One Equal World

Painful Menstruation is a Very Real Thing

Posted on: August 24, 2016

A photo of a woman laying down on a couch, clutching her lower abdomen in pain.

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Periods, and the various side effects thereof, are often made light of on sitcoms and in movies, even in everyday life. Men in particular don’t understand just how disruptive menstruation can be. A lot of women don’t even understand it, because the experience varies from woman to woman. What is important to understand though is that 1 in 5 women suffer from painful menstruation that can be, in the words of one researcher “almost as bad as having a heart attack.”

That is nothing to joke about, and it’s something that we should be taking seriously, but modern medicine knows close to nothing about the problem. There’s a good reason for that though: medical science doesn’t put a very high priority on treating or even investigating the issue. For any number of reasons, we don’t like to talk about menstruation, and we don’t like to treat it like a real problem. The same field that will bend over backwards to help old men deal with erectile dysfunction, and treat that like a serious, life-threatening problem, doesn’t want to bother funding research into an actual painful, disruptive issue.

There are a handful of doctors and researchers who are taking the problem seriously and are trying to do something about it. The problem of erectile dysfunction might even help in the process, as one team has found that Viagra can help alleviate painful menstruation, but further research is needed before any final conclusions can be made. But getting funding for that research is proving to be difficult.

In the meantime, 1 in 5 women suffer, usually in silence. But for those women who do have painful menstruation, there is one thing they can do: they can talk about it. Menstruation is a part of life, and it’s not something that we should be embarrassed to talk about. We need to have a larger, world-wide conversation about the issue in order to start giving it the respect it deserves.

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2 Responses to "Painful Menstruation is a Very Real Thing"

Helpful hint: until there is a cure, acupuncture has been a great help.

Interesting! Thanks for the tip! Hopefully it helps other women who are struggling with the same issue.

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