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How does period pain feel? Canadian company tests men's pain tolerance with simulator

Canadian period pain relief company Somedays is providing non-menstruating people with a new perspective on how excruciating period pain can be.

Lux Perry, CEO and co-founder of Somedays, brought a period pain simulator to this year’s Calgary Stampede to show men and people who don’t have periods the levels of pain menstruating people experience. To their surprise, attendees at the stampede were willing and open to gain a new perspective.

“It was a little bit shocking to see how much compassion there was,” Perry said Tuesday in an interview on CTV’s Your Morning.

@getsomedays Come visit us at the calgary stampede! Booth 212 in the maker market. #periodpain #periodtips #periodtiktok #endo #endometriosis #periods ♬ original sound - @somedays

The simulator contracts the muscles to imitate abdominal cramps, similar to what many experience during menstruation while still going about their daily activities. Perry says, while period pain is experienced worldwide, it is often minimized or ignored, despite its debilitating impact.

“The average person with a period misses nine days of work a year, and up to 80 per cent of people with a period say that even if they're at work, they're not able to be as productive or engaged,” Perry said, explaining that stigma compels some to lie about why they’re missing work, for example.

Those with endometriosis are also often forgotten, Perry says, as many who are diagnosed with this disease that affects the uterus can experience chronic pain that is often mistaken for period pain. According to the Endometriosis Network Canada, in their lifetime 1 in 10 women and girls, as well as an unmeasured numbers of transgender, non-binary, and gender-diverse individuals, will be diagnosed with endometriosis.

“Endometriosis is one of the most painful diseases in the world and is regularly mistaken for period pain; so what that says to us is that a lot of people are experiencing extreme period pain,” Perry said.

On the period pain simulator, a level of 10 and higher approaches the typical level of endometriosis pain, while level 5 simulates average period pain.

While many had a laugh over seeing men briefly experience what chronic period pain can be like, Perry says the hope is this experience will make people more empathetic to many different aspects of women’s health care.

“By opening up the conversation with something that makes people giggle and is interactive it can build a little bit of real empathy because they're feeling what you feel, it's easier to have those conversations and open up dialogue,” they said. Top Stories

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