Period People: Augusta
Your name – what should we call you?
What do you prefer – he/she/them or something else?
What do you do for a living?
I'm a biology student at the University of Copenhagen, and I'm almost done with my bachelor's degree. I also have two student jobs at two different museums where I talk about science and teach primary school classes.
Where do you live?
I live in the Northwest part of Copenhagen, Denmark, where I share a little apartment with my little sister, my two cats and my many plants.
When did you start menstruating?
I had my first period when I was 11 years old.
What's your earliest menstrual memory?
I clearly remember when I had my first period. I was pretty curious about puberty and growing up at that age, so I had read a lot of books for tweens on the subject and knew all about what was happening.
But I was still surprised when I finally got my period, and I was a little nervous too. I do remember that I also thought it was cool to be "one of them", and when I stood there in the school toilet and looked at myself in the mirror, I was actually a little proud.
Fast forward to a couple of hours later where I got the worst cramps and pain – at that time, I really hated my period ;-)
What words would you use to describe your feelings around your period those first period years?
Uncomfortable, prolonged, painful.
My period lasted so many days (always at least 8-9 days of bleeding) and with a lot of pain. I remember thinking that it didn't seem right that it should be so uncomfortable. After a few years I started on the pill, and then my period didn't last that long, and I almost didn't experience any pain and cramps.
Have they changed? How do you perceive your period now?
Today I'm still on the pill, which allows me to skip periods. I find it liberating to be able to decide for myself when to bleed.
I still don't think my period is the coolest thing in the world, but I'm working on accepting it and giving it space. It also helps that it's not as painful anymore.
How do you feel the days leading up to your period and during?
I always feel a little uncomfortable. I get this rumbling in my lower abdomen, I'm bloated, and I might experience some light cramps.
I can also get a little nervous about getting my period without being prepared for it, which makes me feel uncomfortable.
What's your go-to ritual on those first cycle days? Eating specific things? Cuddling? Canceling plans?
I'm not very good at relaxing and taking care of myself, but I'm trying to listen to my body and allow myself to slow down and cancel plans if that's what I feel like. When I have my period, I'm trying even harder to listen to what my body needs.
Usually I think it's nice to slow down, snuggle under a warm blanket, knowing that I'm not going anywhere all day. If I have cramps, a warm bath also helps.
What's your go-to period product?
I love cloth pads and period wear. I also have a menstrual cup, but I don't use it very often. But I know I will never go back to disposables. I hate that humid, plastic-like feeling you get when using disposable pads. I never want to go back to that!
Finish the sentence: “The world would be a better place for menstruators if only...”
… people would stop making ridiculous comments like "she's probably on the rag" the second a woman raises her voice or just speaks her mind.
It really pisses me off! It totally undermines what you say, and no matter how you respond, it feels like you've lost. It's a really rude thing to say.
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