an issue now. I just can’t believe the PR of a company this size. Seriously. Go back to your marketing classes.

While I feel SO sorry for you monsoon ladies, I only used OB because I liked the discreetness of no applicator and because I’m a tree-huggin’ hippie when it comes to buying things with unnecessary trash. I just called my local natural food store (because Wally World and Target didn’t have non-applicators) and they have 7th Generation non-applicator tampons, a box of 20, for $5.99. I’ve been fortunate enough not to have to buy a box for probably close to a year (please don’t curse me!), so I don’t really know what a “normal” price is. And even if I do use these new tampons, I’m not sure I could tell you if they were good for monsoons or not.

Ugh. Good luck to everyone out there and I hope some “ethical” (environmentally and customer-oriented) company will buy them out!

EBG

December 20, 2010 at 7:26 pm

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Yes, I’m weighing in on the fact that the o.b. super (green box) is also discontinued. It’s not just the Ultra. I checked 6 stores in the Seattle area, Walgreens, Safeway, QFC, Target, Amazon (subscribe-n-save), and Kmart and they were all out of had a handful of boxes. I suspect this is a larger problem than just one line of their product being discontinued. I am searching for a replacement product and company, for me, it’s replacing the green box (super), and this is what I’m going to try: http://www.amazon.com/Natracare-Organic-All-Cotton-Non-Applicator-Absorbency/dp/B001ETR97S

So, suck it J&J. A little heads up next time and some nice corporate transparency would have been decent.
SeattleBleedMuch?

DarkRose

December 20, 2010 at 8:12 pm

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7th Generation, unfortunately, is not comparable. Yes, I love that they’re natural and don’t have all the nasty stuff the more commercial brands have. But when I was working, my office was right next to a Whole Foods, and I once bought a box when I ran out of ob’s at work. They didn’t absorb nearly as well, and they ended up sitting in my desk until I left many months later, only to be tossed because I knew I’d never risk using them again.

I found some of the Instead cups today. Didn’t buy them, but nice to know they’re available locally. Has anyone who is peri or a heavy clotter tried them? I’m really concerned with spillage if I happen to have a very bad clot day…. (sorry, tmi, I know….)

JDC

December 20, 2010 at 10:34 pm

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I just tried the Natracare ones today along with the last of my o.b. supers. The o.b. ones definitely absorb better, no question. I am surprised that Yahoo! News hasn’t picked up on this story yet. The more attention it can get, the more likely J&J is going to start putting out more public statements. If anyone knows someone at Yahoo! who has connections to the news department, that could be helpful. Also, what state are o.b.s manufactured in? If we could get a hold of the legislators from that place, perhaps we could ask them to poke J&J into giving clearer answers on this, particularly if there are any female legislators from there. Just trying to think of things we can actually do. . .

mddg

December 21, 2010 at 12:41 pm

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In the Boston area, the entire O.B. line is unavailable, no matter the size. So something is seriously wrong. A few women reporters in Boston are checking into this and discovered that tampons are classified as a “medical device” and therefore not under the watch of the FDA, but another agency, but no one is quite sure who. No one knows who to turn to to get answers, but these reporters are trying. The J&J website is also not accepting e-mails. When I hit “Send” I get the message “Sorry, you must be more than 13 years of age.” Ha!

Here is a link to the Boston story.
http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2010/12/ob-tampon-mystery/

Karen S

December 21, 2010 at 1:19 pm

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I am so glad I found this site. I have been driving all over North Carolina in search of those damn tampons! I thought I was going crazy! I even asked this poor teenage boy in CVS to order some for me. I’m so disappointed to learn that they have discontinued making my Ultras, I am resorting to using 2 super plus at a time just to get 4 hours of sleep!

Maggie

December 21, 2010 at 1:40 pm

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Great news! I’ve just been corresponding with Vicki from Lil-Lets, and she confirmed that she shipped my order to Canada last week, prior to their temporary policy change. Here’s what she told me:

“At the moment we have stopped shipping out to both the US and Canada until consumer protection insurance for those two countries can be sorted. Once this has been agreed we will indeed be sending our products overseas again.”

Sounds like Lil-lets will be an option again in the near future.

Monica

December 21, 2010 at 2:26 pm

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I e-mailed, called, and signed the petition. I hope that all of our voices together make a difference. Thank you!

Kelly

December 21, 2010 at 4:50 pm

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Here is the response that I got:

Dear Ms Johnson:

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.

With regard to your recent inquiry, it is always important to hear from our consumers and we appreciate the time you have taken to contact us. Our tampons are still being made however they are in limited distribution due to marketing supply issues. Unfortunately, our o.b.®Ultra Absorbency Tampons have been discontinued. We do apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you please be assured that your feedback will be shared with our marketing department.

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 http://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.

Gladys R.
Consumer Care Center

Anne

December 21, 2010 at 10:58 pm

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Arghh! After hours of driving around, and with a pounding heart and a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, I found this blog confirming my worst fears. What are we supposed to do now? Like many other women who suffer from unbearable flooding tidal forces whipped up by the monthly monsoon, without the Ultra there are no viable options. Will we have to quit our jobs and be banished to the ‘menstruation hut’ for days at a time each month? Will we have to sleep on king-size rubber sheets just to make it through the night without ruining our beds and disgusting our significant others?

I just wrote to J&J, and to OB directly:

“I am writing to respectfully inquire about the discontinuation of your OB tampon products, in particular the OB Ultra tampon. As a loyal user of this product for more than 35 years, I am shocked and dismayed that I can no longer find these products in stores, after an exhaustive search. For the legion of perimenopausal baby boomers who rely on the Ultra to allow us to leave the bathroom long enough to hold down a job and sleep for longer than two hours at a stretch, this is an unacceptable loss. How dare you disrespect your most loyal customers in this way, with no warning and no useful product substitute? Along with hundreds of thousands of similarly affected women, I implore you to restock the shelves with these essential products immediately. Rest assured that women throughout the nation will avoid J&J products across the board if the company continues its disrespectful and shameful behavior.

I anticipate your timely response to my complaint.”

Grrr — I am beyond angry. This is unacceptable.

SA

December 22, 2010 at 11:39 am

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Well, I just emailed and made telephone contact with a reporter at Canada’s national news network Global Television and supplied links to every online article regarding this debacle. Wish me luck.

The Case of the Missing o.b. Tampons - NYTimes.com

December 22, 2010 at 1:11 pm

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[...] the “Write the Company” blog, many women said they were upset – “outraged” even — that they were no longer able to find their favorite, [...]

DarkRose

December 22, 2010 at 4:27 pm

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Interesting. So for those of you posting over at the ob facebook page, I had pointed out that Ann, the woman who basically gave us a tongue lashing for being so up in arms over all of this had NOTHING on her facebook page BUT the mighty. small. movement page. No friends, no wall postings, no other pages “liked”. Literally, NOTHING ELSE. I said I smelled a mole, and sure enough, my comment was deleted, and her profile is now “locked” to all but the friends she doesn’t have. So it seems as though people involved with this whole nasty business are now posting to sh*t stir. Wish I’d taken a screen cap of it before it was locked.

Ruth

December 22, 2010 at 5:03 pm

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My year’s worth of Lil-lets Super Plus Extra arrived from Amazon.co.uk and are **terrific!** They are the same length, width, and make up just like Ultras. They are a little more filled in at the tip, still at an angle but just seem to have a tiny bit more at the top (but are no longer in length). The ribbing on the side are vertical rather than at an angle as with Ultras, but it seemed to make no difference in function to me. They expand width wise only just as Ultras did and definitely contain the clots and overwhelming first 3 days of hemorrhaging just as much as OB Ultras ever did for me. Shipping was very expensive though to the US and took 3-1/2 weeks to arrive. I went to post the link to Amazon.co.uk for these, and Amazon says they are no longer carrying these, however. There is much cheaper postage on eBay and seem to be readily available there, so I’d check eBay as well. Make sure you are purchasing: Lil-lets Super Plus Extra non applicator.

I am SO relieved to have my choice of tampons back!! Frankly, these are really identical to Ultras. It was definitely worth the shipping cost from England to have my cleanliness, security, and freedom from embarrassment back!

Dee Bee

December 22, 2010 at 5:29 pm

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I have been going store to store trying to find Ultra OB tampons and have been very upset that not only can I not find them but I cant find the super plus either! I went online to see if I could order a centuries supplies worth as I can’t live without them and imagine my chagrin to find out they NO LONGER MAKE them!!!! Now I can barely find anything but the regular because everyone is buying up all the supers and super plus!!!

I can’t believe a company that has had so much success with a product could do something so utterly stupid. If you need to cut a product cut the regulars! This is unbelievable to me. I have been using OB since I was a teenager (my mom was a faithful user), so that is about 30 years and I am in shock at this decision.

It seems with the feedback the company has been getting they would do as coca cola did when they got rid of the classic coke and BRING BACK THE ULTRAS. Why mess with a good thing?

Jeanette

December 22, 2010 at 6:05 pm

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So, I’m not crazy after all… I have gone from store to store looking for the Ultras, and haven’t found them for the last 2 months… I can probably “make do” with a lot of changing, unlike some women who have much heavier flows than I do, but it’s still an inconvenience.

Keep up the good fight, ladies, and I’ll write and call the evil corporate thieves along with you!

cclarke

December 22, 2010 at 6:17 pm

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What small minds would conceive to do this to so many of us loyal customers? Join the Campaign to get our tampons back – SIGN OUR PETITION.

Vanessa

December 22, 2010 at 7:25 pm

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O.k., I know I said I was done posting……just thought I would throw a little info out there. I’m involved in environmental and toxic issues quite a bit and wanted to pass thing along. Johnson & Johnson, the fine makers of o.b., along with other companies, have also been working hard to weaken state rules that require children’s product manufacturers to reveal the presence of certain chemicals that are harmful to children, including endocrine disrupting chemicals like parabens and phthalates and chemicals that cause learning problems, like lead, in their products.

This is just a bad company. One that I am never going to feel good about again. What else are they hiding?

I really wish that Lil-lets were more widely available and not so damn expensive.

And DarkRose is absolutely right. The o.b. team is hard at work planting “friends” on their facebook page to try and disrupt we naysayers. Oh la la.

DG

December 22, 2010 at 11:06 pm

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Thank you to those who have posted true replacements for the ob ultra. I find the fact the ob has some kind of connection to the development of a ‘pill’ to lessen periods to be collusion and their treatment of long time loyal customers to be appalling. I will gladly purchase lil-lets when they become available in the US and flush ob permanently! I’ve switched to Kotex tampons, which are totally inadequate!!

Teresa

December 23, 2010 at 12:12 pm

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Thanks SA,

Being a Canadian woman I feel we need more of us to make some noise on this side of the border, too. Let’s see if Global News really is concerned about important ‘Global’ issues. Women all over the world who rely on OB products (Ultra at the top of the list) are really having their quality of life taken away from them without any viable alternatives.

Hummingcrow

December 23, 2010 at 2:52 pm

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I wanted to chime in about Moxie tampons from Australia. I visited there 2 summers in a row and found myself in need of their products both times. This was in 2004 & 2005. I don’t recall any “glaze” as mentioned above on the tampons. I’m a monsooner but probably don’t have as heavy flow as some of you – the ob Ultra used to last me 2 hours (and I’ve been using them for 25 years). I was surprised to find that the Largest size Moxie tampons lasted me just as long as the ob Ultras did! And I actually like them better than the ob Ultra. I even liked their pads better than anything made in the US – they’re simple, and don’t contain anything that causes me chafing or discomfort. And they have funny trivia printed on the stuff you peel off to expose adhesive. So I’m clicking for the Moxie product line as a viable alternative for the extinct ob. I bought extra home with me and actually cried when I ran out and had to return to American made products. I’m glad I can buy Moxie in the States!

That said, because of the inexcusable inconsideration of J&J, I am boycotting all their products for the foreseeable future: in other words, THE REST OF MY LIFE.

Because of the loss of ob, I learned to make my own pads. It’s not my favorite solution but I have to remind us all, women did just fine without mass manufactured feminine hygiene products for millennia. My grandmother made her own pads in the 1920s and 1930s. This whole experience has shown me the joy of independence from greedy corporate brands. I’ve begun making my own shampoo and deodorant as well as pads. At this point, the more chemical laden plastic packaged products I can drop forever from my life, the better. I enjoy not being dependent on a product made by someone who does not have my interests in mind, and I save a lot of money, too.

For some of us, the inconvenience of dealing with our own cloth pads will be too much, but we should remember it is an option, and it’s the ultimate revenge against a marketplace that doesn’t care about us.

Now, I’m off to order some Moxie to reward them for making a GOOD product and to have on hand for “backup.”

Good luck and good health to us all!

Lisa E

December 23, 2010 at 5:41 pm

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My 20 year old daughter died in June from tampon related Toxic Shock Syndrome. She was diligent about her hygiene and changed them like clock work. This wasn’t enough. Using only regulars, she still died a horrible needless death. Cheers to OB for taking responsibility and everyone please remember, TSS is happening and much much more than you know!

SA

December 23, 2010 at 5:49 pm

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Theresa –

I am SA (my name is Shauna Kennedy) and I actually tried contacting Beatrice Politti (Health Specialist reporter) at Global a few days ago. Beatrice was on holiday, and the reporter I was steered towards who I sent my findings to emailed me back saying while it was interesting, she “had a lot on her plate’. Unbelievable.

I refuse to drop the ball on this, after what I found. I have since been sending the information I found to every news agency I can reach.

» o.b. Drops the Ball Lunapads Blog: Periods, Politics & Personalities

December 23, 2010 at 7:11 pm

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[...] the cause of the shortage, o.b. users are understandably, quite upset. A slew of comments on WritetheCompany.com reveal just how upset some of them are. A campaign has even been started to ‘girlcott’ [...]

A Johnson

December 23, 2010 at 8:18 pm

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I am completely dumbfounded when I went to Wal-Mart yesterday and the person in the department said she stopped trying to order OB because they have not shown up for weeks/months. So she is using the shelf for other things. This is crazy, this is the only tampon I have ever used and now I am forced to use something else without warning. Someone has to take this to the top and find someone to get OB back on the shelves!!!!!

Emily Hansen

December 23, 2010 at 9:52 pm

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I am freaking out – I cannot find OB tampons anywhere. I have been using these for as long as I can remember and don’t like any others. Please bring them back.

Rebecca

December 24, 2010 at 10:45 am

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U by Kotex tampons are made in Mexico. If J&J wanted to move production to Mexico/China/Taiwan on the cheap, they would move the existing machinery. They probably do not have sufficient production capacity to stockpile a 6 month supply while they move everything. Just one more possibility. If they don’t deny they are moving the production location(s), it may be the real reason for the current lack of product.

Aunt Flo

December 24, 2010 at 4:41 pm

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It was with great shock last week that I discovered ultra had disappeared, and all ob was off the shelf at Walmart. Fortunately, I still had a box at home and decided to try at another store at a later date. Come to find out….they are either discontinued or off the market til next year, depending where your information comes from. Fast forward to yesterday, when I took a trip to our great neighbors to the north for Christmas with the inlaws, and Canada still has them on their shelves. If you go on ob’s Canadian website, the ultras are still listed as a product. Apparently Canadian women have heavier flows than us in the US. I bought six boxes and hopefully will be making a return trip for spring break.

TH

December 25, 2010 at 2:37 am

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To HummingCrow:

Non Applicator Tampons
With signature style, Moxie has made things really simple. Each pack of Moxie tampons contains 16 tampons in two unique and discreet purse-worthy tins with matching candy-striped boxes. Each variant is colour coded for easy selection: Moxie Regular Tampons are peach and Moxie Super Tampons are pink.

Each tampon has a Silken Glaze™ for easier use and is wrapped in a twist-open, biodegradable protective wrap that is sealed with a pretty black bow – gorgeous! Moxie tins are also 100% recyclable and reusable (great for storing button, pins, jewellery and hairpins)

Just a quick note to you, in the second paragraph, please note the SILKEN GLAZE listed. This is a concern. This came off of their website. Just thought you should know. If you are going to be natural free, this would concern me also. We are all trying to find something that was comparable to OB, but we are all out of luck at the moment and pricing other brands are way above what we were paying and the amount. Spend more for less. The American way as is with many other products we are now finding are smaller.

Jenny

December 27, 2010 at 11:37 am

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I’m one more customer who is switching brands due to the cancellation of the ‘ultra’. Goodbye o.b.

Beatrice

December 27, 2010 at 2:48 pm

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Hi Girls,

I finally found a site where i can buy the OB tampons online.
theobtampons.com.

enjoy!
B.

Sharon McElrath

December 27, 2010 at 10:38 pm

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Have you seen the craziness on Ebay? 10 boxes for buy it now of $599. That would tell me there is a demand for them. At 40 years old, it is embarrassing to have a leak issue at work or in public. It’s cruel. What is the manufacturer thinking? I’d pay 10 bucks a box. I’d pay $15 from the manufacturer. It’s one of those gotta have things.

CB

December 28, 2010 at 5:15 pm

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Here is my latest response from the company. Note the line about evaluating bringing the Ultra back.

Thank you for contacting McNeil-PPC, Inc., makers of o.b.® Non-Applicator Tampons. It is always important to hear from our consumers, and we appreciate the time you have taken to contact us.

We appreciate your passion for the o.b.® brand and regret to confirm the discontinuation of the o.b. Ultra product. Please know that we value all of your comments and are currently evaluating the possibility of bringing o.b. Ultra back to shelves.

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 http://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.

The Information Center

Anne

December 28, 2010 at 7:34 pm

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Does anyone know anything about the company referred to in a previous post from Beatrice (on 12/27) where OBs can still be purchased online? The website does not contain much information, and I am concerned this may be a scam … I have written to the company in question, and will keep you posted if I hear back from them.

