Watch: Menstrual pain simulator at Kochi mall proves unbearable for some, eye-opening for others

Ask anyone who menstruates and they’ll invariably list menstrual cramps as one of their top monthly ailments. And while it’s hard to wish the pain would go away, it’s also not easy to describe the experience to those who don’t menstruate. Well, not anymore.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has set up a menstrual pain simulator at Lulu Mall in Kochi, where several people have come forward to find out what it is like to have menstrual cramps. Now, a video featuring their strong 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 the Cup of Life Instagram handle shows several men screaming out loud and struggling to endure the pain induced by the simulator.

When asked if he had tried the menstrual pain simulator himself, the MP replied: “I will. I did it 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 out the simulator and finding it unbearable. “I once read somewhere that in American Sign Language, the sign for getting your period is basically punching you in the face… I was years old today when I found out what this sign meant. kidding,” reads the video’s caption.

Prakash, a 30-year-old digital storyteller, told indianexpress.com it was an eye-opening experience for him. “As a man, I have never had menstrual cramps in my life. It was really painful and an eye-opening experience for me. I learned a lot about the fate of women during menstruation. Later, I went to read about menstrual cramps and learned that about 84% of women suffer from them.

Prakash said he was not empathetic earlier when women complained of menstrual cramps. “I was of the opinion that ‘you can handle it, it’s period pain’, but from now on I will never do that again,” he added.

Sharan Nair, who also experienced the simulator, said: “It was something I had never experienced in a man’s life. I am surrounded by many women including my mother, my friends, my sister. You see them suffer the pain, but you never understand the severity of the pain unless you feel the pain. It’s a lot of pain.

“Each month, you lose three or four days due to pain. It’s not even annual. If I had had my period, I would have taken an entire week off,” the 28-year-old content creator said.

Speaking to indianexpress.com, Cup of Life project coordinator Dr Akhil Imanuel said the pain induced by the simulator was only a fraction of the pain experienced during actual menstrual cramps. “Yet many could not tolerate the maximum pain intensity induced by the simulator.”

He added that the event was organized to promote conversations about menstruation in an open forum. “People were surprised after hearing about periods. While several people came to feel the pain, there was a kind of reluctance in the audience,” he said.

A similar event took place at Utopia Dystopia, an art, design and technology festival in Kochi in July this year. At the time, Eden tried out the simulator and said it was “really, really weird”.

In order to promote the use of menstrual cups, an ecological alternative to disposable sanitary napkins, Hibi Eden aims to distribute free menstrual cups to more than one million 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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