Hey Ladies, Here's Why You Need To Take Your Period Pain Seriously

By Zeest Qureshi | 14 Oct, 2017

Have you ever screamed because you just can’t understand why your uterus was putting you through hell? You aren’t alone. Severe period cramps and incapacitating pain is actually very common.

 

The Honor Society of Nursing says that “One in every two women who have their period suffer from dysmenorrhea” also known as intense pain and cramping, during menstruation

A lot of these woman just suffer in silence but those who do seek medical help are often not taken seriously.

I was at the hospital because my menstrual cramps had become unbearable and I was dizzy from the pain. In the emergency a female doctor came up to me and said the following, “Your jeans are probably just too tight. Menstruation isn’t this painful.”

Despite explaining that I have a history of extreme menstrual pain and that my symptoms can be classified as Dysmenorrhea, the doctors kept trivializing the issue.

period meme
Source: owned.com

 

This is not an isolated incident. I have repeatedly had conversations with other women who complain of doctors not taking their pain seriously because the assumption made is that women are the weaker sex and tend to exaggerate the pain that they really experience.

 

This lack of attention to period pain by medical professionals exists despite proof that menstrual pain is often comparable to that one experiences during a heart attack

period-pain-zeest-2
Source: buzzfeed.com

Fatima had been a monthly visitor at the hospital and every time the doctors would give her pain medication and send her home. She described her experience, “I’ve had intense debilitating pain for about four years now, can’t have medication because I throw up.”  During the past year, her symptoms became more intense as she fell unconscious from severe pain from a cyst that ruptured inside her ovaries. After this incident she decided to refer to other doctors in Lahore and still received no proper diagnosis. Enraged about her experience Fatima told us,

“I had to go all the way to Canada for a doctor to tell me that she thinks I have endometriosis and that it can only be diagnosed through an elimination process. I have to first use hormonal birth control and then see if I need to try other options. This process could have begun years ago but no one in Pakistan will ever give an unmarried woman birth control. If this doesn’t work I have to go back to the same doctor in Canada for her to try other options.”

 

It’s not just period pain that medical professionals don’t take seriously, women are far less likely to receive proper treatment for issues related, specifically, to the female body despite overwhelming international medical data supporting what causes those issues

period-pain-zeest-1
Source: preen.inquirer.net

WebMD defines endometriosis as “the development of uterine-lining tissue outside the uterus. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, heavy periods, and infertility. Treatment options include pain relievers, hormones, and surgery.” 

Iqra told us about her painful struggle that lasted two years till she was also diagnosed with endometriosis, “I was in the hospital in Karachi because a cyst that was bigger than my ovary hemorrhaged and they kept telling me that it will go away on its own. Iqra had to go to several doctors but she complained,

“No one even knows what endometriosis is and they make the most outrageous suggestions as if getting married will cure my pain.”

Fatima and Iqra both struggled with not just their health but functionality within their lives. Fatima talked about how she would miss classes one week of every month in college and now she misses work in the same pattern because it is a manageable condition but not a curable one.

 

Here’s a call to all my fellow patient women suffering in silence: Seek help from someone who WILL take your pain seriously and know that it is real. All power to you! Fight the uterus!

 


Cover image via: checkpregnancy.com

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