‘Mens­trua­tion around the world’ is a series that attempts to show the diver­sity of mens­trual expe­ri­en­ces around the world. We por­tray people from dif­fe­rent coun­tries with their per­so­nal stories.

Janelle, known as The Nurse Note, lives in the US, but grew up in a large Jamai­can family in Canada. As a cer­ti­fed nurse and health pro­fes­sio­nal, she tea­ches about repro­duc­tive and sexual health over on her blog. In our inter­view, she tells us which sus­tainable pro­ducts make her period easier to manage – even though she only lear­ned about them a few years back. Thanks so much for the inter­view, dear Janelle!

Personal Information

Name / Alias: Janelle / The Nurse Note
Age: 41
Gen­der / Sex: Female
Home: Atlanta, USA
Degree + Job: Nurse!
Age of first period: 14
Favo­rite period pro­duct: Nix it cups / The Diva Cup
Cost per mens­trua­tion: Zero now since I swit­ched to mens­trual cups
Con­tracep­tion: Condoms

1. How is menstruation seen in your family, culture or even country?

I’m from a large Jamai­can family. We really didn’t talk about peri­ods much. My mom taught me the basics about my body and what to expect when I got my period but this really isn’t a sub­ject that was dis­cus­sed much.

2. How and by whom were you educated about menstruation?

I was initi­ally taught by my mom where I lea­ned the basics. I recei­ved a more for­mal edu­ca­tion in school. I grew up in Toronto Canada where sex Ed was part of the stands cur­ri­cu­lum. We lear­ned about our body part and how they worked.

3. Talk a little about your first period.

I was actually at school of all pla­ces. It was the last few days before the end of the school year. I remem­ber having ter­ri­ble cramps in class. I went to the restroom and dis­co­ve­red I star­ted my period. I was not pre­pa­red at all. I didn’t have a pad or anything! So I bal­led up some toi­let paper and made a makes­hift pad to use until I went home.

4. How do you feel about your own menstruation? Has this feeling changed over the years?

I’ve been for­tu­n­ate that my peri­ods have not been too bad. As I’ve aged the have become shor­ter (yay!) and my cramps are gene­rally pretty bearable.

5. Which menstrual products have you already tried? And how were your experiences with the different products?

I have tried pads, tam­pons and liners. In recent years I have been intro­du­ced to cups and period pan­ties. I abso­lutely love these! They have made my period so much easier to manage and since they are reus­able, they have hel­ped me to save a cou­ple of bucks.

6. What do you like to do when on your period?

I like to sleep (lol). I’m often tired during my period, so allow mys­elf to rest.

7. How are you feeling when menstruating? What kind of food or home remedies help you with menstrual discomfort?

I’m usually a little irri­ta­ble the first day of my period but con­tent the sub­se­quent days. I often like to exer­cise when I’m on my period. I find that it helps with my cramps and impro­ves my mood.

8. Who are you talking to about menstruation?

Ever­yone! My blog and social media plat­form are dedi­ca­ted to edu­ca­ting women about their bodies. I often get ques­ti­ons from my fol­lo­wers about their peri­ods so I love to pro­vide them with various reme­dies and health options.

9. Do you have a particular funny, embarrassing or important story about menstruation?

There was a period of time when I was having break through blee­ding… like every day for weeks on end. I made it a prio­rity to check in with my doc­tor and let her know what was going on. I knew it was important to advo­cate for mys­elf and my health.

10. Want to share anything else about menstruation (or yourself)?

Yes! If you’re loo­king for strai­ght­for­ward infor­ma­tion about vagi­nas, peri­ods and sex, you should defi­ni­tely check out my blog thenursenote.com

Do you want to become part of ‘Menstruation around the world’?

We hope to be able to pre­sent the por­traits of mens­trua­ting people as varied and diverse as pos­si­ble. And for this we need you – no mat­ter how you feel about your own mens­trua­tion or where you come from! If you would like to be part of this series and share your per­so­nal expe­ri­en­ces and thoughts about mens­trua­tion with us, please write us a mes­sage or sim­ply fill out this ques­ti­onn­aire (anony­mously is also pos­si­ble). We are already loo­king for­ward to sharing your story with the Vul­vani community!

Britta Wiebe, period education, Vulvani
Co-Foun­der Vulvani | britta@vulvani.com | Web­site | + posts

Britta Wiebe is the co-foun­der of Vul­vani. She loves rese­ar­ching, wri­ting and designing new arti­cles or inno­va­tive edu­ca­tio­nal con­cepts about mens­trua­tion all day long. When she is not tra­vel­ling the world, she enjoys spen­ding time with her loved ones in the beau­ti­ful city of Ham­burg in Germany.