Thanks!

Moxie Girl USA

December 29, 2010 at 8:36 am

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Dear TH,

We understand you have some concerns about the Silken Glaze on Moxie Non-Applicator tampons. Silken Glaze is a benefit to our tampons as it aids in a smooth insertion and removal. This is not harmful to a woman’s body and our tampons are approved by the FDA.

I understand that you said there was no comparable product to o.b. tampons, however, o.b. tampons also have a coating described on their box as a “Silk Touch”.

If you do try out the Moxie products, we are confident that you will find they are comparable to the o.b. tampons and we would hope you find they are an even better quality product.

Best,
Moxie Girl USA

Torrey Podmajersky

December 29, 2010 at 4:09 pm

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I was raised to avoid talking about periods if it wasn’t absolutely necessary – and then only with an obligatory hushed voice and euphemisms to cover the embarrassment of speaking about such an unpleasant subject. Well, I may not be at my most pleasant (most accommodating?) right before my menstrual flow, but I’ve learned that the truth is not something to be shy about.

Here’s some truth: o.b. tampons are the best product I’ve found for the job, and I’d like to buy more. I’ve been your loyal customer for the past fifteen years. When I have had to use other products, I have been disappointed.

When the Ultra tampon started to disappear, I stocked up, and I looked at your website for an explanation. I figured there was a problem with supply, shipping, distribution – even a problem with equipment, like I experienced once with my contact lens supplier. But I didn’t find an explanation, or even a mention that there were distribution issues. Instead, I found a clicky-button that suggested that heavy menstrual flow is something to be afraid of.

It is neither a disability nor an illness that I can have heavy flow, nor something I should be ashamed of. Really, you think my genetic heritage – full of strong, healthy, brilliant, fertile women, who also tend to have heavy flow – is an illness for which I should buy your subsidiary’s solution?

Instead of informing a customer how to find your product, you’re choosing to demonstrate that you can’t be trusted.

Please respond, Johnson & Johnson.

I’m tired, my back hurts, I’m not ashamed, and I’m not sick. I’d like to hear your explanation, and I’d like to trust you again.

TH

December 29, 2010 at 4:51 pm

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Moxie Girl USA,

Thanks for the response, but the OBs you are referring to are the other type of OB. The one that I used and would like to continue using are the ones that the boxes say “Fluid-Lock” and have nothing to do with the Silk-Touch which looked like netting over the real tampon. I am concerned when anything other than the real tampon is stated, such as yours which mentions “Silken Glaze”. I don’t think your brand would be in line with the “Fluid-Lock” of OB. I will continue to look. The NatraCare would work, but so few for so much.

I hope that J&J and the other company gets their heads out of their a……… and put this product back onto the shelves. It is a disgrace for a company to take their own whatever in to concern and forget who actually puts the $$$$$s into their pockets. And if what others have written that they might be made in Mexico, what will really be in the tampon? If it’s not American Made – why the hell sell it. You can’t trust what is being put into things now days. I’d be a bit concerned with OB being produced in Mexico. Standards, etc.

Anne

December 29, 2010 at 5:27 pm

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No response yet from theobtampons.com people, but finally got identical responses back from OB itself and J&J today — the same blow-off lines that others here have received:

“Thank you for contacting McNeil-PPC, Inc., makers of o.b.® Non-Applicator Tampons. It is always important to hear from our consumers, and we appreciate the time you have taken to contact us.

We appreciate your passion for the o.b.® brand and regret to confirm the discontinuation of the o.b. Ultra product. Please know that we value all of your comments and are currently evaluating the possibility of bringing o.b. Ultra back to shelves.

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 http://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.

The Information Center”

Jill

December 30, 2010 at 1:23 am

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I’ve been waiting for recommendations and am going tomorrow to see if moxie really is at Duane Reade. We’ll see if they come close. Otherwise I will try lilette.

In the meantime I bought a diva cup at whole foods. It’s kind of hard to get used to and you have to be ok with going inside to place the cup. Also you have to have a private sink to wash in case it gets all over your hand, which happened once during a peak moment when i was flowing fast, during removal. However it didn’t leak at all. I dumped it out every 3-4hours and once I feel more confident I bet I can go 4 hours during the monsoon and 6 hours the other days.

Ruth

December 30, 2010 at 11:22 am

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Anne asked: “Does anyone know anything about the company referred to in a previous post from Beatrice (on 12/27) where OBs can still be purchased online? The website does not contain much information, and I am concerned this may be a scam … I have written to the company in question, and will keep you posted if I hear back from them.”

Anne, the theobtampons.com site Beatrice posted about probably isn’t a scam, just a website a person quite legitimately started to take advantage of the present seller’s market of o.b. tampons being in scarce supply instead of selling on eBay. They stocked up when they saw the demand and are making them available for $18.67 (gasp!!) for a box of 18 small tampons. (Just Super, Regular, and Multi-pack.)

Ladies, I’m telling you…Lil-lets Super Plus Extra non applicator through eBay is how to go. ;-)

ELIZABETH

December 30, 2010 at 4:08 pm

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TO Lisa E, all tampons have the potential to cause toxic shock syndrome, not just OB. I am very sorry that your daughter died because of TSS, however I don’t believe J&J ceased production of OB Ultra because of it

Jill

December 30, 2010 at 4:45 pm

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Just wanted to check back in and let you know that Moxie tampons only come in Super size, so they are useless as an alternative. Lil-lets is next on my list to try, just wish I could buy them in a store.

I’m on Day 2 of my Diva Cup, the most horrible day usually, and it is really amazing, no leaking. Once in place properly, it holds for HOURS with no leaks whatsoever. I have a very heavy day 1,2,3 and this is going to be my main replacement for the ultras no question about it. My only hesitation is that if I’m going out at night I don’t think I could empty the cup in a public restroom, it’s just too messy and it is imperative to be sitting down comfortably to get it out and back in without getting blood everywhere or dropping the thing into the toilet accidentally.

Jill

December 30, 2010 at 4:57 pm

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Ok I just ordered the Lil-lets on ebay. It cost $26 including shipping for 100 tampons. My intention is to mainly use the Diva Cup, but have the Lil-lets on hand for when I won’t be near a clean toilet ie at home or work. Thank you for the advice, I hope they are as good as ultras.

Vanessa

December 30, 2010 at 5:16 pm

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The o.b. website is deleting messages they find irksome, so I will post one here.

Two others to maybe contact about this are “The Doctors” show, as they will talk about anything…. And Jane-Valez Mitchell of HLN. She is very concerned and active on women’s health/wellbeing issues. She would not shy away from taking on a corporate giant like J&J. She’d eat it up.

I have heard nothing back from Dr. Oz. They may be reluctant to open this can of worms. Remember the beef blowup with Oprah?

What has been perpetrated here is intolerable. I think its been well established that this was a well thought out strategy on J&J’s part, designed to take advantage of desperate women. Keep our lifeline in place long enough to get their ducks in a row (Lysteda, Uterine Balloon Therapy, etc) and then yank it out from under us and watch us “Flock to their new treatments” as someone else so succinctly put it on the o.b. website.

We are fine just the way we are. Just give us a damn tampon that works, from a decent company.

I am also in agreement with the concerns about o.b. made in Mexico. There are toxins aplenty there that are not subject to any kind of regulation. Not sure if there are any safeguards in place for imports….. After the scandalous handling of children’s toys, pet foods, etc., I would not put my faith in the FDA or any government agency to oversee such things.

I would love to buy Lil-lets. But, they are expensive and you have to have a Paypal account to do so. Paypal has its own issues. There are also hidden fees associated with eBay, Paypal and international purchases. If you know a way around that, I am all ears!

DG

December 30, 2010 at 7:12 pm

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Wow that site has some ob tampons for 89.00 plus shipping! Gauge!

Deborah

December 30, 2010 at 8:15 pm

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No hidden fees on Pay pal. You just link it to a credit card. It’s much like making a purchase over the phone or at an online store, except your money is protected if you do not get delivery of a product. I’ve had good experiences and purchased Lil-lets via ebay-uk. You must convert the price to the US dollar to find the true price and then add international shipping. For me, it’s worth it. The cup thing also sounds like an alternative. I had never heard of them before, and if you can go 12 hours, you would only have to empty it at home instead of a public restroom. On a heavy day you could do the Lei-lets in the morning and switch to the cup in the afternoon to cut back on how many tampons you have to use and be able to empty it at home.

Anne

December 30, 2010 at 8:35 pm

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Dear Ruth,

Thank you for your reassuring comments re: theobtampons.com website … it’s just that you can’t be too careful these days when handing your credit card information over to a complete stranger! They never did respond to my email, although I see that they have been active on the site.

DarkRose

December 30, 2010 at 8:42 pm

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Looked to see what the local Vons store had for OB supplies today and found a whopping 5 boxes of 40 count regulars, at nearly $8 a pop. That’s it. Wish I had the extra income to order Lillets, but unfortunately right now that’s a luxury I can’t afford. Guess I’m stuck with the Pearl Ultras, even though I hate them. Nothing else that’s available locally works any better, though. Can’t even find the 7th Generation super plus ones here. Maybe I’ll suck it up and try the Instead or Diva cups, for when I’m at home or somewhere I know I have easy access to a sink to wash up after/wash the cup out.

Nancy

December 31, 2010 at 12:48 am

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I found some 7th Generation super plus at Big Lots.

Vanessa

December 31, 2010 at 5:05 pm

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Ok. Thanks Deb, but when I was investigating the whole ordering Lil-lets over eBay with PayPal, there was mention of conversion fees on both eBay’s part and Paypal. And a charge on international orders. Not so?

Until then, its the cup for me. Giving it a try anyway. My midwife said I was kind of “tilted” in there, so not sure if it will work for me.

Does anybody know how the thing doesn’t leak if you are laying down? I mean, how does it not just, runneth over? I have no doubt its gonna be a messy business, but it can’ t be any worse than what I went thru yesterday. Stuck pig anyone?

Vanessa

December 31, 2010 at 5:17 pm

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Oh, and p.s. Natracare, also based in the UK, can bite me. Have tried to contact them twice and nothing, no response. Not even so much as a courtesy “robo-reply”.

A hearty “FU, we don’t care!” would have at least been something! Doesn’t say much about their customer protocol. Miss Manners would not approve.

Angie

December 31, 2010 at 5:27 pm

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It absolutely blows my mind that a product that has been so liberating and freeing for women has suddenly hijacked our confidence like this. It’s sickening.

Claire

December 31, 2010 at 7:47 pm

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MONSOON – that is the word that I read over and over here. Someone should start a “Monsoon” email / letter writing/ blog post campaign targeting the Johnson & Johnson marketing folks that oversee personal care products (if anyone can figure out a name or address).

Also, in terms of alternatives, I have heard people suggest Seventh Generation Super Plus (as being close to the Ultra in absorbency) and NatraCare Super Plus. Haven’t tried either.

Claire

December 31, 2010 at 7:50 pm

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MONSOON 2 – It seems the point to make is that this is a Quality of Life (a word used in Health Care, right?) issue for many women. If they are a health care company (maybe they don’t consider themselves that) they should pay attention to the quality of life issue for women who have HEAVY periods.

Rachel

January 1, 2011 at 2:58 am

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Oh I just found out that the Ultra’s are discontinued, I thought I was just having bad luck………..like really bad: nowhere in all of Portland and Salem Or selling them and lots of stores not selling OB at all!

I spent my last four periods confined to my house, bleeding all over myself, my clothing, my bed. I had to buy a waterproof pad to put under my sheet and then wash my sheet and all my pants daily. I kept a towel by the toilet to clean myself with and another to clean the potty with. When my husband tired to snuggle me at night I would push him away with tears in my eyes b/c I was afraid I would bleed on him. Thankfully I married a REAL MAN who tells me that there is nothing disgusting about me or my period, he says it is the way God made me so that our love can make babies. (what a sweet heart!) Still, it would have caused me immeasurable humiliation to risk bleeding on him (or any other human being).

Using a pad is not an option as I am deathly allergic to elastic. Oh but pads don’t have elastic….pads sit in panties, try to find a pair of panties that don’t have elastic. About 8 years ago I tried the cup instead of tampons b/c I thought it would work better since I have heavy periods. After two cycles it destroyed the muscles in my vagina. My bladder “fell into” my vagina. Can you say pain? Rehabilitation? I couldn’t make love to my husband, I was in constant pain. Needless to say it is not something I have available as an alternative. I don’t want to sound like a teenager but this sucks! OB Ultra was the ONLY tampon that worked, using a lesser absorbency is about the dumbest suggestion I have ever heard. The suggestion that I replace my monthly supply of tampons with drugs is offensive and dangerous and sexist. I am at the britsuperstore one of you suggested earlier to order a box of lilets…….I hope they work. If they do I will buy enough boxes to last the next 5 years or so.

Shame on OB! I sent them a letter, I doubt it will be taken any more seriously than anyone elses but silence isn’t gonna help! God bless the man that wrote this letter, I laughed the whole time btw.

DG

January 1, 2011 at 11:34 am

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It looks like the parent company johnson and johnson has some legal woes for problems in its drug manufacturing. So that now calls into question concerning ob tampons- not necessarily the manufacturing thereof, but the fiduciary state of McNeil. It also makes one wonder about the drug that they wanted heavy period people to use. I’m not stating that they did anything wrong, just that there are problems. The shareholders of Johnson and Johnson have filed suit.

Now I’m beginning to wonder if ob tampons will return in any form to the market. (Please note that this is all conjecture based on reading some articles– and again they have to do with the drug manufacturing of the parent company that owns the OB brand; NOT the OB brand itself.)

http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2010/12/njs_johnson_johnson_facing_sha.html

http://www.newsinferno.com/pharmaceuticals/another-johnson-johnson-facility-found-lacking/

http://managementhelp.org/blogs/business-ethics/2010/12/22/jj-accused-of-ignoring-red-flags/

Jennifer

January 2, 2011 at 6:44 am

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Hi — I’m rethinking my recent dependence on OB Ultras now that I’ve read this. For several months I’ve had two big boxes of the things, not hoarded but bought on accident. I had no idea there was a shortage until I ran out the recently and dashed to the store for replacements, only to find every store’s shelves not only not stocking the Ultras (which they haven’t for a while, come to think of it) but now completely bare of anything OB. (I ended up buying Natracare, but after reading the above I’m thinking maybe it’s time to give up the tampon habit completely.)

To those of you who are unable to cope with using regular stick-on pads (I can’t stand them either, they irritate my skin and always come unstuck anyway), ever since the first couple of weeks after my son was born, I’ve been a loyal and happy fan of a product called Glad Rags:

http://www.gladrags.com/s-11-gladrags-pads-faq.aspxl

These are my faves:

http://gladrags.com/p-21-gladrags-color-night-pads.aspx

They might seem kind of expensive at first glance compared to a box of tampons, but they are reusable, easy to clean with a bucket of Oxiclean or the like, and most importantly, they are insanely comfortable. I usually use them along with tampons for my “monsoons” (love that!) but now I’m thinking of going back to just Glad Rags — and yes, giving up some activities for a few days each month. I’d much rather do that than end up sick from fibers left behind in my uterus. Yuck!

Rebecca

January 2, 2011 at 7:13 pm

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All of the pounding is having an effect. J&J has taken out ads on Google. As of the time of this post, if you google o.b. tampons, you will see several sponsored results (ads) at the top of the stack. There is one by obtampons.com which reads: Stores Out of o.b.® Tampons Will be Restocked Soon. Get More Info Here.

If you click on the ad, you will come to a page on the o.b. tampons web site and a message at the top of it dated December 27, 2010. It talks about a “temporary supply interruption”.

Terry

January 2, 2011 at 8:49 pm

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Apparently Playtex has a new tampon with a flushable applicator. It’s called Beyond and comes in Super Plus. I am going to try some….ordering from amazon.com. They are expensive, but worth a try. Playtex used to be my favorite brand before I tried OB…

Mizushi

January 2, 2011 at 9:21 pm

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I say leave the cotton behind! I loved OB and its the only tampon i have used constantly (except for the occasional borrowed from friends in emergency -_-‘) it ticked me right off that i couldn’t find either the Ultra or the Super Plus at the drugstore. There wasn’t even a shelf space for them! i had to settle for the Super…which really aren’t that super, I had to change almost every hour…i work in retail…i don’t get potty breaks every hour…I’m lucky to get one at all.

If tampon companies are so willing to shut down manufacturing without any kind of warning I say screw ‘em! I have recently found out that there is a silicone alternative to tampons that works like a little cup. A friend of mine has been using it for the past few months and she will never touch a tampon again. I had been sticking to OB out of customer loyalty but if this is the way they treat us women after years and years of purchasing their product, I’m using up whats left of my meager stores and heading on down to the health store for a less cottony solution to my monthly problem.

Catherine Nedham

January 3, 2011 at 10:08 am

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I can only pray for menopause, because I won’t be able to leave the house for a few days every month. The Ultra o.b. was the only product on the market that worked for me. I wish the company had given some notice (press) regarding changes, so customers could have stocked up. I feel like I’m being held hostage by Johnson & Johnson. Why can’t the other companies make a decent product?

DG

January 3, 2011 at 1:19 pm

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While I’m glad people are finding the diva cup or similar products, those are not right for everyone. Menstral cups can have the side effect of UTIs, and in rare instance muscle fatigue and severe bladder problems. Also, coupled with a person who may have chronic diastasis symphysis this may not work for them, and cause pain. So while I applaud those that can use the cup – there are some of us who can’t. Currently, I’m waiting for some lil-lets that I purchased via ebay. I hope these are comparable. Otherwise I’m hoping for menopause to hit with a vengeance!

Susan White

January 3, 2011 at 10:43 pm

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I am 51 years old and have been using OB products exclusively for over 30 years. I only became aware about 2 months ago that there was an issue with supply of OB tampons. I am like a crazy woman driving from drugstore to drugstore on Cape Cod looking for this product. I figure I only have 6-12 months more of needing this product and this isn’t fair!

DG

January 4, 2011 at 9:07 am

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I highly recommend lil-lets from the UK. I purchased mine off of ebay. The super plus extra are exactly the size of the ob ultra.

land of shimp

January 4, 2011 at 11:43 am

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Hey there, I’m not here to shill for a particular product but I know how upset I was when I couldn’t find the OBs any longer. Honestly, like having incredibly heavy periods isn’t difficult enough without long relied on products disappearing for no apparent reason. It can’t be an issue of lack of demand, seeing as I’m far from the only person upset.

So anyone, I did find a suitable substitute: Maxim Organic Super Plus are practically interchangeable with the OB Ultras (they are larger than OB Super Plus, and more comparable to the Ultras). Exact same product design, no applicator, same expanding design. I got them at Drugstore.com.

Like I said, not trying to promote a particular product for any kind of personal gain. I just know I was about ready to cry last month over the OB Ultra thing. I found an almost identical and thought I’d say something in the name of the sisterhood and all that.

DarkRose

January 4, 2011 at 12:58 pm

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Reposting this comment here, since I’m sure it’ll be pulled from the mighty small movement fb page:

Dear J&J: When creating fake user accounts to drive up the number of “likes” on you product page (and undoubtedly to make posts counter to what your consumers write), it might be a smart idea to, oh, I don’t know… make sure they have other interests beyond your products, and other friends other than other fake accounts and people who list themselves as part of the J&J management team. Just sayin’.

There are a couple of “followers” on the site who I seriously doubt are real people. The only “interests” listed on their profiles are for J&J/McNeil products (neosporin, tylenol, clean and clear, etc), and all list Toni Kuczynski as a “friend”. Ms. Kuczynski lists her employment as “New Channels Manager” for J&J, since July of ’86. More than a little suspicious if you ask me.

Vanessa

January 4, 2011 at 4:06 pm

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Thanks Land of Shrimp. I am at the end of my menstrual rope, as it were. Will try them. I owe Natracare an apology. Finally heard back from them. Wish it were better news.

Dear Vanessa,

Thank you for contacting Natracare. I apologize, however, our recent move and the holidays have set me back a bit. We love hearing from our customers, and appreciate you taking the time to write. We have heard from many women in regards to OB’s discontinuation of the Ultra tampon.

At this time, we are unable to manufacture an ultra tampon, and quite honestly question the safety of tampons with this absorbency. Have you had the opportunity to try our Super Plus tampons? I understand this would mean changing the tampon more frequently, but the quality and safety of our products is second to none, and ultimately women’s health
is our primary concern.

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Kind regards,
Kim (Last name withheld by WTC)
Natracare LLC
3620 W 10th St., Unit B #406
Greeley, CO 80634

Phone: 970-304-0076
Fax: 970-304-0074

So, there you have it. Their super plus would not do for me, only on light days. Like a sister on the o.b. website said, it would be akin to a Q-tip on monsoon days. God forbid I had to sneeze or cough, would be like a projectile missile.

Vanessa

January 4, 2011 at 5:11 pm

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Here is my response to Ms. (Last name withheld by WTC) of Natracare:

Dear Kim,

Thank you for responding to my email. I understand your concerns about safety, but many of us have been using the o.b. Ultra for 20- 30 years without a problem. Pretty good safety trial, I’d say. Yes, there will always be women who misuse products to their own detriment, but there are far more of us who use them responsibly and actually NEED an Ultra.

You make a fine tampon, no question, but your super plus will not hold us heavy bleeders long enough to make it worth even using, except on our light days. The original Ultra was a Godsend for all of us. In its current form, it was not as effective, but better than anything else we could get. When you have to change your tampon every half an hour, it impacts your entire life. There are a LOT of us.

We don’t need pills, uterine balloon therapy, or hysterectomies, as the fine makers of o.b. would have us believe. We just require a tampon that suits our needs. Since Lil-lets makes one comparable to the Ultra, but doesn’t sell to the U.S., as of yet, we were hoping you would be able to come to our rescue.

I am disappointed, but appreciate your attention on this.

Thanks anyway,

I checked out Drugstore.com for the Maxims and they are sold out at the moment. But the price! Only 20 in a box. Isn’t it bad enough we have to bleed all over ourselves all the damn time? Do we need to be gouged on top of it?

Damn it all to hell and back. I am SO MAD!!!!! I guess a wad of toilet paper will be my new tampon and I will just sit at home and bleed. That’s practical.

Sheila

January 4, 2011 at 7:07 pm

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I can’t believe the ultra has been discontinued, I’ve searched every cvs, rite aid and k-mart around for a lost box on the shelf. No such luck. I am at a loss of what to do. Any suggestions on a brand to switch to?

Dianna

January 4, 2011 at 8:25 pm

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I just finished up a “cycle” and used Lil Lets from England for the first time. They worked as well as Ultras. They seem to be more dense than Ultras and you cannot flare out the tops like the Ultras but they did the job. Hopefully, Lil Lets will become available in the U.S. and we won’t have to order them from over there.

Larissa

January 4, 2011 at 9:43 pm

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About a month ago, I, like so many of you already have, emailed Johnson & Johnson inquiring on why I can no longer find my favourite tampon. It probably won’t surprise you that it took them A MONTH! to get back to me! As if that wasn’t bad enough, they only half answered my questions as they only stated that the Ultra was discontinued and didn’t even mention the rest of the product line.

Their reply, however, was a bit different from what I have seen posted here so far. Though I hesitate to get my hopes up, all our inquiries, complaints, etc. ma not be completely lost on them:

Dear Larissa,

Thank you for your contact regarding Johnson & Johnson Inc..

It is always important to hear from our consumers, and we appreciate the time you have taken to contact us.

We appreciate your passion for the o.b. brand and regret to confirm the discontinuation of the o.b. Ultra product. Please know that we value all of your comments and are currently evaluating the possibility of bringing o.b. Ultra back to shelves.

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 http://WWW.OBTAMPONS.CA or by calling our toll-free number, 1-877-454-7843. Our specialists are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. EST and will be happy to assist you.

Joyce M.
Consumer Care Center

Melissa

January 4, 2011 at 11:23 pm

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I just about had a mental breakdown last month when I first realized the Ultras were being discontinued. Like many of the women above, I go through an Ultra an hour/hour and a half on my heavy days. What am I going to do for the rest of my fertile life? If I could find a gyno who would give a hysterectomy to a young woman with no children, I’d be on the operating table tomorrow!

I sent all my female friends on a scavenger hunt, and I managed to acquire about 7 boxes of Ultras. I’ve also bought a couple of the cups a la Diva Cup / Keeper / Lunette /etc. So many more options on the market compared to the last time I looked, about five years ago. My first attempt with the cup has not gone well, but I’m told I just need to stick with it and maybe try a couple different shapes/models.

I’ve written ob, and I’m with all of you in your anger/frustration!

JEF

January 5, 2011 at 7:36 pm

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OB has a note on their website now “December 27, 2010: To our valued customers: o.b.® tampons experienced a temporary supply interruption that has resulted in some stores being out of stock. We are working hard to bring supply back in line with demand and expect these stores to be restocked soon. We apologize to those who may have been inconvenienced.”

Like Susan White & many others I was blown away when I visited Target, then a couple of other stores last month & found either no OB tampons or only the Regular & Super in stock (which are mostly useless). I am close to turning 53 & as regular as a clock still but hope that time is coming when I don’t have to worry about this anymore…meanwhile it is a terrible inconvenience to have to try other brands when you have something that works well. This is worse than trying on bathing suits & jeans put together!

I have been loyal to OB’s since I discovered them probably in 1974-5 – if they were out then. I tried another brand starting today & it is nowhere near as effective, even tho I’m on the lighter side as compared to some of the other commenters.

Shame on them. They should know better than to mess w/a bunch of menstrual mama’s!

TH

January 5, 2011 at 9:32 pm

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To JEF:

I think the entire United States and parts unknown are completely out of OB. I live in Portland, Oregon and there are no places that have even a hint of them, let alone a place on the shelf anymore. When I did find a couple of boxes of Super Plus (Haggen’s), couple month ago, they were clearance and $9.00 a box which was way more than I paid at other stores. No one has them and we are a group of women who has used this product for over 25 years and that J & J can do something like this is unspeakable. Then to tell us that we should have surgery or go on medication. Well, I have news for them. My doctor won’t take the plumbing out as she would rather I go through menopause like every other normal person regardless if I have a heavy (monsoon) time. There is no reason to go under the knife. So, I am in the same boat as everyone else and don’t really know what to do. I have am looking.

We need to really protest. If I lived where the company was, being unemployed, I would be protesting every day at the front door.

DG

January 6, 2011 at 9:04 am

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So far ladies it looks here are the alternatives to try

Lil-lets, which look exactly to be the same width as the ob or slightly larger. Please note that this product has rayon mixed in so if you are allergic or worried about TSS this tampon may not be right for you. (although since ob was a mix I presume most of us won’t have a problem)

Maxim Organic Super Plus has been suggested as being a good replacement and it is 100% cotton. The absorbency rating is slightly lower, but an individual said is was larger than the ob super.

Some other not so perfect attempts

Moxie- which is said to absorb well width unknown to this poster

natracare- which is only comparable to the ob super

There’s the tampon round up.

Many are trying out menstral cups as an alternative as well.

Just thought I’d summarize the great posts of alternatives. If you find one please post it. :)

Vanessa

January 6, 2011 at 3:02 pm

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Hang in there gals. Lil-lets is chomping at the bit to get their products to the U.S. and Canada.

O.b. just did all the test marketing for them! They know there is huge demand and quite frankly, I have more faith in their quality control and integrity than I will ever have in J&J. The more I read about J&J, the more worried I get about what we don’t know. The most disturbing thing that keeps surfacing is the CALCULATION and foreknowledge they had about safety and quality issues. ELEVEN recalls in that many months. Faulty devices, contaminated pharmaceuticals, plants getting cited by FDA and ignored. Not good.

If they were that devious with the aforementioned, I feel safe in our conclusion that this entire o.b. debacle was also a well calculated strategy on their part. Yes, we already knew that, but it just reaffirms everything we suspected. They should not be rewarded for such practices.

I am done with J&J.

Calli

January 6, 2011 at 3:23 pm

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I just called the company. The rep on the phone said she didn’t think the Ultra’s were going to be made again but they were “looking into the possibility” of bringing them back.

When I asked her what the company actually needed in order to make it happen, she said she didn’t know. So I said, “what if I start a campaign against J&J to get more people on board to help us fight for our product?”

So, she called in a supervisor…

The supervisor started talking to the customer service rep and did NOT know I could hear her. This is what she said to the rep:

“Whatever”
“WHO CARES!”
“Tell her the standard thing we tell you to say and get her off the phone, we don’t care if she is unhappy.”

I was absolutely amazed and told the rep that I could hear everything the supervisor was saying and that I am going to tell the world now that J&J does not care about it’s customers! The rep sounded embarrassed that I overheard the supervisor.

So here I am, letting everyone know that J&J doesn’t care about it’s customers. They DO NOT care. The supervisor is not only an idiot for speaking to the rep in a place where I could overhear her, but is also an idiot for speaking this way toward a customer, many customers, who are angry that an important product has been taken away from us.

Don’t hold your breath ladies. It is not looking good that the Ultra’s will be brought back. BUT, I say it’s high time we get this campaign in high gear and let J&J know WE CARE and won’t be treated like this!

J&J doesn’t care about its customers.

Rebecca

January 6, 2011 at 6:20 pm

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Replying to Calli’s post:

Her report indicates ineffective management of the division responsible for the o.b. tampons. Unfortunately, the people managing and running the Call Center were apparently not given a “backgrounder” so that they could field queries from the public.

What makes their position untenable is the continuing production by both Lil-lets and Johnson & Johnson Germany of very heavy flow tampons. J&J in Wuppertal, Germany makes a tampon also called the Super Plus. However, it has a capacity of 18-21g, much higher than the old North American-made “Super Plus”, so on a par with the Ultras. Even more interesting is the fact that Lil-lets have been made in the UK by an operation that apparently obtained the rights fr0m the original German inventors. These same German inventors eventually sold out to Johnson & Johnson.

The only thing stopping J&J from importing tampons from the German plant is there is no record of having applied for FDA approval of the German plant. But since dozens of countries get German-produced o.b. tampons, there mustn’t be anything wrong with them.

Hopefully some of the German ebay sellers will put up a page in both English and German and offer to ship to the USA.

stacey

January 6, 2011 at 9:58 pm

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Boycott OB…oh course we will b/c no other size works!!! What a terrible decision by OB!!!!!!!!

I recently purchased Tampax Pearl in Ultra (also Purple) and was surprised at their effectiveness…definitely the best alternative out there and deserving of our business even if they are more expensive :(

Rachel

January 7, 2011 at 12:35 am

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I’m a big fan of the write the company and have been doing it since I could read and write. I’m beyond bummed about the tampon shortage. I didn’t know because I usually buy 2 months at a time and was so distressed after going to 3 different stores today I had to go on my cell phone to look up what the hell was going on.

I tried a different product. We’ll see if it works…but applicators are so super nasty. Ugh.

I have been using OBs for 20 plus years. My friends always thought they were gross but at least I never looked like I was carrying a slim jim in my pocket. I’m supposed to go out tomorrow night. How am I supposed to be discreet carrying something the size of a highlighter around in my pocket?!?

Renee

January 7, 2011 at 5:23 am

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I just emailed Lil-lets the following letter. Fingers crossed that we get a positive response!

Dear Sir or Madam.

By now I’m sure you are aware of the OB Tampon debacle that is going on in the United States. Johnson & Johnson, in a sudden, cynical and unethical move, abruptly discontinued their incomparable, absolutely necessary Ultra from their EXTREMELY loyal customer base. They did so without warning, explanation or conscious, leaving us with no effective alternative. Even their smaller absorbancy models have completely disappeared off shelves across the country as desperate women have scrambled and hoarded whatever products they’ve been able get their hands on.

Johnson & Johnson’s customer care has been abysmal and it is very clear that their move has been one hundred percent calculated, completely profit-driven and done with zero regard for the real life impact on their devoted (many for decades) consumers. We are convinced that their tampon discontinuation has been strategically and purposefully orchestrated in order to force women into either ingesting their higher profit-making medications or undergoing their unnecessary surgical procedures in order to manage heavy, yet normal, monthly bleeding. (Their new company tagline should be “chemicals and cutting for convenience!”) It is disgraceful.

Simply saying this is immoral, misogynist and mercenary is a grave understatement and we are furious. I wanted to take the time to direct you to three websites in particular where many, many women are making their outrage known. We are hoping that you can see a golden opportunity for a captive market here in the States and come to our rescue. It goes without saying that in the year 2011, it is appalling that such a basic and recurrent need for half the country’s population is in such a primitive and punitive state. I am dismayed and demoralized that there is even the need for me to write this letter. Your time and attention to this urgent matter would be greatly appreciated by many, many, many women and on behalf of them I say thank you in advance.

Please see:

http://writethecompany.com/sizing-up-o-b-tampons
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/ob_ultra_tampons/signatures?page=1
http://obultratampons.com/ob-ultra-tampon-petition

Renee

January 7, 2011 at 12:17 pm

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Wow!!! What a difference in customer care. In just a few short hours I received the following response to my letter to Lil-lets. I feel optimistic that we may have some hope for an “ultra” tampon in the near future and that OB and Johnson & Johnson can reap what they’ve sown… brand damage and big, fat lost profits.

Hi Renee

Thank you for your e-mail with regard to the availability of Lil-lets tampons in the United States.

I would advise you that here at Lil-lets we understand completely that some women rely on a 15-18 gram tampon to allow them to go about their everyday lives and we are currently taking advice on the best way for us, as a company, to offer US consumers the benefits of the Lil-lets range while complying with all applicable US legal requirements.

You can be assured that once we have reached a satisfactory outcome I will be contacting you again with details of how to go about purchasing Lil-lets tampons.

Thank you once again for contacting Lil-lets and please be assured of my best attention at all times.

Kindest Regards

Vicki

Vicki (Last name withheld by WTC)

Quality Assurance & Technical Manager
Lil-lets UK Limited

2nd Floor, Radcliffe House, Blenheim Court,
Solihull, West Midlands, B91 2AA
Tel. + 44 (0)121 270 8104
Fax. + 44 (0)121 270 8120
(personal email address withheld by WTC)

Lil-lets – The UK’s No.1 non-applicator tampon

Renee

January 7, 2011 at 12:47 pm

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Last update. In response to Vicki’s letter, I emailed back the following:

Hi Vicki.

Thank you so much for your speedy and optimistic response. What a difference from what we have, unfortunately, become accustomed to from OB and Johnson & Johnson. Their business practices are head-scratchingly deplorable.

I truly hope your ability to bring your product to the US is both successful and timely. Several women on the sites I mentioned in my previous letter have been able to procure your “Super Plus Extra” tampons and have been excited and relieved to report that they find them even better than the now defunct OB “Ultra.”

Again, thank you so much for your prompt attention. I (and many others) anxiously await any updates you can give us.

Have a nice weekend!

Let’s collectively send positive thought waves across the pond and see if we can’t effect a successful action that returns our personal health decisions back into our own hands. Take that Johnson & Johnson!

Claire

January 7, 2011 at 8:20 pm

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Email I got from customer service said Ultra was discontinued, but they are “evaluating the possibility of bringing o.b. ultra back to shelves” (email below).

Has anyone reached out to their o.b. or primary care doc?

