Menstrual cups aim to end 'period poverty'

Menstrual cups aim to end 'period poverty'
Photo credit: Instagram.

A New Zealand company is aiming to end 'period poverty' with a cheaper alternative to tampons and pads.

MyCup NZ and the Tukau Community Fund have joined forces to provide menstrual cups for women in Northland towns Kawakawa and Moerewa.

Menstrual cups are a reusable, environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative to tampons and pads.

Moerewa resident Diane Heta has four daughters and told Stuff that the cups eased financial pressure on her family.

"Tampons are so expensive to buy. I've been buying tampons for 30 years. I will never buy them again."

She said girls unable to afford sanitary products will sometimes be too embarrassed to go to school.

MyCup claims it can save girls hundreds of dollars a year, or almost NZ$10,000 in a lifetime.  

Cofounder Kimberli Schuitman says every woman should have access to sanitary products "regardless of socioeconomic status", and donates a cup for every one purchased from her company.  

MyCup was the first company to create a New Zealand-made menstrual cup. The first was produced in September, and the product launched in December.

Since September 2017, the initiative has given out more than 580 menstrual cups to women and girls in need.