Oh, the laughs when men are given the sensations of painful periods
Women with bleeding disorders can hurt far beyond normal when menstruating
The pain that accompanied my periods was excruciating, exacerbated by my two bleeding disorders, hemophilia B and von Willebrand disease. I vividly recall my gynecologist explaining that during a bleeding episode, the severity of my clots and bleeding was comparable to giving birth during menstruation, and thus it probably caused my more severe pain.
This period pain was not limited to cramping alone; it encompassed a range of debilitating symptoms, including nausea, profuse sweating, and even episodes of diarrhea. The collective impact of these woes and the excessive bleeding significantly impeded various aspects of my life before I had an endometrial ablation to end my periods.
A day before I wrote this column, I stumbled upon a TikTok video that transported me back to those days of excruciating period pain, but in a comic way. This particular video showcased men wearing a simulator that gave them the pain of a period, which made me laugh out loud.
The period-pain simulator
Last summer, a Canadian company called Somedays, which sells products to relieve period pain, took a simulator of such pain to the Calgary Stampede, an Alberta event that includes what’s billed as the world’s largest outdoor rodeo. Somedays representatives invited men to participate in a pain-threshold test using the machine.
The period-pain simulator creates multiple intensity levels of pain that effectively contract the wearer’s muscles, replicating some of the sensations of menstrual cramps. The simulator’s scale ranges from 1 to 10, with level 5 representing a typical period, as Somedays’ co-founder, Lux Perry, explained to CBS News.
Following the event, Somedays shared a series of captivating period-simulator videos on its TikTok account. These videos quickly became popular, accumulating millions of views and sparking conversations around the experience of menstrual pain. I applaud the company’s initiative to use social media to raise awareness and dismantle the stigma associated with periods.
Watching these men, some professional bull riders in cowboy attire, go through the simulated menstrual cramps was an absolute riot. Some of them doubled over in agony. The experience served as a powerful reminder that countless women endure this level of pain every month while simultaneously attending school, raising children, and working full time.
The men in the videos seemed to understand the stark contrast between their temporary discomfort and the endurance women display when dealing with such pain, getting a fresh perspective on those challenges.
It’s important to note that the severity of period pain can vary, even among those with the same bleeding disorder. Women who have hemophilia or similar disorders should consult with their hematologist and gynecologist to manage their symptoms and explore appropriate treatment options to alleviate the pain.
Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.