CALGARY, Alberta - Men were asked to test their threshold for pain using a machine that simulates menstrual cramping, an experience hosted by a company that aims to "remove the stigma" of periods.
The period pain simulator was used last month at Calgary Stampede, an annual rodeo, exhibition, and festival held July 7 through 16 in Calgary, a city located in the western Canadian province of Alberta.
The company, called somedays, offers period pain relief products and representatives attended the event to use the machine on willing participants. It later posted a series of period simulator videos on the somedays TikTok account, which has garnered millions of views.
The participants are pictured testing out their pain thresholds with a machine that simulates menstrual cramps during the Calgary Stampede, an annual rodeo, exhibition, and festival in July in Canada. (Credit: somedays/@getsomedays via Storyful)
CEO and co-founder of somedays Lex Perry told CBS Mornings about her own experience with endometriosis, a painful and common condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus — causing pain and sometimes infertility.
Endometriosis affects an estimated 10% of reproductive-age women and girls globally — or about 190 million people, according to the World Health Organization. It often causes "severe, life-impacting pain" during periods, sexual intercourse, and more.
Perry said she aims to "reduce the stigma" around period pain in general.
"The simulator, and what somedays is really trying to do, is open up that conversation in a way that’s not awkward," Perry said in the interview.
The machine has several levels, which contract the wearer’s muscles to mimic the feelings of period pain. Level four is deemed as the "standard" cramp feeling, while level 10 is the most unbearable, Perry said.
Many women report having period pain. A 2012 study of over 400 women enrolled in higher education found that 84.1% reported menstrual pain.
Also among this group, 43.1% reported that pain occurred during every period, and 41% reported that pain occurred during some periods.
This story was reported from Cincinnati.