Mens¬≠trua¬≠tion Around the World is series from Vul¬≠vani that attempts to show the diver¬≠sity of mens¬≠trual expe¬≠ri¬≠en¬≠ces around the world. We por¬≠tray people from dif¬≠fe¬≠rent coun¬≠tries with their per¬≠so¬≠nal sto¬≠ries. Let us explore the won¬≠der¬≠ful world of mens¬≠trual expe¬≠ri¬≠en¬≠ces tog¬≠e¬≠ther and learn from each other to under¬≠stand our own mens¬≠trua¬≠tion as spi¬≠ri¬≠tual prac¬≠tice as well.

Yas¬≠mine was born in Eng¬≠land, but moved to Leba¬≠non at the age of two. When Yas¬≠mine was dia¬≠gno¬≠sed with pri¬≠mary dys¬≠me¬≠nor¬≠r¬≠hea, she began tracking her mens¬≠trual cycle and chan¬≠ged her life¬≠style. She now under¬≠stands her mens¬≠trua¬≠tion as a spi¬≠ri¬≠tual prac¬≠tice and is healing her pain by deeper con¬≠nec¬≠ting with her own body through cycle awa¬≠reness. She is living in har¬≠mony with her inner sea¬≠sons, as the dif¬≠fe¬≠rent pha¬≠ses of the mens¬≠trual cycle are often refer¬≠red to. And thus under¬≠stan¬≠ding her needs throughout the month in a whole new way. Thanks so much dear Yas¬≠mine for sharing your uni¬≠que per¬≠spec¬≠tive and expe¬≠ri¬≠en¬≠ces about lear¬≠ning more about your periods.

Personal Information

Name: Yas­mine
Age: 30
Gen­der / Sex: Female
Coun¬≠try of birth: Eng¬≠land
Home: Leba¬≠non
Job: Mens­trual cycle guide / Desi­gner
Age at first period: 10
Favo­rite period pro­duct: Eco­Femme was­ha­ble pads
Cost per mens¬≠trua¬≠tion: 0! I made was¬≠ha¬≠ble cloth pads that I have been using.
Con­tracep­tion: Fer­ti­lity awa­reness method

1. How is menstruation seen in your family, culture or even country?

A lot of Leba¬≠nese women are waking up to the wis¬≠dom of their mens¬≠trua¬≠tion. In the last few work¬≠shops that I gave, I could feel the eager¬≠ness to learn about things that are already intui¬≠tively felt. Howe¬≠ver amongst many women and men, mens¬≠trua¬≠tion is mostly still a secret here in Lebanon.

On making menstrual cloth pads

A few days ago I made a phone call to a fab¬≠ric sup¬≠plier here as I am loo¬≠king for the right mate¬≠rial to sew some more mens¬≠trual cloth pads. I spoke to the sales¬≠man and he was giggling throughout the whole phone call. As though, hea¬≠ring for the first time, the idea of a mens¬≠trual cloth pad. He thought that I was joking. He couldn‚Äôt believe what my request was when I said I wan¬≠ted a fab¬≠ric that is highly absor¬≠bent to replace dis¬≠po¬≠sable pads. I felt that he was really in shock and somehow dis¬≠gus¬≠ted. But I smi¬≠led back, sen¬≠ding him meta all the way.

Dreaming of a world where menstruation is celebrated

As for my family, we don‚Äôt really talk much about it. I didn‚Äôt even know when my sis¬≠ters got their peri¬≠ods for the first time. These days, howe¬≠ver, as I am ope¬≠ning up more and more the topic around my sis¬≠ters and friends. I feel that we are brea¬≠king the walls of shame. I feel it hap¬≠pe¬≠ning all around the world. This is great. I dream of a world where mens¬≠trua¬≠tion is cele¬≠bra¬≠ted and seen as a power rather than a nuance.