From:
Date: Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 7:45 AM
Subject: McNeil-PPC, Inc. Reference – 010305158A
To: [my email]

Dear [my name],

Thank you for contacting McNeil-PPC, Inc., makers of o.b.® Non-Applicator Tampons. It is always important to hear from our consumers, and we appreciate the time you have taken to contact us.

We appreciate your passion for the o.b.® brand and regret to confirm the discontinuation of the o.b. Ultra product. Please know that we value all of your comments and are currently evaluating the possibility of bringing o.b. Ultra back to shelves.

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 http://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.

The Information Center

Calli

January 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm

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Renee,

Such fantastic news! I will definitely give my business to Lil-Lets!

How wonderful to know there is a company out there who cares! YAY for Lil-Lets! Keep us posted!!

*sending positive thoughts*!

deborah

January 8, 2011 at 2:18 am

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I too am appalled by this development

I sent the following letter to J&J I do not expect any response

I just learned the ob Ultra is discontinued. I am VERY unhappy about this situation. It is the only tampon on the market the does the job. Even the super plus cannot touch the performance of the OB Ultra. I have to work for a living and cannot use the 0B super plus as I will have to be in the bathroom changing tampons every 10 minutes.

This is a major set back for me. I feel like women’s rights have been taken away as there are many of us that will have to be confined at home during our menstral periods. I am not being overly dramatic. How can you go out, function and be productive at work when you have to be in a bathroom changing tampons every ten minutes?

I have heard there is a tampon in europe that might work.. but they don’t currently sell to the usa… so I guess I will have to fly to europe to buy tampons!!!!

I do take this discontinuation very personally… I am dependent on this product as are many other women with heavy flows. It is not like we have a choice and can change our flow rates….

I am very disappointed in your company and its lack of understanding of your customers needs.. and the lack of compassion! You might as well be stealing a wheelchair out for under a handicapped person….

Anastasia

January 8, 2011 at 10:01 am

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Went to the gym over the holidays and The View was on the television. I don’t normally watch this but noticed that they are sponsored by J&J. This might be another avenue in addition to Ellen and Dr Oz.

Linda

January 9, 2011 at 1:07 am

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BOYCOTT!!!!!! All J & J products. This happened a couple of years ago with Tampax raising the price and cutting back on the product. The women won. Like another poster said, women are the ones who usually buy all the households anyway. So lets get going. Its a new year and spring is around the corner. No more wearing white capris on a nice sunny spring day; at the park, on the boat, on a date, or just out about town. So ladies while out buying products, if the company name is not on the front of the product, LOOK buy the bar scan, or somewhere on the back of the product. We all know bad news travel faster than good news. So lets get out there on the social networks, texting, emailing, or a bumper sticker lets get the word out. We aren’t going to stand for this “literally”. Lets get them were it hurt, in their pockets. IF WE DON’T WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A MISERABLE SPRING, AND GOD KNOWS, A TERRIBLE SUMMER!!!!!!!!!!!.

Katherine Kramer

January 9, 2011 at 2:08 am

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I’ve used OB tampons on and off for years. It was the very first tampon I ever used (back then some even had applicators!). Now I’m having trouble finding them, let alone the ultra. It’s like all the good things are gone. My Dove face moisturizer, my covergirl slate eyeliner, my skintimate shave gel, my favorite pantyliner, Ortho-gynol contraceptive jelly, a victoria secret bra and now my tampon! I’m so upset–I’ll stock up and buy in bulk!

Teri Lynn

January 9, 2011 at 7:23 am

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I will be buying Lil-lets from the UK every chance I get. When govt agencies clamp down (no pun intended) on a woman’s ability to get her period products, I will find them elsewhere. HAVING A HEAVY PERIOD IS NOT A MEDICAL PROBLEM, FDA!!!!! It’s called being a woman. (dumb f*cks)

ericd316

January 10, 2011 at 5:29 am

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I know of an online store that still has a few in stock. They ain’t cheap but they will get you through til OB restores production. Go to the following link. http://www.amazon.com/gp/browse.html?ie=UTF8&marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER&me=A2TUOEM7I6GD5C

(See Write The Company response to this comment below)

Jacinda

January 10, 2011 at 7:35 am

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While this may not explain the discontinuation of the ultra line, I wonder if the general OB shortage may be due to something that has adversely affected the fashion industry over the last 6 months. There is an extreme cotton shortage. It has caused many clothing manufacturers to either increase their prices or find alternate fibers (which isn’t an option for tampon manufacturers).

Several smart clothing manufacturers had seen this coming and were smart enough to stockpile cotton early on, but this only exacerbated the shortage and other manufacturers who weren’t as savvy have had to drop their cotton products or use cotton blends to reduce the use of cotton. Could J&J & the OB line be just a victim of the cotton crisis?

Write The Company

January 10, 2011 at 9:36 am

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RE: Comment from ericd316 – o.b. Ultra Absorbency Tampons, 40-Count Box (3 pack) are currently listed as #7 – $154.99 (2 left in stock). Write The Company does not endorse, recommend or run checks on any companies or resellers mentioned here. Do your research before purchasing from any business, especially at these prices. Whoever thought we’d see the day when sellers of tampons started charging like ticket brokers?

Mary in NJ

January 10, 2011 at 10:41 am

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I tried the Moxie products and have found them to work just as well as ob tampon. I was also in Duane Reade yesterday and they are on sale for $4.99 a pack. This is a good deal as they are normally $6.99 a pack. I am not interested in paying up to $15 for a pack of ob tampons so I think I am going to stick with Moxie for now.

Rebecca

January 10, 2011 at 11:23 am

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Replying to Jacinda,

While I don’t think the problems affecting the fashion industry are the cause of the total lack of o.b. tampon production, it may be one reason why J&J is keeping quiet.

First, most tampons are made of a blend of rayon and cotton. Rayon is made from cellulose, in turn mostly made from wood chips. Second, we have not heard of other major brands of tampons (Kotex, Tampax, Playtex) being in short supply.

After reading yet another article by WBUR-FM radio staff:
http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2011/01/o-b-tampon-shortage-toxic/ the thought crossed my mind that J&J may be switching to all cotton, or to a different fiber blend, and just wants to get a jump on the competition. I clearly label this as blue-sky speculation. In the article, WBUR’s interview subject also offers some reasons why J&J could be keeping quiet.

DG

January 10, 2011 at 7:25 pm

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Natracare is now on my not so friendly list the response from the rep as follows:

Thank you for contacting Natracare. We are sorry about the inconvenience of your current situation.

As you probably know, Natracare uses only 100% certified organic cotton for all tampons we make. This is a standard that we will not compromise on as this is the safest tampon for women, and it is also healthier for the environment. We will not use any synthetic fibers, such as rayon, as most companies choose to do to make tampons more absorbent, and we question the safety of an ultra tampon due to TSS occurrences. Therefore, we have no plan to start making Ultra absorbency tampons.

While we certainly sympathize with your situation, we must stick by our principles.

We would be happy to offer you some of our Natracare super plus non-applicator tampons to try if you would like. I will just need a mailing address if this is of interest.

Kind regards,
Kim

My Response

Dear Kim:

You didn’t read it properly- I said width not more absorbent. Even so you could make it 100% cotton with more absorbency just by adding a layer of COTTON. I really find your dismissive attitude somewhat perplexing. Here is a golden opportunity for you and your company to help women and yet what do you do?

You really aren’t listening. It isn’t that we want rayon- just add more layers- will it make it thicker? YES, is that a problem for women who have been using a thicker tampons? NO. The thicker is better for many of us who have had children. Hey those who have had an episotomy know what I’m talking about. Those who have used ob ultra have used a wider tampon.

So perhaps your company doesn’t want our business either, and doesn’t want to protect us from the bad rayon. What does that say about how you really care for women? HMMM?

Sincerely,

Ms. Monsoon

January 10, 2011 at 7:31 pm

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Ok, I got through my first period without OB, but I also was not required to leave my house due to a perfectly timed snow day (I’m a teacher) and then the weekend. It wasn’t pretty with pads and painful with other periods. So now, like many others, I am beginning to think about how I will manage during the warmer weather months. Although I have not posted in a month, I have been checking back here for updates from others. I also signed the online contract to “grrrrr”lcott J&J.

I did find ob restocked at my local Walmart (CT), but not any supers or ultras of course. I am disgusted about hearing what Calli shared about J&J’s handling of a customer call. I won’t hold my breath about them considering making ultras again because it seems they are just pacifying us like we are two year olds! I am angry and upset that there are not other viable options for me. I am considering Lil-lets…. buying another product not made in the U.S. annoys me so I am hesitant.

Hang in there ladies! I really hope something gives so that we all have a realistic and effective option soon!

Ms. Monsoon

January 10, 2011 at 7:36 pm

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I meant other tampons, not periods! haha! I wish I could trade my period in for one of a little lighter in nature!

DG

January 10, 2011 at 10:24 pm

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I give kudos for the natracare rep actually responding again to me and this time it is as follows:

I am sorry to upset you. The fact remains, and the bottom line is, we do not believe that an Ultra tampon, even if we did bulk it up with cotton, would be a safe choice. We are listening, Our owner and founder, Susie Hewson, started Natracare over 20 years ago out of sheer concern and care for women and the environment. As the studies have not convinced her that Ultra tampons are a safe product, she will not add them to our line. We are confident that Natracare offers the best and safest feminine hygiene for women, and our numerous ethical awards testify to this.

I, too, have had two children and an episiotomy, so I do understand. Again, we are sorry that the situation has been such an inconvenience, but we cannot and will not compromise our principles.

I responded but I’ll not bother with it here. It had to due with the issue being liability. So even though they are somewhat nice at natracare- don’t look for a solution from them.

Rachael Finn

January 11, 2011 at 7:45 am

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Cape Cod girls want there OB’s back!!! WTF! In a world that is screaming “GO GREENER!”, it just doesn’t make sense. I refuse to buy tampons with plastic applicators, and the eco. brands are way to expensive. OB has been “Green” since way before it was the “Trendy” way to be. As a traveler, OB’s were always the most packable. My friend left for a trip to Indonesia yesterday, and she had to buy a different brand, because she couldn’t find her OB’s anywhere. She was not happy about it. I hope to see OB back on the shelves very very soon.

Sincerely, Rachael Finn (Owner & Head Instructor, Sugar Surf Cape Cod)

Calli

January 11, 2011 at 11:58 am

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I just ordered the “Maxim Organic Non Applicator Tampon, Super Plus” and will try it and see if it is as wide and absorbent as the OB Ultra. I have read quite a few good reviews from other gals saying they were just as thick as the OB Ultras and just as absorbent. So, when I “test” them I will write here again and give my report. The nice thing about these is they are easily available through drugstore.com.

They were $6.89 for a box of 20. I really hope they are a good alternative. Wish me luck ladies, I am a very heavy bleeder, so if they work for me, they will work for a lot of you!! I’ll keep in touch!

I have boycotted all J&J products from our home. There isn’t anything they make that we cannot get from another company.

The info on the Maxim Tampons:

Maxim Organic Non Applicator Tampon, Super Plus :100% Certified Organic Cotton, Hypoallergenic, Chlorine Free, No Chemicals, Rayon or Synthetic Materials Used.

DarkRose

January 12, 2011 at 2:36 am

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Was out and about today following the news that J&J has started shipping ob’s again, so I took a trip down the fem care aisle at two stores to see what I could find. My local Rite Aid had NOTHING in stock – the empty display was still there (including the slot and sticker for Ultras), complete with sale notifications (2 boxes of 20 for $5, nice, had there actually BEEN any to buy), and hand written round blue stickers with dates ranging from early November to early December, which I assume were the last dates the products were ordered (without receiving delivery, obviously). At Von’s Supermarket, there were a good number of boxes of “Regular” and “Super” (which we all know are really “Light” and “Regular”), and four whole 40 count boxes of Super Plus. But of course, no Ultras, and no place for them on the shelf. Previously, there were none at all in stock, so apparently they’re starting to come back. But until they bring back the Ultra in their original, unchanged form, I’m not buying.

lori

January 12, 2011 at 7:51 am

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I was so upset I almost cried when I found all this information here yesterday..this after calling the toll free number on the box of too small OB’s I managed to snag at the third store I searched yesterday. The answer I got from the phone rep was clearly scripted with a tone of condescending attitude ( “didn’t you understand what I just told you”? )

I have been using OBs for 35 yrs and my daughters use them too.. I contacted my sister in law in Scandinavia and asked her if she can still get them there..she thought I was joking ! I am going to have her send them over. I don’t know if it is true or not , but they claim they were originally developed there, and I know I have seen them when I have visited, so that is what I am going to do for now.

lori

January 12, 2011 at 7:45 pm

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I live in a summer tourist area in NJ. Today, my daughter and I went to some grocery stores in a couple of nearly empty beach towns and went to their grocery stores and bought up their remaining inventory. It was slightly embarrassing to hoard the tampons (we are talking $200 + on the little bullets ). Tomorrow, we take on the tampon tour again to see what we can get…we are joking that we should tell the cashiers that 2012 is right around the corner and there is going to be a tampon armageddon.

Regina Vostra

January 12, 2011 at 8:36 pm

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I am glad that someone found the toll free number on the box
I could not
Are the OBs back in stock on shelves or what they found at Vons were OBs that were there before
Please let me know
I am panicking

TH

January 12, 2011 at 9:22 pm

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Here in Oregon, the Fred Meyer ad has OB – 2 boxes for $5.00, but no spots on their shelves for them anymore. That is just trash. You either have them or don’t bother to put it in your weekly shopping ad. I have yet to see them on the shelves here in the Portland area. It’s the pits to say the least. I am looking for Natracare Super Plus, but the Fred Meyer I was at doesn’t even carry them. How are we as a human being (woman) supposed to carry out our lives if others just decide our life for us. J & J is heartless and it seems that no one else cares. I think once we don’t show up for work or other situations, that maybe (ha, ha) someone might care. The Attorney General in our state is going after J&J because of the Motrin thing they did last year. That tells us something is wrong in their own company and to take it out on us. Will keep trying to find something that will replace the ULTRA.

DG

January 13, 2011 at 8:53 am

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To those who haven’t read all the posts here about replacements. There are lil-lets UK get on the list and then I ebay for them. Then there is maxim brand that can be purchased from drugstore.com and others in the US.

Rebecca

January 13, 2011 at 4:52 pm

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Replying to lori:

o.b. tampons are sold in all three Scandinavian countries, probably made in Wuppertal, Germany. Norway and Sweden seem to sell a extra heavy flow tampon, the super plus. Here is the Swedish website for this product:
http://www.myobtampons.se/product-selector/ob-super-plus

After TH posted that Fred Meyer stores in the Portland area had o.b. tampons on sale for 2 for $5, I pulled up the online circular. If you pull up their Weekly Ad which expires 1/15, on page 3 is an offer to sell Stayfree pads, Carefree liners, or o.b. tampons at 2 for $5. Click on the Stayfree offer for details on the other two products. Who is at fault Here? Fred Meyer, for bait-and-switch, or J&J, for promising to have product in Fred Meyer warehouses in time for the sale?

cdnfirechick

January 13, 2011 at 5:32 pm

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So…after MY fruitless and frustrating search of the elusive ULTRA size, I decided to look online, as I see MANY of you also have. Which lead me to HERE.

There they are posted on ob’s website, glaringly ignorant…yet unavailable! I have also been a many year user of these and have noticed the gradual decline of the ‘quality’ (or lack thereof) of all of them…WHO’s idea was that “comfort” covering anyhow?!

Now there is a GLOBAL ob shortage?! LOL C’mon already!!!!! WHAT year is this???

RIDICULOUS!

Now there will be BOATLOADS of them coming from overseas, due to this desperate shortage. Hope the boat doesn’t sink on its way over, surely it will create worldwide panic as the ocean gets absorbed into all of them! Surely it will be the next natural disaster.

MONSOONS aplenty!

OMG!

Paula

January 13, 2011 at 8:48 pm

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I do not like applicators because they hurt, have always felt most comfortable in O.B. Tampons and trusted that with O.B., I wouldn’t leak. What is the problem and I’m sure there is a way of getting this resolved…work together!…you can make A LOT of women happier, which in turn will make A LOT more families, friends, coworkers, etc happier too. It might come back to bite you in ass…work with us ;)

Lulu

January 13, 2011 at 9:35 pm

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Count me in as another buyer of Lil-Let supers via ebay. Let’s hope they work and that they get here on time…

I can’t tell you how happy I am to find all these stories…I honestly thought OB’s were SO popular, that’s why they couldn’t ever be found. Who-da thunk they’d discontinue them? Such a great thing!? A discontinued eye color…okay, you can probably find something similar. A favorite lotion? There’s plenty out there – annoying yes but you can probably find something to replace it. But a TAMPON, something that totally impacts and affects a woman’s quality of life – discontinue the ONLY non-applicator tampon in the USA that … ready for this? … THAT WORKED!

HOW DARE THEY!!!

Bring on the Lil-lets!

DG

January 13, 2011 at 11:23 pm

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Just a quick mention of lil-lets on facebook- you can let your voice be heard for their product.

ELIZABETH

January 14, 2011 at 10:12 am

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Before moving to USA from UK in 1996, I was a faithful user of Lil-lets tampons, they are (as far as I’m concerned) actually better than OB and the sooner we can buy them in USA, the better.

Sam

January 14, 2011 at 4:26 pm

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I too have been a long time user of Ultra and have been really happy with them. They were the perfect choice after to moving to Canada from the UK where I too like previous posters used Lil-lets. I went down to the super plus absorbency and now cannot find any OB tampons anywhere in any absorbency. Did they just discontinue the entire range??

Laura Pettet

January 14, 2011 at 7:17 pm

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The OB product is far superior to any other product on the market. To discontinue the ultra will limit my activities along with millions of other women who rely on them to continue to live a “normal” life during a period. What a great mistake to make when there are no other products to compare. You have “corner of the market” with this product!! Unbelievable….

