Why talk about rules?

Pourquoi parler des règles ?

Manon is 32 and studying for a Master's degree in French Sign Language Interpretation. Manon talks to us about rules, PMS and how it impacts her life. Discover Manon's portrait!

Why did you decide to take part in an Elia shoot?

"I liked the idea that it was people who aren't used to being photographed. That we could also present different bodies

Do you think there's a taboo around menstruation?

"I got my period quite early, when I was 11. I didn't really know who to turn to when it happened to me, apart from my mother. I think it's something that's still not talked about enough, that's still connected to a person with a uterus. Finally, the reactions I've had to my face: "No, no, I don't need to know all the details". I think it's a shame because it's something that's natural. If we talked about it more, we'd be a little more prepared for certain things. Particularly when it comes to pain and premenstrual syndromes

Do you have any recommendations for learning about the rules?

"As a teenager, I was alone with this subject, apart from with my mother. We didn't really talk about it with my girlfriends. It was later, when I started to get a bit interested in the subject, that I came across some reports. I was particularly interested in one called "28 jours". Then another on the composition of menstrual pads, which shocked me a little and got me thinking about the whole thing. The Instagram account @spmtamere also helped me a lot. I felt a little less alone. I'd recommend it to anyone."

Can you tell us about PMS (premenstrual syndrome)?

"Very early on, as I had severe pain, I was put on contraception (at around 15-16) with the aim of easing my pain during my cycles. They didn't explain to me at all what this could create in terms of hormones etc. When I stopped my hormonal contraception a few years ago, I found myself with a natural cycle. I started to suffer from premenstrual syndromes. No one had ever told me about them. I felt it was cyclical, these periods when I wasn't feeling well, when I was more anxious. They kept coming back, so I started to get interested. I learned that it was called premenstrual syndrome. While doing a little research I came across the Instagram account @spmtamere and thought "ok actually I'm not alone". Because it fluctuates. There are cycles where I'll be very annoyed, cycles where I'll be very anxious. A few days before my period. And I couldn't stand hearing that stuff any more... Because when you're a bit irritated, a bit too hypersensitive, people say "oh my, what's wrong with you, you've got your period?" Well, yes, actually! Yes, I'm going to have my period and it affects me. It's normal and it's not a big deal. It's like a reproach you can't control. We do what we can with it, and we're the first to suffer."

How do you live with your cycle?

"Ever since I got my period, I've always had very regular cycles, which I think is lucky. I can plan ahead, I know roughly when PMS is going to start, I know when I'm going to get my period. In that respect, I'm lucky. And now with certain menstrual cycle tracking apps, it's even more convenient. I don't have too many problems with my cycle, I know when it's coming. I live it pretty well."

Do you have pain during your periods?

"Very early on, in middle school, every time I had my period I had very, very strong pains that prevented me from being in class. I would faint, so I made regular trips to the infirmary. Sometimes I had the impression that someone was telling me: "Oh, it's okay... Maybe you're overdoing it a bit". But it was really unbearable. I was put on contraception. That helped. On the other hand, I wasn't warned about everything that went with it. In particular, the loss of libido etc... They didn't explain that to me. I didn't make the connection right away. When I decided to stop taking hormonal contraception because I didn't want that for my body anymore, I recovered all my natural sensations. It was good to reclaim my body, but I had to deal with the pain again. That's still my problem today: I don't know what to do about the pain. It's the same, it can go as far as fainting. It depends on the cycle. It's hard to say to yourself, "I've got a very important course, it falls during my period, am I going to be able to do it?" "yes, no, I don't know". It's a bit difficult to manage on that side, yes."

What do you think of menstrual panties Elia?

"It's been the good news of the last few years. It's the appearance of period panties

Do you have any advice or mantra you'd like to share?

"I would say to listen to yourself. Listen and communicate... For me, that's the most important thing."

If you had to sum up your portrait or struggle in one word?

"Well, this may sound a bit odd, but I think I'd choose Aries. My astrological sign. It sums up my personality pretty well."

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The information contained in the articles on www-elia-lingerie.com is general information only. Although reviewed by health professionals, this information is not error-free, does not constitute health advice or consultation, and is not intended to provide a diagnosis or suggest a course of treatment. Under no circumstances may this information be used as a substitute for medical advice or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor.