From the day of a woman’s first period as a kid to whenever her body goes through menopause (sometime in your 40s or 50s), period cramps just kind of come with the whole ordeal. Some mild, some completely debilitating, at some point in her life, a woman will likely experience the pain of period cramps.
And throughout the years, getting a period every single month for a week or so, period cramps (and all the other lovely symptoms that come with a menstrual cycle) just kind of become second nature. Women deal with it. Moms keep being moms. We go to work. We exercise. We hang with friends. We just keep on going. Much of the time, we don’t have the choice. Much of the time, the pain goes totally unacknowledged.
Now, if men experienced the joy of a period, surely there’d be some sort of federal law put into place for sick days, medical care, etc., but since men have absolutely no clue what it’s like to feel period cramps, women just keep on powering through.
One company is trying to change that one-sided experience and give men a little taste of what a period can feel like, cramps and all. In a viral video, period pain relief cream company, somedays, set up a period pain simulator and attached it to a woman with endometriosis and just a regular ole man.
For those who don’t know, endometriosis is a disease in which tissue, similar to that of the lining of the uterus, actually grows outside of the uterus. This can be extremely painful especially during a period.
Seems like a no brainer that the unbothered woman with endometriosis will be no match for the period pain simulator, and this guy is going to break easily.
The period paid simulator works by sending electrical impulses to the brain that make the muscles in your lower abdomen and thighs contract in waves very similar to a period or early stage labor. The conductor of the simulator goes on to explain the different levels of intensity the simulator expresses.
“Levels 1-4 is sort of just connections. Levels 5-7 is when it actually starts to contract, feeling like an average period cramp. Generally, everything above a 7 would be considered pain,” they explain.
Once they crank up the dial to a level 4, the man already starts to make facial expressions that he’s uncomfortable. That’s not even an average period cramp!
When the simulator turns up to level 6, the conductor of the machine asks the man — who is very clearly trying so hard to be tough — how he’s feeling.
“I don’t know. It’s weird. It’s not crazy pain so far,” he replies.
Meanwhile, the woman remains totally unbothered because this is her reality.
As the levels of pain continue to rise, the man winces and moans, squirming in his seat as our beautiful queen remains stoic and calm.
When the conductor of the simulator asks the two to stand, the man can barely stand on his own.
“How’s that?” they ask.
“It’s pretty bad, yeah,” he replies.
When they ask him if the pain was so bad that he’d call in sick to work, he admits that if the pain lasted, he probably would.
“How are you feeling?” they ask the woman with endometriosis.
“I wish I could say this was painful,” she says with a laugh.
Level 10 is a tough one for our guy, who has to sit back down.
“Listen, you’re in a business meeting. You need to get it together,” the conductor says.
After the machine shuts off, the group chats about endometriosis (which he didn’t even know was a thing) and how both she and the conductor were medically gaslit in their teens over their symptoms.
“I was told teenagers couldn’t get it,” the woman says.
“It took me 8 years to get diagnosed,” the conductor replies.
The video, which went viral with over 2 million views, caught the attention of so many women who commented about their own period pains as well as some extra perspective for our guy.
“Now tell him to host a meeting at work,” one user said.
“I feel like they don’t understand that “all day” includes while we’re trying to sleep,” another wrote.
Another said, “I think any male in a managerial position should be required to do this so they can understand what it is like.”
Agreed! And the CEO of somedays also believes that this kind of experimenting needs to be done for anything to progress in the world when it comes to women’s pain being recognized and validated.
“We think the work we’re doing at somedays is so important because people with period pain are consistently invalidated and dismissed in every aspect of their lives, whether that's at the doctor's office, in school, at work, or in our own homes by the people who are supposed to support us,” CEO and co-founder Lux Perry told Scary Mommy in 2022.
“By opening up the conversation and creating the space for so many people to come forward and share their struggles, we're changing the narrative from, ‘period pain can't be that bad’ to ‘period pain is not normal’, and people struggling with it deserve our care and support.”