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!
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)
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.
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?
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.
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!