‚ÄėMens¬≠trua¬≠tion around the world‚Äô is a series 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 stories.

Janelle, known as The Nurse Note, lives in the US, but grew up in a large Jamai¬≠can family in Canada. As a cer¬≠ti¬≠fed nurse and health pro¬≠fes¬≠sio¬≠nal, she tea¬≠ches about repro¬≠duc¬≠tive and sexual health over on her blog. In our inter¬≠view, she tells us which sus¬≠tainable pro¬≠ducts make her period easier to manage ‚Äď even though she only lear¬≠ned about them a few years back. Thanks so much for the inter¬≠view, dear Janelle!

Personal Information

Name / Alias: Janelle / The Nurse Note
Age: 41
Gen­der / Sex: Female
Home: Atlanta, USA
Degree + Job: Nurse!
Age of first period: 14
Favo¬≠rite period pro¬≠duct: Nix it cups / The Diva Cup
Cost per mens¬≠trua¬≠tion: Zero now since I swit¬≠ched to mens¬≠trual cups
Con¬≠tracep¬≠tion: Condoms

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

I‚Äôm from a large Jamai¬≠can family. We really didn‚Äôt talk about peri¬≠ods much. My mom taught me the basics about my body and what to expect when I got my period but this really isn‚Äôt a sub¬≠ject that was dis¬≠cus¬≠sed much.

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

I was initi¬≠ally taught by my mom where I lea¬≠ned the basics. I recei¬≠ved a more for¬≠mal edu¬≠ca¬≠tion in school. I grew up in Toronto Canada where sex Ed was part of the stands cur¬≠ri¬≠cu¬≠lum. We lear¬≠ned about our body part and how they worked.

3. Talk a little about your first period.

I was actually at school of all pla¬≠ces. It was the last few days before the end of the school year. I remem¬≠ber having ter¬≠ri¬≠ble cramps in class. I went to the restroom and dis¬≠co¬≠ve¬≠red I star¬≠ted my period. I was not pre¬≠pa¬≠red at all. I didn‚Äôt have a pad or anything! So I bal¬≠led up some toi¬≠let paper and made a makes¬≠hift pad to use until I went home.

4. How do you feel about your own menstruation? Has this feeling changed over the years?

I’ve been for­tu­n­ate that my peri­ods have not been too bad. As I’ve aged the have become shor­ter (yay!) and my cramps are gene­rally pretty bearable.

5. Which menstrual products have you already tried? And how were your experiences with the different products?

I have tried pads, tam¬≠pons and liners. In recent years I have been intro¬≠du¬≠ced to cups and period pan¬≠ties. I abso¬≠lutely love these! They have made my period so much easier to manage and since they are reus¬≠able, they have hel¬≠ped me to save a cou¬≠ple of bucks.

6. What do you like to do when on your period?

I like to sleep (lol). I‚Äôm often tired during my period, so allow mys¬≠elf to rest.

7. How are you feeling when menstruating? What kind of food or home remedies help you with menstrual discomfort?

I‚Äôm usually a little irri¬≠ta¬≠ble the first day of my period but con¬≠tent the sub¬≠se¬≠quent days. I often like to exer¬≠cise when I‚Äôm on my period. I find that it helps with my cramps and impro¬≠ves my mood.

8. Who are you talking to about menstruation?

Ever¬≠yone! My blog and social media plat¬≠form are dedi¬≠ca¬≠ted to edu¬≠ca¬≠ting women about their bodies. I often get ques¬≠ti¬≠ons from my fol¬≠lo¬≠wers about their peri¬≠ods so I love to pro¬≠vide them with various reme¬≠dies and health options.

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

There was a period of time when I was having break through blee¬≠ding‚Ķ like every day for weeks on end. I made it a prio¬≠rity to check in with my doc¬≠tor and let her know what was going on. I knew it was important to advo¬≠cate for mys¬≠elf and my health.

10. Want to share anything else about menstruation (or yourself)?

Yes! If you’re loo­king for strai­ght­for­ward infor­ma­tion about vagi­nas, peri­ods and sex, you should defi­ni­tely check out my blog thenursenote.com

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
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.