And… it’s environmentally friendly. What are you thinking???

Kim

January 14, 2011 at 9:05 pm

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I ordered Lil-lets on Ebay for a great price. The super plus extras are comparable to ob ultras. They are more dense & more stiff than the ob’s but they work so much better!! I was able to get 3 hours out of one on a monsoon day!! I can’t use an ultra for my whole period so I will order lil-lets lower absorbency for my light days.

I did notice that the pink & green ob’s were back on the shelf at Walmart, but after this crap J&J pulled, I will never use their product again!

Michela A

January 15, 2011 at 12:35 pm

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I actually have been using some Lil-Lets that I had left from a trip to the UK to fill the void when I couldn’t find the OB Ultras anywhere. I just looked up their website and, get this, they no longer sell in the US and Canada. But they did at one time. Talk about bad timing for them! I don’t like them quite as much as OBs but they still are better then anything else we have here in the States. I sent them an email to tell them to wake up and smell the coffee.

Rebecca

January 15, 2011 at 2:36 pm

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Replying to Michela A,

It was because of regulatory and insurance reasons that Lil-lets had to stop. Write them and they will notify you when they resume. Earlier posts on this thread discuss this issue. In the meantime, Ebay sellers in the UK just ship.

JD

January 15, 2011 at 2:45 pm

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I too am so angry about O.B. I found out the day before Thanksgiving, as I drove from store to store in nightmarish holiday traffic and found nothing but empty shelves. Then I found this website and discovered the awful truth. I need the ultras on day 1 and sometimes day 2. I could go 3-4 hours on one of those. Now I have tried Playtex Ultra, and besides the disgusting plastic applicator, they don’t work. They blow out in 2 hours or less. I have to wear a pad because I never know when they are going to fail. The most insulting part is that when they drop into the toilet, I can clearly see they are not full. I see plenty of white sections. Anybody else have this problem with Playtex Ultras leaking when they clearly have more capacity left in them? I ordered free samples from every tampon maker out there, and I am going to start experimenting. Has anyone tried two tampons side by side? I was thinking of taking them out of the applicator, holding them together, and using them OB style, but side by side. Us ladies with children need something thicker. Or, someone else suggested rolling your own? Not a bad idea. Pads have really improved over the years. What if you cut off the back plastic, rolled it into a cigar, and used it that way?

Calli

January 16, 2011 at 1:53 pm

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Just an update about the “Maxim Organic Non Applicator Tampon, Super Plus”:

I LOVE THEM!!!!!

They are the same size as the OB Ultra’s, are exactly the same shape. There is nothing different about them except the are 100% cotton and contain no rayon. They work great! I feel assured and comfortable with these tampons, just like the OB ultras. They have not leaked at all!!

I love these tampons! Plus, I don’t have to bid on them via Ebay, they are available through drugstore.com

Just wanted to update the ladies here on our alternatives. The “Maxim Organic Non Applicator Tampon, Super Plus” are fantastic!!! YAY!!!

((((GIANT HUGS)))) to the gal on this forum who mentioned them!!! I am so glad I got them! Thank you!!!!

J&J can go jump in a lake, they have lost my business forever.

Stephanie

January 16, 2011 at 6:42 pm

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Happy to hear that BETTER alternatives have been found. Now, to all of the ladies lamenting the loss of o.b. and writing the company, I say, “Woman Up!” If we really want J&J to feel our pain, then rather than stocking up on o.b. tampons when they hit the shelves, LEAVE THEM THERE! Empower yourselves and use something else — something better. I have been an o.b. user since I was 13. I’m now 45 and when I saw the empty shelves, I was devastated. But now after such a betrayal of my loyalty, I vow that I will NEVER buy another o.b. tampon.

This shortage has forced me to educate myself with regard to what I’ve been putting in my body for the past 32 years. Cotton treated w/pesticides, rayon, and who knows what else — yuck! I’m switching to organic today.

There are other options. TO HELL WITH O.B.

Ty

January 17, 2011 at 8:14 pm

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BRING BACK THE ULTRA….CAN’T DO ANYTHING ELSE. I AM DONE LEAVING THE HOUSE WITHOUT THEM.

Clare Cloter

January 19, 2011 at 11:42 am

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I WANT AND NEED MY OB!!!!!!! Men don’t care if we are inconvenienced. The fact that I have to order tampons from another country is obscured, plain crazy!!!! We as women need to stick together and not let them bully us anymore.

JD

January 19, 2011 at 2:53 pm

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I noticed last night that there aren’t even any empty shelves at Target where the OB’s used to be. I don’t think they are coming back in any size. Not that it matters. I wouldn’t use them again even if they did come back. They need to pay for their mistake. I did notice a new product line was put on the shelves where the OB used to be. It’s 7th generation natural cotton. They have them in super plus. I’m wondering if they are as good as the Maxim organics that a recent poster raved about? I don’t want to have to pay shipping for Maxim, and these were only $4.99 for a box of 16, which seems cheaper than some other natural organic ones I have seen at the health food stores. Any feedback on this brand?

DG

January 19, 2011 at 3:59 pm

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7th generation was mentioned, but I haven’t noticed any reviews as I tried it and . . . Lil-lets are good, but I’m finding the bottom doesn’t fan out as much as the ultra used too, so I’m now going to try maxim. After that if those don’t work I’ll try 7th generation.

Anne

January 19, 2011 at 7:42 pm

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In the San Francisco Bay Area, O.B. Super Plus (yellow box) tampons have returned to the grocery store, Safeway … useless of course for those monsoon days, but at least something to use on the trailing edge of the storm!

Bummed

January 20, 2011 at 9:55 am

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I just got home for the grocery store and I have been checking the stock of OB with every trip and noticed it quickly disappearing. Well, today it was completely gone and replaced with other products. There was one box of the pro comfort regular on the shelf with an in-sore special price. I never got the whole pro comfort thing – they were anything but comfortable. So, now I begin my search for a new brand.

I tried the instead cups because I couldn’t find the Ultra OB and I must say I didn’t like them at all. Now I have a box of those sitting in my bathroom…

TH

January 20, 2011 at 3:01 pm

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Just some feedback to others above about Seventh Generation and Natracare. I found a box of each at New Seasons in Beaverton, OR. They are not cheap. One was on sale and the other was not. Since I found these at the tail end of my monthly, I am not sure just how they will be at the beginning until next month. But they are the same shape as OB but the super plus are the same size as the super plus of OB, not Ultra. Also you only get 20 to a box. (One at regular price is over $6.00 a box and the other just under $6.00 a box). But since they are more natural than OB and the only thing that I can find to replace them at the moment, will give them a try next month. I have found at a couple of stores in the Beaverton/Tigard area of OB, but its for the smaller sizes only and there are only a few boxes on the shelves. At the point, someone else should pick up where OB left off. Maybe Lil-let or Maxim and put them in the big retail stores. They might just make a majority of us very happy. If you can find the above mentioned, at least give them a try. I still have to wear a pad with these also as they are not ULTRA. But they seem to hold up. Hope this helps.

Calli

January 21, 2011 at 3:42 pm

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GREAT NEWS!!! I called Maxim and talked to a wonderfully gracious man there who is more then willing to work with us to get the Maxim Super Plus non applicator tampons out to everyone into their local stores! I let him know about this website and about our plight with OB ultra.

I am in contact with him as I speak….I will update this thread just as soon as I have more info!!

YAY!!
:-D

For anyone who wants to know more about the company, here is their website: http://www.maximhy.com/newsite/

kp

January 21, 2011 at 9:26 pm

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To Jd. funny comment about rolling your own :) I actually did and it worked pretty good. Guess I can save myself the $6.99 I used to fork out for my beloved purple box. May it rest in peace.

Beatrice White

January 23, 2011 at 12:27 pm

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Hi everyone,
The ultra like size is available here http://www.tamponsonsale.com/OB-Ultra

Enjoy girls!
Finally.

C. Cortes

January 23, 2011 at 3:00 pm

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I have been using OB Ultra for the past few years due to age and body changes. It has help me traumatically because of the heavy flow! Now that I cannot find them anywhere which makes my life difficult. First, I have to go to the bathroom all the time, I can’t do this while at work. Then if I have to run errands, I don’t have to look for a bathroom all the time. For god sake, I don’t want to dirty my pants while sitting in traffic!!!!

pk

January 23, 2011 at 4:22 pm

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I’m very sad this product is gone. I’ve searched everywhere trying to find o.b. ultra no luck. I’ve used the product for over 25 yrs. Please bring it back there’s nothing out there as good no leakage at all.

A

January 23, 2011 at 9:40 pm

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I switched over to 7th Generation tampons when the OBs got difficult to find. They perform almost as well as the OB brand but they do not have anything comparable to an “ultra.” I’ve had to resort to the super plus size and a thin pad or panty liner on heavy days. Unfortunately, they are more expensive but they are made from organic, unbleached cotton, which is probably better for our bodies as well as the planet. You can get $1-off coupons on the http://www.seventhgeneration.com website.

Anne

January 23, 2011 at 10:22 pm

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Re: the post by “Beatrice White” earlier today, stating, “The ultra like size is available here http://www.tamponsonsale.com/OB-Ultra … enjoy girls!”

You’re kidding, right? $50 for 32 tampons??? I don’t think so.

I think “Beatrice” is secretly a marketer for the owners of this website — these are the same people who never wrote back to me when I asked about their products. Buyer beware…

Calli

January 24, 2011 at 11:41 am

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I completely agree with Anne, it is underhanded to tell women that OB ultra’s are available again when all it is you are doing is spiking the cost of product you’ve acquired and making a profit off of it.

Women do NOT want to spend $90 for a box of 40 tampons Beatrice!

OB Ultra’s are not coming back. Now we need to find the best alternatives that are cost effective and efficient! I hate when people try to take advantage of a situation and try to profit off of people.

Lucky Duck

January 24, 2011 at 12:16 pm

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1/21/2011 I just found two 40 count boxes of ultra on the shelf at the store. I don’t know if they are bringing them back or I just got lucky but I snapped up both!

Calli

January 24, 2011 at 5:50 pm

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OK, as promised, here is an update to my contact with the Maxim people. About the tampons themselves:

The Maxim Super plus non applicator tampons are made with 100% CERTIFIED Organic & Natural Cotton and they do NOT Use bleach (which causes DIOXIN residue ) they instead use a safer process using natural Hydrogen-Peroxide. There is no rayon in their products either!

Other products use Wood Fluff Pulp, which is NOT environmentally friendly (it ends up in the destruction of a LOT of trees). Maxim uses 100% cotton, no chemicals, no plastic, no yucky stuff you don’t need in your body! YAY AGAIN!!

The more I have researched about Maxim, the happier I have become! I have also come to find out that it is a company that is run by women! YAY!!

Here is my correspondence from the company when I told them about our plight:
—————————————–
Calli,

I am very surprised from the way Johnson & Johnson responded to their loyal customers. As I mentioned we are manufacturing our tampon products in Europe and they are made with 100% Organic cotton. By using the Organic Cotton, we are eliminating the effects of different carcinogens such as Dioxin and Asbestos from most intimate body parts of the tampon users.

For more details, please visit our website at http://www.maximhy.com. The Product Video Presentation found on our website is a MUST SEE! For a quick overview of our product line, please make sure to check out the Sideshow Presentation found on the homepage by clicking on the “What Makes Maxim So Different?” link.

We have enough supplies to support the demand by these ladies for the next few months. We can also order another container load of products to be shipped ASAP. If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me at your convenience.

Healthy Regards,

Kenneth Alvandi, CEO

———————————————————————————————
:-)
I have also personally spoken to Rebecca, the owner, on the phone and she assures me she is on board to help us in anyway she can and that includes doing what it takes to get these products shipped into your local drugstores! She is listening and she cares!!!

Until then, Drugstore.com is still a reliable source to get them shipped to you as well. I have ordered 2 times from them and they were shipped out quickly. There is no need to pay $90 for a box of black-market OB Ultras online when there is already a better and safer alternative out there!

I have used the Maxim Super Plus tampons and can personally vouch for it fitting the same way as the OB ultra. It was as absorbent, as comfortable and as protective. (and i am a very heavy bleeder!) But now I have also come to find out it is much safer for my body! That is a serious plus!

It is so nice to know that there is a company out there that is listening to us, thank you MAXIM! I hope this helps provide the information and support that the ladies here need! We gotta stick together on this stuff!

((((((hugs to all)))

Calli
:-)

Shireen

January 25, 2011 at 6:31 am

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I am so disgusted that this product has been discontinued. I am in disbelief!!! Here I am in India, running around from store to store looking for O.B. tampons and they are no longer available. I want to know why why why? I am very angry now. I thought I might order them online but lo and behold! NO LONGER AVAILABLE! :-( If only I knew, I would have stocked up for life!

cclarke

January 25, 2011 at 5:07 pm

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Until they make another solution that works as good as the OB Ultra, we revisit this problem every month. We’ve tried to find a replacement. We’d all like to think it is that simple. It used to be a non-issue. Eventually there will be a solution, we just want it to be as good as what we lost. Fighting back at obultratampons.com — Sign the petition and join the boycott until they return.

DG

January 25, 2011 at 8:26 pm

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Try maxims as I just received my box from drugstore.com. These are possibly going to be better than lil-lets as they are 100% organic no rayon. Sorry that I won’t sign the petition, because after they’ve treated us this way why give them any more money? Lil-lets and maxims are good replacements. I do however support those that wish to have their old product as it is a very personal decision.

Stephanie

January 26, 2011 at 12:57 am

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I just received some Maxim super plus from Drugstore.com, as others in this thread suggested. Personally I’m dubious, as they look identical to the OB super plus, not the Ultra. Also it says on the side that super plus absorbs 12 to 15 grams, which is the same as OB super plus. (I think that that range is actually mandated by law, since the Toxic shock scares in the 80s.)

Still, I will try them out next month and let you all know the result.

Thanks to everyone for sharing info!

jeannie cremeans

January 26, 2011 at 7:28 am

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Has anyone ordered, and received, the lil-lets from ebay? I actually placed three orders of 100 and have received nothing. I was told that Royal Air Mail is backed up due to extra screening and also weather. Hopefully, I haven’t been taken!!!! So frustrated.

Deborah

January 26, 2011 at 11:47 am

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I did get them. I think it took 3-4 weeks for them to arrive. Same size as Ultras, stiffer, so harder to flair out at the bottom. Work just like Ultra. I bought them off Ebay.uk.

Kim

January 31, 2011 at 12:45 pm

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It took 3 weeks for my 6 boxes of Super Plus Extra Lil-Lets to arrive. They were in my mailbox 1 day before I got my period. They are exactly like OB Ultra’s!

So happy I found them!

Marcia

January 31, 2011 at 2:28 pm

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I have 100 Lil-lets on the way here from England, glad I saw the above about the 3-4 weeks lead time, (can you imagine what the screeners are thinking seeing all of these packages of tampons going through the mail???) AND I just bought 5 one pound rolls of cotton from a medical shop on Ebay to try rolling my own for the really really heavy days.

I read on here some of the women using Tampax Pearl Ultra so against my better judgement I bought some, I might as well just throw them out.

I am currently still using the Playtex Ultra flipped upside down (it wedges itself in kind of like OB when put in upside down but not quite as absorbent). I am using that at home on weekends and evenings. I have to use back up with them but I have to with OB Ultra as well so no big deal. For work I am using my OB Ultra stash (thankfully I was getting suspicious about a shortage NEVER DREAMING A DISCONTINUATION and got out early enough to find some).

I have to admit I am not panicked anymore like I was for the first three months of this. I have high hopes for the Lil-lets and having my stash of OB’s is keeping me a little calmer. My husband thought I was losing my mind for about 3 months as I was running frantically to all of the drug stores and ranting about how I suspected something. was going on…. it don’t think he really understood how serious of a problem it was to me until the roll my own subject came up…

The saddest thing about all of this is a lot of us on here have been able to put up the cash and order from overseas, but so many women in the same boat as we don’t have that ability. This entire ordeal has been so senseless and unimaginably inconsiderate. My heart really goes out to those women who are trying to make do with inadequate protection just because of some stupid corporate decision.

Marcia

February 1, 2011 at 9:53 am

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I received my Lil-lets yesterday and I swear my blood pressure has dropped about 25 pts!

They work just as well as OB, I have to use my thumbs to flare out the bottom as they are pretty stiff but they work GREAT and I am thrilled. Just as absorbent, and better than OB in that they are .. STILL AVAILABLE even if they are a bit hard to get…. they seem a tiny bit slimmer and a fraction of an inch longer but I think they are just compressed more tightly than the OB. I didn’t see ANY difference in the absorbency.

You can buy them on Ebay in bulk purchases of 6 boxes and there is a seller offering sealed bags of 100 individually wrapped, (this is what I purchased and they came in sealed cellophane bags in lots of 50). The company is working on getting all the legal requirements taken care of so they can sell directly in the US and Canada.

For those of you that OB was the only way option for you I think Lil-lets will work for you.

Cammie Templeton

February 1, 2011 at 11:18 am

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My boss says ob are the only brand they sell in Germany. Her daughter is living over there and doesn’t like them. So she ships her ones from here. So I’ll be able to get some from her when she comes home in March. Only one more monsoon until then. Today, I’ll look in the bottoms of all my dresser drawers, old coat pockets, and every nook and cranny in my bathroom. The hunt is on!

jennifer dipinto

February 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm

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i ordered lil-lets and maxims. i have both now. probably a total over 500. both are great. even if ob comes back – i’m done with them.

Kim

February 1, 2011 at 5:09 pm

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Marcia- you are too funny!…..rolling your own….LOL!

