Ask anyone who menstruates and they would invariably list period cramps as one of their chief monthly woes. And while one can hardly wish the pain away, it is also not easy to describe the experience to those who do not menstruate. Well, not anymore.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has set up a period pain simulator facility at the Lulu Mall in Kochi where several people came forward to know what it is like to experience menstrual cramps. Now a video featuring their vivid reactions has surfaced online.
Watch the video here:
The #feelthepain event was held as part of Cup of Life, an initiative by Ernakulam MP Hibi Eden to promote menstrual hygiene and break taboos. The clip shared by Cup of Life’s Instagram handle shows several men crying out loud and struggling to bear the pain induced by the simulator.
Asked if he had tried the period pain simulator himself, the MP replied: “I am going to. I did once. It’s not painful. It’s painful in a very irritating way.”
The clip was also shared by Instagram user Agrim Prakash who is seen trying the simulator and finding it unbearable. “I once read somewhere that in American Sign Language, the sign for having your period is basically punching yourself in the face… I was today years old when I found out what this joke meant,” read the caption of the video.
Prakash, a 30-year-old digital storyteller, told indianexpress.com that it was an eye-opening experience for him. “As a man I have never experienced period cramps in my life. It was really painful and an eye-opening experience for me. I gained a lot of insight into the plight of women during periods. Later, I went and read about period cramps and learnt that about 84% of women experience it.”
Prakash said he was not empathetic earlier when women complained about period cramps. “I was of the stance that ‘you can bear it, it’s the period pain’, but from now on, I will never do that,” he added.
Sharan Nair, who too experimented with the simulator said, “It was something I have never experienced in life as a man. I am surrounded by a lot of women including my mother, friends, sister. You see them undergoing the pain, but you never understand the gravity of the pain unless you feel the pain. It’s a lot of pain.”
“Every month, you are losing three or four days due to the pain. It is not even yearly. If I had periods, I would have taken leave for one entire week,” the 28-year-old content creator said.
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Speaking to indianexpress.com, Dr Akhil Imanuel, project coordinator of Cup of Life, said the pain induced by the simulator was only a fraction of the ache experienced during actual period cramps. “Still, many could not tolerate the maximum intensity of pain induced by the simulator.”
He added that the event was held to promote conversations about menstruation on an open forum. “People were actually taken aback after hearing about periods. While several people came up to experience the pain, there was a sort of reluctance among the public,” he said.
A similar event was held at Utopia Dystopia, an art, design and tech festival in Kochi in July this year. Back then, Eden had tried the simulator and said it was “really, really weird”.
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In a bid to promote the use of menstrual cups, which are an eco-friendly alternative to disposable sanitary napkins, Hibi Eden aims to distribute free menstrual cups to more than one lakh beneficiaries in his constituency within 24 hours as part of the ‘Cup of Life’ campaign. The event, which aims to create a world record, will be held on August 30 and 31.
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