2. How and by whom were you educated about menstruation?

I was first edu¬≠ca¬≠ted about mens¬≠trua¬≠tion at school. It was one class taken on the last floor of our school buil¬≠ding. So it felt secre¬≠tive. We were all shy when the tea¬≠cher was pre¬≠sen¬≠ting the facts. No one really asked any ques¬≠ti¬≠ons. And then that was it.

Menstruation as a spiritual practice

Later on in life because I was dia¬≠gno¬≠sed with pri¬≠mary dys¬≠me¬≠nor¬≠r¬≠hea, I had a lot of acne and chro¬≠nic fati¬≠gue. I began chan¬≠ging my diet and life¬≠style. And tracking my cycle to under¬≠stand where the pain is com¬≠ing from until I dis¬≠co¬≠ve¬≠red that healing pain will come from releasing blo¬≠cked emo¬≠ti¬≠ons, cycle syn¬≠cing, con¬≠nec¬≠ting with my femi¬≠nine and through the prac¬≠tice of cycle awa¬≠reness. I came in con¬≠tact with many resour¬≠ces that really inspi¬≠red me to dig deeper and con¬≠nect with my inner truth by giving me the pro¬≠per lan¬≠guage for mens¬≠trua¬≠tion as a spi¬≠ri¬≠tual prac¬≠tice, inclu¬≠ding the ama¬≠zing wri¬≠ter and rese¬≠ar¬≠cher Lara Owen and the foun¬≠ders of the Red School.

Menstruation als spirituelles Ritual, Menstruation as a spiritual practice, cycle awareness, spiritual healing, sacred periods, menstrual cycle, Menstruation als spirituelle Praxis, Zyklusachtsamkeit, Zyklusbewusstsein, spirituelles Ritual, spirituelle Bedeutung der Menstruation, heilige Menstruation, weibliche Kraft, feminine energy, menstruation around the world, periods around the world, periods in Lebanon, Menstruation und Spiritualität, Vulvani
Menstruation als spirituelles Ritual, Menstruation as a spiritual practice, cycle awareness, spiritual healing, sacred periods, menstrual cycle, Menstruation als spirituelle Praxis, Zyklusachtsamkeit, Zyklusbewusstsein, spirituelles Ritual, spirituelle Bedeutung der Menstruation, heilige Menstruation, weibliche Kraft, feminine energy, menstruation around the world, periods around the world, periods in Lebanon, Menstruation und Spiritualität, Vulvani

Photo Credits: Yas­mine

3. Tell us a little about your first period.

I was tal¬≠king about peri¬≠ods a day before with my best friend at the time. A day later It star¬≠ted! It was 6am. I was hea¬≠ding for a mara¬≠thon and not¬≠hing could stop me, not even my period! But there in the heat, I felt that some¬≠thing had chan¬≠ged and I nee¬≠ded to rest.

4. Which menstrual products have you already tried?

Always Ultra has been the pro¬≠duct I have used throughout my teenage years up until I was 25. When they added per¬≠fume to their pro¬≠ducts, it really did it for me. And I repla¬≠ced them with this ama¬≠zing plastic free brand, Natra¬≠care, that uses orga¬≠nic mate¬≠rial. The touch is so nice and feels so much more natu¬≠ral. Recently I bought a was¬≠ha¬≠ble cloth pad from Eco¬≠femme. It was the best thing ever! I star¬≠ted using cloth pads ever since. This makes my mens¬≠trua¬≠tion phase really like a ritual, the whole expe¬≠ri¬≠ence chan¬≠ged. I highly recom¬≠mend it.

5. Menstruation as a spiritual practice: What do you like to do when on your period?

I like to make a lot of femi¬≠nine tea that inclu¬≠des laven¬≠der, cramp bark, cha¬≠mo¬≠mile and rose petals. Espe¬≠cially on the first day as a cele¬≠bra¬≠tion. My favou¬≠rite thing to do during the first 2 days is sleep, a lot!!! I allow mys¬≠elf to lay down and give in, sur¬≠ren¬≠der, day dream like no other day of the month as I under¬≠stand mens¬≠trua¬≠tion as a spi¬≠ri¬≠tual prac¬≠tice. I do not like to leave my nest during the first few days of my period. So I make sure to pre¬≠pare a big bowl of tomato soup and do all the gro¬≠cery shop¬≠ping ahead of time.