I can honestly say that I feel 900 times more relaxed now that I am fully stocked with Lil-Lets super extra plus. I made it thru my heaviest days without a leak………something I haven’t been able to do the last couple of OB Ultra-less months!

I ordered 10 more boxes so I will have plenty for a while.

Even if OB Ultra’s come back, I will no longer buy them. They didn’t treat loyal customers like us correctly by putting us thru this torture.

I’m sticking with Lil-Lets until menopause……..6-7 years?

Johnson Stinks

February 2, 2011 at 1:01 pm

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Here’s a list of all of Johnson’s brands.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnson_&_Johnson

I refuse to buy a single one of them and emailed them to let them know. On the downside, the ebay guy selling the loose Lil-lets has caught on to supply and demand. He’s quadrupled his prices from the first batch I bought.

Marcia

February 3, 2011 at 8:21 am

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They are the same price I paid, 32. something US $. 20.00 pounds sterling. At least from the guy I bought them from. His stock is diminishing though, wonder if he can get more.

Thanks for the list of Johnson products… gonna have to keep a copy in my purse.

Tracie

February 3, 2011 at 10:45 am

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I just signed the boycott petition… and read this response from someone… makes sense…

“Women are not stupid, J&J. We can see this discontinuation for what it is – a manipulative, cheap attempt to convince women with heavy flows to have unnecessary surgery or take medications, both of which are available from another division of your company (couldn’t be any more blatant, given your link on the official o…b ultra page). We are not biting. I will gladly boycott every and all Johnson and Johnson product on the market, even if it means paying more for a competitor’s product, until the ob Super Plus and Ultras are brought back, in their original form (not some watered down, second-rate version, which I fear is what they’re going to do). Until then, my household of loyal J&J consumers are going J&J free, and I encourage all of the rest of you to do the same. These b@$st@rd$ forget it’s usually us women who make the decisions on which household products to buy. By alienating and disregarding us this way, they’re shooting themselves in the foot.”

Personally… I’m not only irritated that the Ultra has been discontinued… and now it seems that OB Tampons can’t be found in ANY size… ANYWHERE… other than online… yes, people are actually buying Ultra’s on Ebay… for like $45 and up for a box of 40!!! Can you believe it?! But I’m very irritated that the only options out there ALL have PLASTIC applicators. (excess packaging, excess waste) I’ve been a loyal OB customer for my entire life…if this was merely a business decision… BOO on you J&J… you could NOT have taken the consumers into consideration one tiny bit in your decision.

JD

February 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm

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I was able to try the Natra Care super plus. They look exactly like the OB super plus, but they last a full hour longer than the O.B super plus. I tried them both on the same day, and wore them until they leaked so I know exactly how long they lasted. They are probably very similar to the Maxim organic’s but you can buy them at local stores like Whole Foods and Sprouts. They are $1 cheaper per box at Sprouts.

Just Say No To Beach Whistles

February 4, 2011 at 7:00 pm

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Anybody remember Pursettes? Back in the 70’s? Non-applicator tampons enclosed in a very fine mesh to avoid shredding. I used those from the time I was 16 until they mysteriously disappeared. Then I switched to o.b., but I thought Pursettes were better.

I’ve always preferred non-applicator tampons for environmental reasons – no plastic applicators AKA “beach whistles.” The bullets are great – “praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.”

As I’ve become perimenopausal I’ve come to rely heavily on o.b. Ultras. Since they’ve become scarce, I’ve been using the Kotex “with the pretty colors” but have to use both tamps and pads – waste of money.

Thanks to all for doing the research and contacting the alternative companies. I’m thinking of trying the Maxims (funny, same as the condoms). Good thing I don’t have much longer to deal with this (knock on wood).

I’ve put my voice in to J&J protesting their idiotic marketing decisions. You’d think they’d know better than to mess with women on their periods.

Sammie

February 5, 2011 at 7:47 pm

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Just got my Moxie tampons from Amazon. They got here in a week. They look just like OB, but are slightly shorter and, therefore, more comfortable. They seem to be more absorbent than OBs, too. I’m happy. Thanks for the screw-up, J&J. I otherwise may have never found that there are better alternatives.

Karen

February 7, 2011 at 11:08 am

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Thank you ladies for the postings proving to both myself and my husband that I am not NUTS!

I have been taking notes and doing my research before the next go round. I went so far as to buy myself a Diva Cup. I can see myself using it during the daytime while I am not working, but I don’t think it would be something I would use on the job. I looked up Lil-lets, and Maxim. Both of their Super Plus NA Tampons look like they might be good to try, but since I live in Canada, I’m hooped. I contacted Lil-lets and they are working on being able to ship to North America. I spoke with a very nice lady from Maxim who was more than willing to ship me cases at a discount with free shipping included. All I have to do now is find someone in the States close enough to me that would let me use their address as a mail drop. No matter. J & J has lost another life-time customer! I, however have learned that yet another company will screw with it’s loyal customer base for the almighty $!

Shame on you j & j!

Jenn

February 7, 2011 at 6:00 pm

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I am so glad I found this site! I just tried the Maxim Hygiene Super plus tampons and they rock! I love them already! Their tampons are so much better then OB anyway, they are organic cotton and don’t have all that yucky stuff in them that others do! I really liked the fit and they were really absorbent and comfortable. I don’t even care if OB ultra comes back, I am a Maxim Hygiene girl now for life! Thank you for this site and thank you for letting me know about Maxim Hygiene!

Calli

February 7, 2011 at 6:03 pm

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Karen: You can get Maxim’s in Canada @ WellBasics.com

Hope that helps!

http://www.wellbasics.com/Search-Results?keywords=maxim+&x=7&y=5

Violet

February 8, 2011 at 3:07 am

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To the Beach Whistle Gal, yeah, I remember Pursettes. They were my first tampon. How funny, someone else remembers those little buggers.

Then came o.b…..life was good. Other than horrendous cramps… Could live life without worrying about “accidents” from my monthly bleed-a-thon. Was nice while it lasted.

While I won’t ever buy another product, including o.b.s, from J&J again, I am not too happy with the alternatives. It shouldn’t be so frigging expensive to deal with every month. Not like we have a choice and we’re getting reamed. Maxims are fine. Lil-lets are fine. But damn, they ain’t cheap. What about those who can’t afford them????? And yes, I am on that list.

This last go-round I had to use a hell of a lot of toilet paper to try and stretch the last of my supply. Damn it people. This is bullshit.

DG

February 8, 2011 at 8:15 am

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For those who are girlcotting j&J and McNeil here is a factoid.

Sucralose was discovered in 1976 by researchers working under the auspices of Tate & Lyle Ltd., a large British sugar refiner. In 1980, Tate & Lyle arranged with Johnson & Johnson, the world’s largest health care company, to develop sucralose. Johnson & Johnson formed McNeil Specialty Products Company in 1980 to commercialize sucralose.

Also note this is made by chlorinating sugar so it isn’t good for you either. Just another dimension of J&J and McNeil.

I’ve got lil-lets and maxims so this next time around I’ll be trying them out. Better than kotex uclicks, which I took out of the applicators. LOL

marcia

February 9, 2011 at 4:16 pm

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Well, I just got the letter from McNeil informing me that OH BOY! OB is back on the shelves… well except for the officially discontinued Ultra. I sent them back an email telling them thanks but no thanks and told them they were might small minded for discontinuing a product we needed.

Guess I am a Lil-lets girl from here til “the pause”…. I did actually roll my own too but haven’t had to try them out yet. But it does seem to have great possibilities especially since I can control how absorbent I make them, (forget grams I am going for ounces). I am pretty certain between my 6 hoarded boxes of Ultra’s, what is left of my 100 Lil-lets, my 35 Playtex Ultra which I turn upside down and my 5 pounds of medical grade cotton batt I bought online to roll my own I should be good for awhile.

Kim

February 9, 2011 at 4:38 pm

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Thought I’d share the email I received from OB today announcing their tampons are back in stores (no Ultra though as it has been discontinued). I included my response to OB as well! I think we should all respond in this manner!

Dear OB,

Thanks for the update, but you have forever lost me as a loyal customer. Discontinuing OB Ultra’s without explanation and then having the rest of the OB Tampons disappear from shelves left me (a 25 year loyal OB customer) and women all over this country just like me stranded. It was a very poor decision to treat your customers in this manner.

We all initially were in panic mode going from store to store looking for OB Tampons……….then called and emailed OB Customer Service……then we all turned to the internet and commiserated. The great thing is, we all helped each other find products many didn’t even know existed: Natracare Tampons, Seventh Generation Tampons, Maxims, Diva Cup, Instead. There are many options from companies who care about their customers.

Thanks for the update, but it’s too little, too late.

Kim

—–Original Message—–
From: OBTampons [mailto:OBTampons@news.obtampons.com]
Sent: Wednesday, February 09, 2011 3:06 PM

Subject: An update from o.b.(R) tampons

To all of our o.b.(R) brand users, we understand that many of you are having a hard time finding o.b.(R) brand products on store shelves.

We are pleased to confirm that o.b.(R) tampons are increasingly in-stock at more stores nation-wide as well as through on-line retailers such as: Amazon.com, drugstore.com, soap.com.

Please note that o.b.(R) Ultra tampons have been discontinued.

Supply may continue to vary in your area, however retailers who have recently received product include:

Acme, Albertsons, CVS, Cub, Duane Reade, Fred Meyer, Giant Eagle, Giant Food Stores, HE Butt, Jewel-Osco, Kroger, Lucky, Meijer, Publix, Rite Aid, Safeway, Sav-a-Lot, Shaw’s/Star Markets, Shoppers, Shoprite, Inc., Stop & Shop, Target, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Wegman’s and other regional retailers.

rachel

February 9, 2011 at 9:37 pm

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Got an email update from ob today:

To all of our o.b.(R) brand users, we understand that many of you are having a hard time finding o.b.(R) brand products on store shelves. We are pleased to confirm that o.b.(R) tampons are increasingly in-stock at more stores nation-wide as well as through on-line retailers such as: Amazon.com, drugstore.com, soap.com. Please note that o.b.(R) Ultra tampons have been discontinued. Supply may continue to vary in your area, however retailers who have recently received product include: Acme, Albertsons, CVS, Cub, Duane Reade, Fred Meyer, Giant Eagle, Giant Food Stores, HE Butt, Jewel-Osco, Kroger, Lucky, Meijer, Publix, Rite Aid, Safeway, Sav-a-Lot, Shaw’s/Star Markets, Shoppers, Shoprite, Inc., Stop & Shop, Target, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Wegman’s and other regional retailers.

rachel

February 9, 2011 at 9:50 pm

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Oh yeah, and lil-lets worked great last month, I will stock up on them this month. Even when OB comes back I will continue to use Lil-lets b/c I am that pi$$ed off at j&j!

Jes

February 10, 2011 at 12:05 am

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I contacted J&J more than 6 months ago about this… they flat out lied to me. Like many others, the Ultra is the ONLY tampon that didn’t leak. I’ve been using OB’s since the first month they were on the shelves – nice way to show customer appreciation, a canned email that doesn’t answer the question. J&J is hereby girlcotted…

CP

February 10, 2011 at 10:13 am

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DG,

I am a research scientist, as a brief background. Your assertion that chlorinating sugar isn’t good for you is NOT accurate in the slightest. Sucralose is made by selective chlorination of three of the six hydroxyl groups of table sugar (sucrose). In more than 110 animal and human studies around the globe, it was found to unanimously be safe for human consumption (a rarity to have EVERYONE on board!!). In fact, sucralose is the safest and best tasting (closest to table sugar) artificial sweetner on the market. Aspartame has MANY problems, but I won’t go into that here.

The chlorination of sucrose to make sucralose is very safe. In the body it does not degrade (i.e. does not dechlorinate, leaving residual chlorine in your system). Sucralose is not soluble in fat, which means you won’t build up toxic amounts of it in your system. What the chlorine does is cause the body to not recognize it as ‘sugar’ and allows it to pass safely through the body without metabolizing it.

I am not sure where you got your information that it isn’t safe, DG. But really…you need to check your facts before scaring everyone.

CP

Lorraine

February 10, 2011 at 5:57 pm

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i’m soooo glad I found this message board! i actually wound up trying the maxim option and i LOOOVED them. and i’m obsessed with the fact that they’re organic. honestly, i’m so glad i found them, i’m never going back. sorry J&J you just lost another loyal customer.

Violet

February 11, 2011 at 2:36 am

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To CP,

Although this subject is not what we’re about here, I take issue with you telling everyone how “safe” sucralose is. MANY health care professionals would disagree with you. There isn’t a Naturapathic doctor I know that would rubber stamp that stuff. My regular MD isn’t a fan either.

I don’t need any anecdotal evidence or supposed scientific proof, I have first hand experience with that crap. I know my body well and it wasn’t some weird allergic reaction. It said that substance was bad news.

Most people are so out of touch with what they put in their bodies that they don’t notice, but I sure as hell did. I am not some hippy diphead. I have studied health & nutrition for years. Just because the FDA said its ok doesn’t mean squat. They also ok’d saccharin & aspertame, among other things. Anyone who wants the real story on that stuff should watch the documentary “Sweet Misery”.

Science is great. But just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Ethics doesn’t often play a role in these things. It’s all about the money. J&J is a prime example, if you’ve done the research.

CP

February 11, 2011 at 12:52 pm

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Well, I see what kind of forum this is and what type of people post here. If the only way people can respond to a scientist who has been in biological research for over 30 years, has 5 advanced degrees and has read the data ……with ad hominem attacks, great. Lovely people. I will say that there are of course always exceptions to FDA studies. But the percentages were SO low, that the compound was deemed extremely safe. I will remind you that MANY people are allergic to very natural substances such as tree nuts, fruit, citrus, wheat, etc as well. Will you boycott Mother Nature? I say you should!!

So this ‘crap’ you talk about is actually perfectly safe for almost 99% of people out there, your ‘naturalist’s’ opinion notwithstanding. Anecdotal information is not the same as data gathered with carefully controlled and balanced studies. I really don’t care. I just thought I would lend my expertise and knowledge. Take it or leave it. But don’t start attacking me personally by using language such as you use, Violet. I certainly didn’t. Thank you for your consideration and for your calm.

CP

February 11, 2011 at 12:54 pm

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And for the record, for those of you who can actually listen with a clear mind…..

J&J is not the ONLY place that tested these things. Many independent labs AROUND THE WORLD tested these items. So in case you have the opinion that all research is skewed and funded by companies….NO. That is absolutely not accurate. Can companies skew data and have they? Yes. But it is not common and it is not the case with what we are talking about.

My disclaimer is that I do not work for J&J…have never worked for J&J…have always been an independent scientist.

Violet

February 12, 2011 at 6:31 am

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Well, I guess you put me in my place. I mostly appreciate the way you kept such a cool head about the whole thing and responded so calmly and rationally. I realize that the words “crap” and “hell” are inherently stimulating, but gosh.

Especially liked the way you lumped everyone on the site together as equally offensive just because of one post. Shows a very open minded, scientific approach. Everyone who’s anyone knows you don’t question scientific research and that differing opinions are simply gauche. I mean, what if they have only, say, 29 years experience and 4 advanced degrees? I can certainly see how fervor and objectivity such as yours would make a fine researcher.

At the risk of being, once again, the proverbial fly in your ointment I will only say in my defense that I do, in fact, have a clear mind, most days….when I’m not fuming about losing my favorite tampon. Since you are on this site, I can only wonder if that’s the reason you seem so stressed. But, I digress….. Not to toot my own horn, but I read too. I also have a science background. I read peer reviewed research articles. I read opinions expressed by health care professionals, as well as talk to them. Sometimes, its the anecdotal evidence that leads to the truth.

My suspicions of “scientific studies” that have been done ad nauseam on many, many substances deemed safe by the FDA, only to find later that they are, in fact, not, is not as low a number as you would suggest. There are too many examples to list them all. I do not blame you personally for these failures, only point them out.

And yes, independent, ethical, sound research is being done all the time, thank God. So is the other kind. When its a lucrative product with wide market appeal, it is our duty to question that research. Companies that stand to make enormous profits from marketing that product are primarily the ones who fund those studies. Not common to skew data? Happens all the time. That’s corporate America; that’s reality.

If you feel that sucralose is a wonderfully safe product, then by all means, have at it. You are entitled to your opinion, as am I to disagree. I’ll admit, my original statement was not worded as it might have been, but what can I say? I was tired and cranky and entitled to an off day. I was not attacking you personally, as you seem to feel, but the product.

Just a word of caution, these blogs are intended for people to have a place to express themselves. Perhaps when they are not at their best, and it may, at times, be offensive to you. Might want to work on those people skills when you get out of the lab. Just saying. Think I’ll leave it at that.

DG

February 12, 2011 at 9:46 pm

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Dear CP, I believe your attack on me is wrong. Let people do their own research. I just mentioned it in passing others do what they may.

I’ve got good reasons, personally it gives me heartaches – not as bad as aspartame but still. You need not argue with personal experience.

I do apologize for side-tracking. It was info for girlcott only. It was not meant to offend you. I don’t see it as scare mongering to have people investigate things.

My last note here is that maxims are my replacement & not to return to ob because they did not regard us customers.

myself

February 12, 2011 at 10:07 pm

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Oh my look what’s happened. Well, I studied mathematics in college so I certainly cannot call myself a research scientist. Kudos to you for entering that field back when it must have been a challenge for a woman to go through those classes with what must have been 90% male and nobody taking us ladies seriously. Well, I do have an old college friend who worked for the FDA. Basically if a food or drug is not proved safe, it is not approved. I imagine you could look up the process a company must go through to get approval, it has been described to me and it is crazy long and difficult.

