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 learn more about endo­me­trio­sis and adenomyosis.

The chro­nic dise­a­ses endo­me­trio­sis and ade­no­myo­sis cause Naiema from India pain during mens­trua­tion. Nevertheless, she has a posi­tive atti­tude towards her period and wants to bring endo­me­trio­sis more into the public eye. In this inter­view she shares how she expe­ri­en­ces her mens­trua­tion and what helps her to ease the pain. Thank you so much for sharing your story and your commitment!

Personal Information

Name: Naiema
Age: 28
Gender/ Sex: Female
Coun­try of birth: India
Home: Hyder­abad, Indien
Job: Edu­ca­tor at Teach for India
Age at first period: 14
Favo­rite period pro­duct: Cloth pads (hasn’t made the switch yet)
Cost per mens­trua­tion: 200 Rupees / 2,75$ (eff. 16 Febuary 2021)
Con­tracep­tion: None

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

My family sees it quite nor­mally, howe­ver, it’s not spo­ken about or given much atten­tion. Howe­ver, in my coun­try peri­ods are still seen as taboo topics in public set­tings. People are only begin­ning to talk about it now. For instance, even in schools/colleges, asking for a pad is a very whis­pe­red upon affair.

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

Around the age of 10 because my friends were mens­trua­ting but I didn’t really know what it really ent­ailed until I got it.

Menstruation around the world, Menstruation, endometriosis and adenomyosis, Periode, Endometriose, Adenomyose, Periodenschmerzen lindern, period pain, Endometriosis, Vulvani

Photo Credits: Naiema

3. Tell us a little about your first period.

I got my first period at school. Mentally, I was slightly pre­pa­red as I had been endu­ring abdo­men cramps for a day or two. I knew what to expect and I asked my friends for a pad. Luck­ily, they had one and ever­ything went on nor­mally for the rest of the day.

4. How do you feel about your menstruation?

I like my mens­trua­tion. It feels like a mon­thly cleanse of emo­ti­ons as PMS makes it cathar­tic. Howe­ver, I do suf­fer from endo­me­trio­sis and ade­no­myo­sis, which com­pli­ca­tes peri­ods. Whilst endo­me­trio­sis is a whole body dise­ase, ade­no­myo­sis is an ute­rus spe­ci­fic con­di­tion and recently it has been causing heavy flow pain­ful periods.

5. Which menstrual products have you already tried?

I have been using pads for a long time as every other pro­duct eit­her cau­ses pain or it cau­ses issues main­tai­ning it as I have chro­nic ill­nes­ses. Howe­ver, I recently  tried a cloth pad and I’m con­si­de­ring swit­ching to it permanently.

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

I binge watch sit­coms with a hea­ting pad on my abdo­men. Eat a lot of junk food and chill on my sofa. I hate working while on my peri­ods because it feels very exhausting.

Photo Credits: Naiema

7. How are you feeling when menstruating?

Chi­cken soup is the best remedy for abdo­men cramps. I also use can­na­bis for pain manage­ment. Hot water sho­wers also help reduce the lethargy in my body.

8. Who are you talking to about menstruation, endometriosis and adenomyosis?

I am basi­cally tal­king to my Insta­gram com­mu­nity as I am actively crea­ting awa­reness about endo­me­trio­sis.

9. Do you have a particular important story about menstruation?

I think it was during a doctor’s visit. I had to undergo vagi­nal ultra­sound and my period  had star­ted. So I told my doc­tor about it and he said it’s alright and he can con­ti­nue with the ultra­sound. This made me feel that peri­ods were nor­mal and a part of our lives. I was worry­ing about stai­ning the ultra­sound device and causing dis­com­fort to the doc­tor but in the first place it was no dis­com­fort at all.

10. Want to share anything else about the period taboo?

Nor­ma­lise sex and mas­tur­ba­tion during peri­ods.

Menstruation around the world, Menstruation, Periode, Endometriose, Adenomyose, Periodenschmerzen lindern

Photo Credits: Naiema

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!