From not believing stories about sexual harassment to eye-rolls at the mention of period pains, invalidating women’s experiences is nothing new. Science has come through for us though (kinda) and a doctor has confirmed what we already knew: period pains are painful AF. Officially.
This is an accurate representation of period cramps.
No ?uterus? no ?talk. ? https://t.co/Yxq8SGxr6L
— whispered din (@skinnyondinie) June 18, 2019
John Guillebaud, a reproductive health professor at University College London, told Quartz that menstrual cramps are ‘almost as bad as having a heart attack’. The fancy name for severe period pain is dysmenorrhea, and about 1 in 5 women suffer cramps so bad that they disrupt their daily life. So why is a hot water bottle still one of the best desperate attempts at squashing the pain we have? Probably because we’ve been taught to grin and bear it and not bring up our menstrual cycle in public.
We’ve got robotic arms that can perform heart surgery, but still no easy fix for period cramps. It’s not clear to doctors why some women suffer from such hectic pains, ‘That’s a million dollar question that we don’t really understand’ says Richard Legro, M.D., of Penn State College of Medicine. All we’re saying is if men got period pains there would be menstrual leave written into every work contract and Neurofen Period Pain packs would be handed out like Choice condoms.
There aren’t many treatments for cramps. You can either stock up on pain killers or go on a contraceptive that (hopefully) makes your period chill out. But choosing a contraceptive is a whole thing, with a variety of unpleasant side effects.
Ultimately the solution is to end the culture of being silent about periods. We need people to take our pain seriously, and doctors to realise that it’s an area worth researching. ‘We need to talk about it on Oprah and national TV,’ says Legro. ‘This is nothing to be ashamed of, it’s a common disorder, and it shouldn’t be ignored.’
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