To be honest, companies don’t want to sell products that make their customers sick either…..that is bad for business. If I was selling Splenda and it made my customers sick they wouldn’t buy it from me anymore and I go broke, so even if I am a heartless person I don’t want to sell something that makes a person ill. (Not to mention the lawsuits that I would surely lose). There will always be a small number of people who cannot tolerate things that the rest of us can–my husband is lactose intolerant but I do just fine with dairy products. People with phenylketonurea cannot eat Equal but only 1/10,000 caucasian babies have the disease. So Equal is safe for the vast majority of people. See? On the other hand there are thousands of “advocacy groups” that have accumulated stockpiles of information proving that Splenda causes every kind of disease under the sun. Go to http://www.splendaexposed.com or type in “splenda is bad” in your favorite search engine.

A lot of people with fancy degrees are sharing a lot of really scary information. Well, I am certainly not as smart as CP (had to read that post about the safety of Splenda twice, lol) but as near as I can tell it causes headaches in some people but no long term damage in anyone according to legitimate scientific studies. When my Dad starting eating it after developing diabetes he says it gave him gas but that it was temporary. If the FDA ever determines Splenda is unsafe I believe it will be pulled from shelves just like unsafe products before it.

FWIW, from a third person perspective I don’t think CP was trying to be rude, she was trying to educate you. Sometimes when smart people throw a lot of info on us all at once we can take it the wrong way. I’m not gonna claim to be uber-smart but sometimes people have that reaction when I try to explain statistics or limits. So maybe try to see where each of you is coming from — I certainly see where both of you are coming from. Again, I am not a chemist or a research scientist. I am pretty far down on the food chain actually. I’ve just been coming here to check for updates on my favorite tampon and thought maybe I could play mediator. I hope I didn’t offend anyone and apologize profusely if I did.

DG

February 12, 2011 at 11:31 pm

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I noticed my tablet pc handwriting recognition spelled a couple things wrong in my last post attack and headaches not heartaches. LOL

Nothing wrong with what CP had to say, she can say what she wants, and I can object to the use of the word fear mongering. That is the only exception that I took. Showing statistics is fine- no problem let people decide. I just don’t like migraines, this being an experience base for me – other people may have no problem with the sucralose.

So again I don’t feel the need for a mediator, at least not on my part. At least we can voice our opinions and our statistics and our wishes. There are women in the world who don’t have this freedom.

TH

February 13, 2011 at 1:57 am

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To the several of you above, WHEN DID SUGAR OR SUCROSE become part of this forum? I thought we were all in it because of the tampons – OB to be precise. Please, just because J&J does the sugar whatever thing, take it elsewhere. We are all here because of the OB issue. I resent that you waste our space here for other reasons. Start a new one on the food section. This is about OB and the lack thereof of J&J discontinuing Ultra, which I used for several years.

Thanks a lot J&J. You lost another loyal one. I have been using other natural products, and will be trying Maxim after I travel to Washington to get them. They don’t have them anywhere in the State of Oregon. Wish they did. Have to pay sales tax and gas just to go and get them at a Health Food Store in Longview, WA. Wish Maxim had them in Oregon. Would make a lot of us happy and being able to try another product that probably is far better than OB. By the way, I have been seeing OB on the shelves at Fred Meyer in the Portland, OR area. Just walk by.

Sara

February 14, 2011 at 10:56 am

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I just discovered the discontinuation (my stockpile just ran out and I went shopping to discover that my entire city is OUT of Ultra); I’m in shock. So I called OB and was told they had no plans to start producing Ultra tampons again! My quality of life has just officially changed. I’m currently bidding on eBay, and it’s up to 35 dollars U.S. for one small box and climbing. The last auction ended at $123 U.S. This is awful.

Jani

February 19, 2011 at 6:13 pm

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I just recently started having more than 1 period a year because I’ve PCOS my whole life. After 30 years, I’ve gone from barely spotting for a few days, to torrential, horrible stay-home-from work-type issues. I don’t know how women stand this month after month, it’s hideous!! All the pads seem to have chemicals which make me have rashes. Bleaah. I’ve been trying all the different brands in the past few months, but at my age, it’s like learning a whole new lifestyle, language, skills. Honestly, I had no idea….

It was helpful to read all your posts though. At least I know it’s more common than I thought. OB Ultras helped, now they’re gone…I’m going to try Maxims as some of you have recommended, but otherwise I don’t know what to do. I’m pretty sure the drug solution will mess my body up even worse because all the meds and hormones the doctors tried in the past made me ill.

This situation bites.

Jill

March 1, 2011 at 10:30 pm

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I’ve read all the recent posts and I’m not convinced that Lil-lets Super Plus Extra are the same as the Ultra but it is pretty close and I’m sure I could get used to it, with a pad. Or rather, I will have to get used to it as there aren’t many choices. Lil-lets are better than a Super Plus OB, that is for sure, as I tried them one after the other with one of my last Super Plus OB’s. With the Lil-let I woke up in a mess after 4 hours of sleep, which hasn’t happened to me in many years, so either this month is the worst period I’ve ever had, or the Lil-lets just didn’t do the trick. I honestly am not sure which one it is.

Lil-lets are very stiff and aren’t meant to be spread out like the OB so they feel much, much thinner going in. I matched an Ultra (I am hoarding my last few, afraid to use them) right next to the Lil-let and the Ultra is a little fatter and spongier. The Lil-lets do expand width-wise quite a bit inside, once it is wet and when it is full it still doesn’t “feel” as full or heavy as a fully wet Ultra.

I will try the Maxim’s but I can’t honestly believe that they are the same as Ultra, as some other commenters have insisted. Really? Even though they refuse to make an Ultra size and are listed with a smaller absorbency? I just can’t imagine how they could possibly be the same as Ultra. Plus, they are $7 for a box of 20 plus shipping charges since they aren’t in any stores in NY that I can find, making them more expensive than getting the Lil-lets shipped from UK.

It took 7 weeks for my Lil-lets to be delivered via eBay. The seller was very agreeable, communicating and letting me know that other people in the US were also experiencing very long waits as the packages got through customs. $26 for 100 tampons including shipping and currency conversion.

Now about the Diva Cup, which I started to use 2 months ago. I found that I cannot use it during my heaviest 2 days without a pad, which I had to do with the Ultra anyways because sometimes the Cup leaked on my heaviest days after a pretty short time (ie 1-2 hours). The Cup leaks a lot more — when it leaks, it really leaks, not just a spot. What happens is it overflows and breaks the seal so it is really a flow, not a spotting leak that comes down the string like with a tampon.

One poster asked how the Cup works when laying down – the answer is that it forms a seal around your cervix, much like a diaphragm, but a different shape – more cup-shaped, less flat than a diaphragm. It holds the seal very well and to remove it you squeeze the cup to release the seal (and if it’s very full, a monsoon of blood gets on your hands). I would recommend it for the lighter days and for women who would otherwise use a Normal size tampon, maybe a Super. If you need a Super Plus or higher it is likely to fill up pretty quickly, and then is really messy when trying to insert or remove it while the blood is flowing so heavily.

I’m still very stressed out and gaze at my OB Ultras like they are the Mona Lisa. I have a few left and am simply afraid to use them. I tried to pretend I didn’t have them and used one SuperPlus instead when I got my period this week–what a shocking and depressing result.

That’s my feedback, I hope this helps some women make decisions.

Laura

March 2, 2011 at 1:52 pm

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I think there’s something going on here that is more far-reaching than their discontinuing the Ultras. I never used Ultras, I used Supers, but I haven’t been able to find ANY OB tampons for months, of any size.

If J&J was taking this action in order to promote some other kind of “treatment” for women with heavy flows, why take all the OB products off the market? OB had to have been an incredibly profitable product for them. Why did it disappear completely?

What can have happened? J&J is a mega-huge corporation. Surely they could not have experienced sourcing problems on this scale. What’s really happening?

(I remember Pursettes, too, and I loved them. I always figured that OB “killed” that brand to clear the field of competition.)

Rebecca

March 8, 2011 at 5:56 am

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Laura,

I don’t think we will know what happened until some “whistleblower” tells us what happened. The o.b. tampons are returning to at least the chain drug stores and the mass merchandisers; my local Target has them in stock again. There are no obvious changes to the product. They still say ‘Made in Canada’ rather than Timbuktu.

As for the Ultras. it is my opinion that J&J is afraid to sell this product because of product liability issues. They don’t care about women who need the product and use it responsibly.

There probably aren’t any patents still in force protecting the manufacture of early versions of o.b. tampons. This opens the door for some entrepreneur to form a “sandboxed” company to manufacture high-absorbancy tampons, possibly online and mail-order only.

Former o.b. customer

March 10, 2011 at 1:51 am

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I find it outrageous that J&J can yank a FDA-regulated product off the shelves with no explanation why, and then bring it back as if nothing had happened. How is this legal? The reason for this product’s disappearance must have been something terrible if they actually decided that their best option in this whole public relations debacle was to allow people to run wild with speculation and rumors, rather than just give us a straight answer. I will never trust J&J again.

ELIZABETH

March 10, 2011 at 5:24 pm

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Rebecca,

Why would the Ultra be dropped because of liability issues? Surely there is a liability with all tampons regardless of size? I don’t think toxic shock syndrome is limited to large size tampons only.

I do hope lil-lets hurry up and bring the super ultra size over to USA soon though, as while I was in UK during Xmas I managed to buy 30 boxes to bring over, so I’ll be okay for the next few months at least!

Koleena

March 15, 2011 at 2:38 am

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i really feel for you who have to use the Ultra but even for those of us who just need the regular which have seem to of disappeared. also this is uncalled for and really frustrating. case in point i just found out about this shortage today when i went to the store and about had a panic attack when the shelf was bare without any warning or explanation from the company. all i can say is Bad Form J&J Bad freaking Form. and after seeing how many ladies are pissed about this i dont see how they can say that the ultra wasn’t selling well. BULL! and i call SHENANIGANS!!!!!!

Colleen

March 15, 2011 at 9:30 am

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I know it has been said before but, finding this website has made me smile. I too am a long time user (29 years) after having children the ultra was perfect. Now with menopause there is nothing on the market that can help me. I feel like a teenager again, the accidents wow what a pleasant experience just the part of my youth I wanted to relive. I have been up for 4 hours and had to change my tampon four times, yeah. I have cold so every time I cough well you know.

I called the company and lodged a complaint, unfortunately companies of this size rarely listen. If anyone knows of a product that can help me I would appreciate hearing about it.

Deborah

March 18, 2011 at 2:14 pm

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Colleen, try the super Lil-ets. I bought 100 super plus extra Lil-ets on ebayuk.com for 9 pounds. (14.54 us dollars) I bought 2 packs of 100, and they took 4 weeks to get here. They are the same size and shape as the Ultras, just a little stiffer so they do not flair as much at the bottom. After kids, this is all that works for me too, and I literally cried when I found out the Ultra’s were discontinued. It took me a month of searching, and I wasted some money on other brands that didn’t work or stay in. Hopefully this will help you too. I’ve heard others say that Maxims work too, be I have not found them locally.

lovingone

March 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm

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You guys really need to search for the actual sales data on the major tampon brands to understand what J&J may be going through instead of assuming that discontinuing ob will hurt them because YOU like the product.

Just going from my memory here…… Tampax took in around $157 million by latest account, Playtex $117 million, Kotex (tampons) $72 million….. the source I read didn’t even bother to list the figures for ob but my guess is a DISTANT 4th.

Hey I used ob for a while in the late 1990’s for the short time they had a cardboard applicator version…. it’s a great tampon and I too need the width expansion and I get it from Playtex.

But maybe ob is just not profitable enough for J&J.

Carol Brkljacich

March 18, 2011 at 10:22 pm

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I have used the large “purple” o.b. tampons for 31 years. Both my daughters use them also. Combined, we went through 5 boxes a month. We will not switch to the smaller o.b. tampons that only last for 30 minutes. We will find a different brand as much as I hate to do it. They have been the best product out there for our bodies and flow. It has been such a disappointment to me that they aren’t available any longer. If this is because of company profits, shame on you.

lovignone

March 23, 2011 at 1:48 am

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Shame on them? Let’s say the product is no longer profitable (and I don’t know what the reason for the discontinuation is)….. how are they suppose to keep a product on the market that isn’t making enough money? Raise the price to cover the cost? Maybe they can sell it through gynecologists instead of in stores and avoid the overhead costs.

Is there anybody here who works in the business field and understands this stuff?

GW

March 24, 2011 at 1:18 pm

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- research of the net shows that J&J is having troubles in many areas – and perhaps dumping the ob tampon will help them, but on their website at ob there was for a while a link to heavy periods use these methods one of which was a pill created by McNeill of J&J to reduce your flow. This link however, went away after many complaints. I’ve been following this for many months. J&J is having trouble but they are not forthcoming on why they are discontinuing the product. Even the news media picked up the story at one point and the question remained unanswered.

So the question is why? And yes as a person who used this product I took it personally because — “It changes your lifestyle.” My solution is to ebay for Lil-lets and also to purchase maxims brand tampons. OB no longer deserves my support nor J&J — Why? Because they can’t seem to answer straightforward questions. After calling them every month for six months – and not hearing any real reasons nor good explanations I yield that as evidence that something is not right, and I personally voted with my wallet.

Kelley

March 25, 2011 at 7:21 am

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Has anyone else received a “survey” from ob in regard to the customer service you received when you contacted the company? It seems the premise of the survey was to fish around about social media sites. One question was – Do you think a company should be able to post replies about their products if products are discussed on social media sites? If they wanted to be involved in the “conversation” perhaps they should have cared more when all us women took time out of our busy lives to beg them for ultras! I actually feel sorry for the customer service reps having to dole out completely nonsensical responses to loyal customers all day. Poor schmucks. Curious to see if anyone else received this survey.

Sheilah

March 25, 2011 at 7:49 pm

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I bought the Super Plus Maxims on amazon and they arrived today. Let me tell ya, I am pissed! They are the EXACT SAME SIZE as Super Plus OBs!!! …which we all know don’t do a thing during heavy flow days. Ladies, I feel so defeated right now.

Deborah

March 28, 2011 at 9:06 am

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Sheilah, see my post above, the Lil-ets “Super Plus Extra” are the same size as the Ultras. You have to wait for them to arrive from overseas, but to me, it was worth it.

boshkunggirl

March 29, 2011 at 2:36 pm

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I am EVER so pissed that the OB Ultra tampon is AWOL. I’m using twice as many of the Super plus, and they just are not up to the job, let me tell you. Another sleepless nite will be spent tonite, changing up the useless “super” plus….

I e-mailed and called the company. Not helpful or informative. And even IF the ultra comes back online in May….seems to me there’s gonna be a supply/demand issue, judging by the response on this blog!!!

Damn their oily hides, at J&J….

Marika

April 6, 2011 at 4:46 pm

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I just got off the phone with the J & J Customer Comment people because this morning I was doing some reordering on drugstore.com & I found out that the o.b. Ultras were unavailable. Of course now I’ve found out they are just plain discontinued. (I’d bought a ton of boxes last Fall to get free shipping, so I didn’t run low until now this Spring). Of course, my first question to the J & J lady was “Why??” She really couldn’t say and assured me she didn’t even know, but she cryptically added that “the product wasn’t discontinued for only one reason”. Huh?

I decided to tell her why I thought it could be discontinued. Maybe I just needed to vent, or talk it through for my own good. Maybe I was hoping I could get her to spill whatever she *really* knew. Whatever the reason, she politely listened.

My suspicion, I told her, was that o. b. Ultra size doesn’t exist anymore for two reasons:
1/ Grocers & drugstores never seemed to stock that size typically (maybe men did the ordering for that aisle and they just couldn’t know how important that size is!) so sales looked dismal on J & J’s bottom line. Discontinue a poor seller, they would figure.
2/ Some female had a (terrible) notion that since Ultras absorb so much, heck, why not just leave it alone for an entire day or two? One Toxic Shock Crisis later, and then possibly a lawsuit, and BOOM. No more Ultras because the company didn’t want the grief or liability from misuse by women who didn’t follow the packet rules.

The J & J lady was nice about my theories but I got no answers. That canary wasn’t singing. She said definitively that there were NO PLANS in the works to bring them back.

But for us girls who get barely 2 hours out of the Ultra size… what are we supposed to do now? Not have lives? This is going to get in the way of daily life as we know it.

I will look into these Lil-ets I’m reading about here and hope they’re obtainable.

Beatrice White

April 6, 2011 at 8:16 pm

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Hi Everyone,

Good News, i found Ultra tampons (no applicator) on sale at http://www.tamponsonsale.com.

They are as good as Ultra OB Tampons -> great service.

(Editor’s Note: Write The Company is not affiliated with and does not endorse, recommend or run checks on any companies or resellers mentioned here. Do your research before purchasing from any business).

Adrienne

April 10, 2011 at 12:27 pm

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OH MY GOD! I thought I was the only one who was going to go spastic in the Tampon aisle recently; talk about a PMS moment in the drugstore. OB Ultras were the ONLY tampons I could use, because they were so absorbent. Now, it’s like shopping for tampons for the first time ever. Which ones are comparable? I will have to find out by trial & error. I agree that the Supers last 30 minutes. Thanks for having a forum on this!

Michele

April 11, 2011 at 8:02 am

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I’m at the very end of my saved stash of Ultras, have enough for one more day of my period…scared to death about what the hell I’m gonna do for my next period! On the recommendation of several of you, I placed an order for the Maxims at Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001F0R4Q2/ref=ox_ya_os_product

Not sure if this is a good price or not but at this point I really don’t care, I’m desperate and hope these work as well as Ultra!

Damned J&J, am furious! Do they have any idea how dangerous it is to piss off a bunch of PMS-ing and/or peri-menopausal women???

Blair

April 15, 2011 at 4:52 am

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I feel the same as many of you. Betrayed…however you (the blogger) got farther with your complaint to J&J than I did. I wrote them and told them I was boycotting OB until they continued the Ultra and they wrote back but did not invite me to speak to someone…jerks.

