THERE ARE SOME people on this planet who have never experienced period cramps. They do not know their luck.
Then there’s those people who have mild, barely noticeable cramps. They do not know their luck, either.
Then there’s the rest of us. If you get moderate or severe period cramps, there’s really no way to describe them to anybody who has never experienced it. They’re impossible to ignore. You can’t go about your daily business, because you can barely even stand up.
Painkillers do very little to stop cramps like this, and even if you do take painkillers, knowing that you still have to deal with 40-60 more minutes of pain before they kick in is quite depressing. And even then, they’ll probably only take the edge off.
Anyone who has ever experienced those kinds of cramps would not be the slightest bit surprised to hear that they are as bad as a heart attack. After centuries of feeling like they’re going into labour on the first day of their period, people who menstruate have finally been vindicated.
This week, Marie Claire reported that Professor John Guillebaud, who researches reproductive health and University College London, has acknowledged that periods can be as painful as a heart attack. Thanks for that. It only took, like, hundreds of years.
Plenty of people are unhappy that it has taken this long for doctors to begin to take cramps seriously.
One woman wrote that she couldn’t even tell she was in labour, because the experience felt like a regular period:
Imagine having a heart attack in your abdomen, every three weeks. For about five days straight. Sounds about right. Especially for people with endometriosis or PCOS.
So… Now we just have to wait a couple more decades for doctors to bother doing anything about it (other than prescribing birth control and hoping for the best).
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