Amazon’s Alexa has been trained to offer better advice on periods.
Alexa can now answer a series of detailed questions on periods by using information from the Freedom4Girls charity, whose guides have been informed by British teenagers, alongside existing content on the NHS website.
Questions it can answer include “Alexa, what is period pain?”, “Alexa, can periods affect my mental health?”, “Alexa, how do you use period pads?” and “Alexa, what is a typical age to start your period?”
Other questions for which Alexa has answers include “Alexa, what are reusable period products?”, “Alexa, where can I get free period products?” and “Alexa, are reusable period products cheaper?”
Amazon worked with the period poverty charity Freedom4Girls to develop the new experience.
Tina Leslie, founder of Freedom4Girls, said: “It’s so important that teenagers and parents alike can communicate with each other properly about periods, which is why we’re happy to be working with Amazon’s Alexa to ensure the correct resources are readily available to more families around the country.
“The new features will be useful for anyone – whether you’re embarking on your first menstrual cycle, or if you’re helping someone you know prepare for their experience.”
Dennis Stansbury, UK country manager for Alexa, said: “Alexa can now act as a tool to help families navigate challenging conversations around menstruation.
“The hope is that having useful and relevant information available on Alexa via voice will encourage an open environment for these discussions.”
Censuswide polled 1,007 UK parents with teenagers for new research to support the launch.
Almost two-thirds (65%) of those surveyed said having easier access to quality information around periods would make them more comfortable having these types of conversations within their family.
While 80% believed having open conversations reduces embarrassment and stigma, some 37% admitted they are too embarrassed at the moment to have open conversations about periods.
A further 30% said they struggle to talk about them because they are worried about saying the wrong thing.