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.
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
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.
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?
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.
You want to read more endometriosis experiences?
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 👍
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!