Women in Northland are being offered a cheaper option to tampons and pads. Two local companies are providing menstrual cups with an aim to lift women out of 'period poverty' with users of the cup experiencing a wide range of benefits in addition to cost saving.
Labour MP Willow-Jean Prime is a member of the community group Tukau. She says, "My sister and I saw it and thought, we need to give these to all women in this district so they have control when it comes to that time of the month and we've found it definitely makes it easier for our ladies and we're now seeing the benefits."
Since September Tukau Community Fund supporters have distributed nearly 600 menstrual cups to families in the Moerewa and Kawakawa district and through continued fundraising aim to share it with communities across Northland.
Promoters say the cup is easy to use and users will save tens of thousands of dollars in a lifetime with a cup guaranteed to last ten years. The use of the cup also alleviates the risk of toxic shock from chemicals used in the production of a number of menstrual products and there are also environmental benefits with a lot less menstrual products going to waste.
Prime says, "What's most important is that we explain how to use the cup every month so that our people clearly understand and have an alternative option to whats already available."
Tukau has an arrangement with the company My Cup New Zealand who sell the product from their website at a cost of $25 each. For every cup sold Tukau receive another to distribute amongst Northland families.
Prime says, "In the beginning, we were promoting it on the street, "Initially, our people were quite shy but once they used them they were recommending the cup to all their family and friends to try. It's definitely changed my world, it has so many benefits!"
It's envisaged that the use of the cup will spread by communities sharing it.