6. How are you feeling when menstruating?

Right before I get my period, I feel very eupho¬≠ric. My state of awa¬≠reness is very heigh¬≠te¬≠ned. I feel as though I am see¬≠ing the world through a new expan¬≠ded lens. It‚Äôs won¬≠der¬≠ful! I am blee¬≠ding when the moon is waning and almost dark. So on the first or second day I feel pretty slug¬≠gish and like to be left alone, in darkness. I really allow mys¬≠elf to dis¬≠con¬≠nect during the first few days because my body and mind are busy rege¬≠ne¬≠ra¬≠ting. I love eating tomato soup white rice during the first few days with cori¬≠an¬≠der. Cramp bark is my favou¬≠rite remedy for dis¬≠com¬≠fort. It soot¬≠hes me and puts me to sleep. Also some¬≠ti¬≠mes I feel like cry¬≠ing a lot. So many emo¬≠ti¬≠ons and visi¬≠ons from the month before or even from the past sur¬≠face and leave me through tears. I love this pro¬≠cess. I believe it is truly sacred.

7. Who are you talking to about menstruation?

I am tal¬≠king to my girl¬≠friends, my sis¬≠ters, my part¬≠ner ‚Äď but mostly when I teach, I talk more in depth about it.

8. Do you have a particular funny, embarrassing or important story about menstruation?

Just blee¬≠ding through my pants, ALWAYS, as a teen¬≠ager (in flights, class¬≠room etc.).

9. Want to share anything else about menstruation?

Yes, I wanna say that con¬≠nec¬≠ting with my mens¬≠trual cycle has allo¬≠wed me to know mys¬≠elf more and to under¬≠stand my needs throughout the month unasha¬≠medly. It really chan¬≠ged how I per¬≠ceive things, like for example the pro¬≠cess of crea¬≠tion. Awa¬≠reness of my cycle and under¬≠stan¬≠ding mens¬≠trua¬≠tion as a spi¬≠ri¬≠tual prac¬≠tice truly chan¬≠ged my life.

Menstruation als spirituelles Ritual, Menstruation as a spiritual practice, cycle awareness, spiritual healing, sacred periods, menstrual cycle, Menstruation als spirituelle Praxis, Zyklusachtsamkeit, Zyklusbewusstsein, spirituelles Ritual, spirituelle Bedeutung der Menstruation, heilige Menstruation, weibliche Kraft, feminine energy, menstruation around the world, periods around the world, periods in Lebanon, Menstruation und Spiritualität, Vulvani

Photo Credits: Yas­mine

Do you want to become part of ‚ÄėMenstruation around the world‚Äô?

We hope to be able to pre¬≠sent the por¬≠traits of mens¬≠trua¬≠ting people as varied and diverse as pos¬≠si¬≠ble. And for this we need you ‚Äď no mat¬≠ter how you feel about your own mens¬≠trua¬≠tion or where you come from! If you would like to be part of this series and share your per¬≠so¬≠nal expe¬≠ri¬≠en¬≠ces and thoughts about mens¬≠trua¬≠tion with us, please write us a mes¬≠sage or sim¬≠ply fill out this ques¬≠ti¬≠onn¬≠aire (anony¬≠mously is also pos¬≠si¬≠ble). We are already loo¬≠king for¬≠ward to sharing your story with the Vul¬≠vani community!

Britta Wiebe, period education, Vulvani
Britta 
Co-Foun­der Vulvani | britta@vulvani.com | Web­site | + posts

Britta Wiebe is the co-foun­der of Vul­vani. She loves rese­ar­ching, wri­ting and designing new arti­cles or inno­va­tive edu­ca­tio­nal con­cepts about mens­trua­tion all day long. When she is not tra­vel­ling the world, she enjoys spen­ding time with her loved ones in the beau­ti­ful city of Ham­burg in Germany.