Men­stru­a­tion Around the World is series from Vul­vani that attempts to show the diver­sity of men­strual expe­ri­ences around the world. We por­tray peo­ple from dif­fer­ent coun­tries with their per­sonal sto­ries. Let us explore the won­der­ful and so diverse world of men­strual expe­ri­ences together. Let’s go to Scot­land and talk with Vicky about her per­sonal endometrio­sis experience.

Endometrio­sis is a chronic, very painful dis­ease of peo­ple with a uterus and the causes for the devel­op­ment of the dis­ease are still unknown! Actu­ally 1 in 10 men­stru­at­ing peo­ple is affected by endometrio­sis. And Vicky from Scot­land is one of them. Because of her endometrio­sis expe­ri­ence she is now a leader in a sup­port group for men­stru­at­ing peo­ple with endometrio­sis. Here she talks about her jour­ney with her period.

Per­sonal Information

Name: Vicky
Age: 32
Gen­der / Sex: female
Coun­try of birth: Scot­land
Home: Arbroath, Scot­land
Job: Devel­op­ment Offi­cer
Age at first period: 11
Favorite period prod­uct: I haven’t bled in three years due to endometrio­sis treat­ment.
Con­tra­cep­tion: Mini pill

Endometriosis experience, endometriosis story, endometriosis stories, my endometriosis, life with endometriosis, endometriosis research, endometriosis pain, endometriosis treatment, endometriosis diagnosis, Endometriose Erfahrung, Endometriose Geschichte, Endometriose Geschichten, Weg zu Endometriose, starke Regelschmerzen Endometriose, Endometriose Schmerzen, Endometriose Behandlung, Endometriose Diagnose, Period Scotland, Periode Schottland, menstruation around the world

How is men­stru­a­tion seen in your fam­ily, cul­ture and even country?

A bill for free pro­vi­sion of period prod­ucts has recently been passed. And that is an amaz­ing achieve­ment for Scot­land! Fol­low­ing my diag­no­sis and now expe­ri­ence with endometrio­sis in 2017, men­stru­a­tion is more widely talked about in my fam­ily now.

How and by whom were you edu­cated about menstruation?

My Mum was always open with me about peri­ods. I don’t recall all that much talk of it in school. I started my period aged 11 and was diag­nosed with endometrio­sis aged 29 (hav­ing never heard the word before). Back then I thought my ter­ri­ble peri­ods were just nor­mal … But I was wrong.

Tell us a lit­tle about your first period.

I was at pri­mary school when I started. Luck­ily my Mum worked there (still does) and was able to access prod­ucts for me. I’ve always used sin­gle use pads – but I may con­sider reusables in the future.

Endometriosis experience, endometriosis story, endometriosis stories, my endometriosis, life with endometriosis, endometriosis research, endometriosis pain, endometriosis treatment, endometriosis diagnosis, Endometriose Erfahrung, Endometriose Geschichte, Endometriose Geschichten, Weg zu Endometriose, starke Regelschmerzen Endometriose, Endometriose Schmerzen, Endometriose Behandlung, Endometriose Diagnose, Period Scotland, Periode Schottland, menstruation around the world
Endometriosis experience, endometriosis story, endometriosis stories, my endometriosis, life with endometriosis, endometriosis research, endometriosis pain, endometriosis treatment, endometriosis diagnosis, Endometriose Erfahrung, Endometriose Geschichte, Endometriose Geschichten, Weg zu Endometriose, starke Regelschmerzen Endometriose, Endometriose Schmerzen, Endometriose Behandlung, Endometriose Diagnose, Period Scotland, Periode Schottland, menstruation around the world

Photo Cred­its: Vicky

How do you feel about your own men­stru­a­tion? Has your endometrio­sis expe­ri­ence changed it?

I’m sad it took so long for it to be realised, that what I was going through wasn’t nor­mal. I now run a local sup­port group for women with sus­pected or diag­nosed endometrio­sis and hope that men­strual well­be­ing will be added to the cur­ricu­lum in Scot­land soon.

Which men­strual prod­ucts have you already tried?

In gen­eral, I used (Always) pads. Ones with wings and ones with­out. But in the future I would be more open to try­ing reusables as I’m cur­rently try­ing reusable lin­ers.

What do you like to do when on your period?

Due to my endometrio­sis expe­ri­ence I haven’t bled in three years. I prob­a­bly take more time for self-care now than I ever used to. I enjoy help­ing oth­ers with their jour­ney through my vol­un­teer­ing work. Dur­ing lock­down, I’ve enjoyed explor­ing new places, cook­ing, and read­ing. And I also love dogs!

How are you feel­ing when men­stru­at­ing and does your endometrio­sis expe­ri­ence affect it?

Prior to my peri­ods stop­ping, my peri­ods would cause me to have to take time off school or work. I’d be com­pletely drained for one week of every month. I was pre­scribed mefe­namic acid in my teenage years. To keep on top of my endometrio­sis, I now take naproxen with omepra­zole and the mini pill.

Who are you talk­ing to about men­stru­a­tion and your endometrio­sis experience?

Any­one who is will­ing to lis­ten! Until I set up my sup­port group, only a selected few knew of my endometrio­sis expe­ri­ence. Now, as a Sup­port Group Leader, I feel I need to lead by exam­ple and share my story to allow oth­ers to feel they can as well.

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

Oh too many to men­tion! I would say you know your body bet­ter than any­one else. So if some­thing doesn’t feel right or is impact­ing you daily, speak up! Don’t be fobbed off – keep a pain and symp­toms diary.

Do you have a good book recommendation?

Check out “It’s about bloody time. Period.” by Emma Barnett!

Do you expe­ri­ence endometriosis?

If you need sup­port with endometrio­sis, please give @EndoDundee a follow 👍

Endometriosis experience, endometriosis story, endometriosis stories, my endometriosis, life with endometriosis, endometriosis research, endometriosis pain, endometriosis treatment, endometriosis diagnosis, Endometriose Erfahrung, Endometriose Geschichte, Endometriose Geschichten, Weg zu Endometriose, starke Regelschmerzen Endometriose, Endometriose Schmerzen, Endometriose Behandlung, Endometriose Diagnose, Period Scotland, Periode Schottland, menstruation around the world

Photo Cred­its: Vicky

Do you want to become part of ‘Men­stru­a­tion around the world’?

We hope to be able to present the por­traits of men­stru­at­ing peo­ple as var­ied and diverse as pos­si­ble. And for this we need you – no mat­ter how you feel about your own men­stru­a­tion or where you come from! If you would like to be part of this series and share your per­sonal expe­ri­ences and thoughts about men­stru­a­tion with us, please write us a mes­sage or sim­ply fill out this ques­tion­naire (anony­mously is also pos­si­ble). We are already look­ing for­ward to shar­ing your story with the Vul­vani community!

Vivien Ulm
Vivi 
Stu­dent & Editor | + posts

Vivi is study­ing Jour­nal­ism and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Sci­ence in the beau­ti­ful city of Ham­burg. Since Juli she is also part of the Vul­vani team in Social Media and Con­tent. She usu­ally spends her time with her favorite activ­i­ties: prom­e­nad­ing through the city with friends, bing­ing series and eating/cooking some deli­cious vegan food (not nec­es­sar­ily in that order). She is very inter­ested in Men­strual Health and finds that there is still soooo much to learn about the human body.