Blair

April 15, 2011 at 4:56 am

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and Beatrice the day I pay fifty dollars for a box of tampons is the day I am getting my uterus taken out.

Rita Mikelsons

April 17, 2011 at 1:39 am

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I agree with all of you!!!!!!!!! I have my flight attendant friends searching for Lil-let and OB SuperPlus in Europe. OB Super Plus in Germany is the equivalent to our Ultra. If this is some kind of a business decision, as I have been told by the folks at J&J, it’s time to tell them what we think of this decision and tell them how WE do business and boycott all Johnson & Johnson products!!!

PS ….. start checking your various tampon manufacturer’s boxes. They used to display all the different absorbancies and the volume they hold. Ultra is disappearing from all of them. It’s a dam conspiracy!!!!

NancyCP

April 20, 2011 at 7:55 pm

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I just wanted to say that in Nov when I discovered this I went ape #$%%, called J&J and they said that the ULTRAs will be out again May of the new year. I don’t think so. THEY LIED! THEY LIED! THEY LIED! Never buying J&J products EVER again.

Also Li-Lets are not taking any orders from Cdn or US residents right now. Have 5 boxes of Ultras now. Rationing them out.

maryO

May 12, 2011 at 11:56 pm

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I am late to this knowledge about OB stopping the Ultra size*, and I’m really pissed that a company the size of J&J is being so STUPID to their customers. My guess is that someone didn’t change their tampon in 2 days and got toxic shock syndrome — maybe because it was an ultra someone left it in for too long. Maybe this happened to several people, enough to cause lawsuits, and they decided to cut their losses.

For the first 2 days of my period I bleed like Niagra Falls. And the Super Plus size tampons just don’t cut it. I hate that a great product has bitten the dust because someone didn’t change often enough, or wash their hands, or something. Annoying. And annoying for a company to be all Super secret about telling millions of women what was up.

* They stopped being available at CVS but I still found them at the grocery store — I wish I’d wised up and bought up every purple box on the shelves!

Mary O.

May 23, 2011 at 8:01 pm

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I’m a little late in posting but have noticed the shortages and the inability to find Ultra in the stores or online. I just got off the phone with a J&J Rep that said the more people who call them, voice their desire to have the Ultra’s returned to market, the more chance the higher-ups will take notice and bring them back!!! Call and voice your opinion today to bring back Ultra’s: 877-454-7843 or on their OB website https://www.obtampons.com/en/questions-contact

TH

May 25, 2011 at 6:53 pm

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Mary O.

Thank you for the response. I have emailed them and mentioned that it would be in their best interest that they return the product to the shelves. They had angered a lot of women and having to find a replacement for them is unacceptable. Been there/done that. I can’t find a really good replacement where I live and some of the super don’t work. How do you work in retail and try to survive when you have to go back and forth the the ladies room and change. Maybe, Depends would work to compliment the supers. That should give that company more money as we all can’t run to the ladies room every 1/2 hour and management won’t bend. J&J you did a dis-service to all the women in the US that used the ULTRAs. Get your buns in gear and get them back on the store shelves.

CW

May 26, 2011 at 9:18 pm

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Last summer when I started noticing the WalMart was consistently out of stock of OB Ultras….I called OB and was told that nothing was up and pretty much gave me the run-around. I didn’t believe them so I went on a shopping frenzy…buying up as many Ultras as I could find. (I was a stocker-upper to begin with) I am on my last 2 boxes that I am trying to ration out for when I HAVE to leave home on one-of-those-gusher-days.

I have tried many things since last summer so I would have a plan for when I run out.

The catch here is that I have either a tilted uterus or and prolapsed uterus …..thus I can’t seem to get a menstrual cup to work (very disappointing….it would have been a total relief for it to work). The other problem that I had was applicator tampons would always flip sideways when they ran into my uterus…..very frustrating.

What I have found to work and seems to be just as absorbent as the OB Ultra…..

Playtex Gentle Glide ULTRA….

I remove them from the applicator and insert them just like the OB tampons…..rounded end first….flat end last…..flaring the flat end as much as possible and holding onto the string while inserting.

It isn’t my OB Ultra (which I used for over 30 years) but it seems to do the trick. (just as long as they don’t discontinue these…Target in my area doesn’t carry any Ultras at all in any brand………better start stocking up on these.)

Lesley

June 6, 2011 at 10:46 pm

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I don’t know if it makes a difference that I’m in Canada and not the US but I ordered several boxes of Lil-lets super plus extra from the UK Amazon site a couple of weeks ago and got them within about 10 days. Life savers!

PAM

June 8, 2011 at 6:58 am

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I’ve been out of the game (so to speak) for a while and was unaware that the OB Ultras were gone until a week ago. I am angry, disappointed, and very inconvenienced. If I had known in advance I would have spent my entire savings stocking up. I’m not even kidding. Those worthless OB supers barely last an hour, and nothing else is even worth the trouble of buying or attempting to use. It’s like the return of the freakin’ middle ages of menstruation! I even went on ebay and the going price is over $30.00 for a box of 40.

Jill

June 10, 2011 at 8:12 pm

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I’ve posted my recommendations of other brands I’ve tried, a couple times before, but every month I find myself back here hoping to find some good news. I have now settled on Tampax Pearl Ultras. They are the only thing that is even close to the OB Ultra. I haven’t tried the Playtex Ultra yet but I will next time I order the Tampax.

Since I can’t find them in a single store in NYC I have to get them from drugstore.com. I tried to get the pharmacy at CVS to special order them, which they do for other products they can get but don’t put on the shelves, and twice they shipped the store a box of Super Plus. They have no idea what the difference is.

Lisa McElroy Hunter

June 29, 2011 at 12:50 pm

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Similar story here. I wrote to the company, got some patronizing “oh so sorry” email back, but little real compassion. My friends and I are all outraged, as we are all perimenopausal and experiencing the “monsoon season” more heavily and in some cases, more frequently. What I began to wonder is this: were their pad sales flagging, due to the absorbency of tampons? Because as a result of this corporate decision, I have had to become a pad wearer as well. I used to be able to sleep through the night with an Ultra tampon in place, and make it from the start of my morning (I teach high school) to the lunch break (first bathroom opportunity) without leakage. No such luck now, so I have had to take to wearing pads — the dual defense method. More expensive and wasteful. Not to mention that I was NEVER a fan of wearing pads, and started with O.B. tampons (thanks, Mom!) when I got my first period (I have you all beat, 35+ years with OB!).

My main complaint with the Super Plus as recommended by the company? It’s NOT BIG ENOUGH. Get enough flow going, a good hard sneeze and that puppy just flies right out. Not a comfortable feeling, especially when I’m in the middle of class and can’t just excuse myself for a sprint to the nearest bathroom. The Ultra absorbed more fluid and it stayed in place where it was supposed to be. I’ve even contemplated tying two of the Super Plus together to fix the problem, but I’m afraid they might get stuck or something. The Super . . . well, they’re just useless. I won’t even comment on the Regular size . . .

As a consequence, I’m going to investigate two of the alternative brands recommended here. As a fan of the non-applicator tampon, I’m not even bothering with Tampax or Playtex, since past experience has taught me with both brands that a) I can’t stand applicators; and b) they’re not any better than o.b. supers. So I guess I’m heading to the upscale organic groceries/pharmacies to get the higher-priced organic brands in hopes that they’ll suffice . . .

Does anyone else see how this ties to the recent shift in the political climate (vis-a-vis the Republic party/Tea Party) and their attacks on women’s rights? The attempt to defund Planned Parenthood . . . the recent spate of “the rape was her fault because she wore provocative clothing” comments . . . is the discontinuation of the Ultra a clever plot to tie the older menstruating woman (who is old enough to be higher up in the corporate world) to a desk or office?

DG

June 29, 2011 at 5:23 pm

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My replacements are Lil-lets and maxims brands. The trouble is getting lil-lets. I’d even consider purchasing from Germany the OB as they still have the Ultra size, but it is called super there – according to some. Lil-lets does a close to OB job, just not exactly the same.

I think that the politics of this doesn’t have to do much with what you suggest – just remember ob – is promoting the smaller the better and for the betterment of the planet. Look we are green (with envy, or money, but not with the green they want to promote)

It bottom lines (pun intended) at making money! They can sell their new drug for heavy periods or just sell more tampons and force women to change them more often. – It is all about the money. And here we thought it was about providing something great for us the customer! Nope, even when a customer wants a product we are going to say no.

Keep the pressure going – I’ll make my monthly call to ob again! Sighs!

Rachael

July 27, 2011 at 11:02 pm

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OK so like most of you I was super upset with the discontinuation of the ultra tampon and once I found out I went on ebay and purchased 5 boxes for $200.00 in December and have been rationing since. I was thankful that they brought back the other products but nothing can truly replace the ultra in the US pharmacy aisles.

Never in my life did I think I would spend that much on tampons but since I have such a “monsoon” I thought that I would get enough to hold me over until I found an adequate replacement. Well here I am 8 months later and none of them have come close. All the tampex kotex products are fine for my regular days but when I have the monsoon for 3 of my 7 days I would be running for the ladies room every hour. Not good considering my job is half in the office and half on the road and trying to find a clean bathroom in the Brooklyn/Queens area is a challenge. Haha.

Thanks to the ladies on the forum I will be trying the lil-lits. I ordered them on ebay and they should be arriving just in time for my next monthly. I will write back to tell you how they work.

On a side note pressuring J&J will do nothing. They are thinking numbers only and know they can make much more money selling the super plus at a high volume then offering the ultras back to the market. If you think about it from a financial standpoint you would have to change the super plus every hour or so rather then using the ultra every 2 to 3 hours. Sales volume will increase for them by offering only the super plus rather then reintroducing the ultra back to the market. As far as TSS goes I have been using the ultra for years and have never had an issue so if that’s the angle they are using as to why they will not bring back the ultra I say PFFFFFFT! I agree putting a warning label on the ultra would clear up any kind of litigation issues, however ladies we need to remember that J&J is a business and business’s are in the business of making money. I highly doubt that their decision was based on concern for its consumers, rather it was based on their annual profit and how to raise it.

gsjjs1

September 10, 2011 at 9:25 pm

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Just read the following on the Johnson & Johnson OB page:

September 9, 2011: The o.b.® Brand continues to work towards bringing o.b.® Ultra back to the market. We are committed to listening to the needs of our consumers and keeping them apprised of our plans. Your patience is appreciated.

Maybe they will be back on the market soon.

DG

October 11, 2011 at 4:05 pm

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Today I went to the lil-lets.com website and clicked on the UK link. In the past when I’ve tried to order I got a message that they can’t ship to US. This time when I clicked on add to cart the super plus ultra tampons were added to the cart and it asked if I wanted to check out!!! Hurray for Lil-lets. I haven’t checked out yet though as I’m considering other options. We’ll see.

pranagirl

October 14, 2011 at 7:15 pm

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Wow! I thought maybe they took them off the shelves because they didn’t sell well. I was wrong!

I tell ya, I completely understand the inconvenience of it all. I’m a distance runner and it NEVER fails that I have my monsoon on race day! I used to be able to get by with the ultra if I timed it just right. No dilly dallying after the race…run to the bathroom ASAP! Lately I’ve had to use Tena diapers! Not fun! Those things chafe like crazy! Like I”m bleeding enough already, I don’t need razor cuts in inner thighs as well!

For training runs, I have to adjust my whole schedule around the monsoon and yes, I’m up several times a night. If I”m not leaking, I’m sweating! My husband doesn’t understand how we woman have to deal with this crap in this day and age.

I feel better reading all your posts but still just as frustrated. I have a race tomorrow…and guess what, yep, monsoon…same with next month! I must wear black from now on!

pranagirl

October 14, 2011 at 7:25 pm

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I’m reading that you are actually finding ultra size in other brands? We don’t have ultra anything here in Canada! o.b. Ultras were the only ones! Looks like I’m going to have to at least go shopping across the border for tampons. How sad is that!?

marlene

October 24, 2011 at 11:11 pm

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(Bleep) you at your attempt at satire! Maybe it wouldn’t be so funny if Viagra only lasted a minute or condoms, in order to save rubber, (or whatever the hell they are made of), were punctured with holes! Maybe then, a bit of empathy, and tampons the size of Q-tips, would not be a joke.

Editor’s note: This comment has been edited for profanity. The (Bleep) rhymes with stuck.

Write The Company

October 25, 2011 at 1:06 am

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Marlene: With over 475 comments, yours is the first that took offense with the letter. Ironically, it was the company’s response (or actually, lack of one) to the situation, that I and an overwhelming number of women found offensive.

DG

November 7, 2011 at 2:53 pm

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The ob ultras are reportedly returning according to the ob website. However, keep calling and girlcotting all J&J products and OB products until they actually hit the shelves!!!

As far as the satire – it WAS entirely funny and I’m one of those that found OB offensive not this blog. Must admit though that as the months have worn on my sense of consternation has grown, not at this blog, but at the ones who made the decision to discontinue the ultras in the first place — OB.

Write The Company

November 7, 2011 at 4:57 pm

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DG, thanks for the o.b. update and your support of the blog!

Marcia

December 7, 2011 at 10:29 am

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OB Ultra equivalent 18-21 gram absorbancy is available at Ultra-Tampon (dot) com on the internet.They will come as European OB Super Plus and are more absorbent than Ultras. 98.00 for 192 tampons, best deal out there right now.

OB has a sappy card and song a dance which I refuse to open on the internet. Wish they would just get the Ultras (or better yet the European 18-21 gram equivalent) on our shelves here in the US.Told them so in an email as well.

DG

December 11, 2011 at 11:23 pm

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It will be great to have the return of the ultra- and after having gotten some European ones- those would be even better totally agree.

O.b. makes another tampons error, but pulls off the best apology ever | ATX Post

February 16, 2012 at 5:42 pm

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[...] wasn’t the only one: Women around the world wondered, complained and panicked. Loyal customers resorted to buying tampons on eBay, where a 40-count box (which [...]

DG

February 17, 2012 at 2:04 pm

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The apology, while a good marketing tool may not sway the skeptics such as myself. I’ve blogged and called stating that “Until a box of ob ultra is in my hands- I’m still girlcotting the company.” I am very glad that the company is listening, BUT until the actual product is in hand apologies only keep me with a wait and see attitude.

TH

February 22, 2012 at 11:45 pm

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I have noticed that OB is roaring back to the shelves, but not the ULTRA. I am boycotting J&J and wish they would get their act in gear and get them back on the store shelves. I’ve had enough of the super and having to change very often. Not only that, but you go through a box or more if it’s a monsoon and wearing a pad too doesn’t do the trick either. By the way, have all of you noticed that they are recalling more J&J products? Interesting. Somebody’s not getting it right, but they had better get moving. I am getting tired of waiting and the madder I get, the more I tell others that J&J can’t stand up on their own two feet and are using the ULTRA as a ploy to get us to use other products that don’t work. I am spreading the word. Everyone else keep it up too.

Annie P.

March 19, 2012 at 12:11 pm

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While in Paris, I found OB tampons in the drug stores that are equivalent to the Ultras. The box is green, there are 5 tear drops indicating maximum absorption and they were not overly expensive. I am kicking myself for only buying 4 boxes. When I got home, I compared them to one of my sacred purple OBs and they are the exact same size, absorption, etc. I have been using them for 4 months and am now begging friends and family to bring them home from Paris as my souvenir!

DG

March 23, 2012 at 4:08 pm

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I’m furious and want someone to make a new product similar – we need to stop waiting for ob and find a manufacturer who will do this.

Pammy J

May 23, 2012 at 9:36 pm

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I am back in the States after 3 years abroad and bought the only OB’s I could find… OMG I was so shocked to see how different (and small) they were. Leaks leaks leaks! And some kind of freaky diaper-like absorbency thing that probably theoretically holds in the moisture, but instead lets a lot more slip right on through. I thought the problem was me but decided to search online to see if others noticed this too and thankfully, all of you have. I can say I have been able to find them (Ultras i.e. “the good ones”) in recent months/years in other countries, and similar brands that mimic the Ultra, but are not available in the U.S. But while I am in the U.S. I am completely frustrated, and have taken to wearing pads and liners for the first time in decades, just to take care of accidents. Glad, though, to find it’s not just me.

Heather

May 31, 2012 at 8:20 pm

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I thought we had heard that Ultras were going to be back in the stores in May of this year? It is now the last day of May….no Ultras in sight in my area….has anyone heard any news??

Jen M

July 8, 2012 at 5:37 pm

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Not sure if this is a fluke finding but …… I FOUND 2 BOXES OF OB ULTRAS at my local Martin’s Grocery in VA. This spurred me to check other stores in town, but I found nothing further.

mbguba

August 1, 2012 at 2:22 am

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THEY ARE BACK, just purchased some at amazon.com, also available at drugstore.com, see the ob web site

Lilia

August 1, 2012 at 12:11 pm

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Bought OB ULTRA in Winnipeg, Canada, local SuperStore

Heather

August 19, 2012 at 9:35 am

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Just found OB Ultras at London Drugs in the West Edmonton Mall while on vacation in Alberta, Canada. Wow! Still nothing at any of the other stores I have checked….but this gives me hope!!

TH

September 15, 2012 at 2:41 am

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Tigard, OR – I have found the ULTRA OB tampons on the shelves at Fred Meyers as of 8/9/12. They are back on the shelves and I was in shock when I saw the purple spot on the box and they said Ultra. About time they are back on to the shelves. We’ve all waited long enough. So, ladies, start checking the shelves in the Greater Portland, OR area.

TH

September 28, 2012 at 10:20 pm

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Portland, OR – The stores are sold out of them. I have checked several Fred Meyers and there are none. Hope more come in. Good luck ladies.

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