While some women can still function properly without being affected or having the symptoms relieved by painkillers, there is still a large number of those whose menstrual symptoms are awfully crippling. The study has shown that only 14% of women between the ages of 15 and 45 had taken days off to cope with period pains, which may appear as a number that raises no concern. However, over 80% of respondents have confirmed forcing themselves to work or study while feeling unwell, which has affected their productivity negatively.
Globally, almost three-quarters of women under 25 suffer from period pains, also known as dysmenorrhoea. This symptom is most commonly associated with menstruations and is described simply as pain in the lower abdomen. The tricky bit is that no two women will ever have the same effect of the symptom – some may not get it at all, while others will find it debilitating.
Unlike a common belief, it has nothing to do with one’s pain resistance. There is a trend especially with schoolgirls, they may complain to their parents of being in too much pain to attend classes, yet their claim is being dismissed and they are told: “get over it”
Despite dysmenorrhoea being the most common type of period pain, society still lacks basic knowledge on it. It is often seen as something that just “happens”, without looking deeper into the cause. While it is a natural occurrence caused by changes in hormone-like lipids called prostaglandins, there can sometimes be a second wave of pain. Such could signal underlying issues: endometriosis or adenomyosis.
Endometriosis can be much more serious, causing internal bleeding and adhesions. It takes a median of eight years to reach a diagnosis of endometriosis from when the symptoms of the condition first appear confirmed a new British study. Interestingly, it seems that the earlier the symptoms appear, the later the disease is diagnosed.
Another secondary dysmenorrhoea is fibroids, which are more common in women of African-Caribbean origin.
This lack of knowledge is the reason behind the whopping 80% of women forcing themselves to go to work or school despite often severe period pains. The society views menstrual symptoms as normal, something that is a part of being a woman thus something to “put up with”. The very idea of this being a health problem is ignored.
Discussing menstruation is seen as a social or cultural taboo, and even medical professionals can sometimes dismiss period pains to be normal. This leads to many young women surrendering to self-care rather than seeking medical care, often learning to accept their pain as “normal”.
Although discomfort and mild abdomen pain can be seen as a normal menstrual symptom, it stops being normal the moment It prevents day-to-day activities. While severe pains that stop women going to school or work may not always mean serious conditions such as endometriosis, it is very likely there are ways of making the pain milder.
The market targeting period pains, as opposed to knowledge on the subject, is vast. One of the reasons behind it is that similarly to how the severity of period pains varies from woman to woman, pain relief methods do too. Some may even need several strategies to ease their menstrual symptoms.
The most popular means of dealing with dysmenorrhoea are the usual over-the-counter painkillers such as Ibuprofen. Many use Paracetamol too, however, it is not particularly effective. The danger when it comes to drugs is that most of them have side effects and thus you need to discuss it with the doctor first.
It is known that heat and regular physical activity can aid to period pain-relief. While applying heat to your pelvis during active pain soothes it, it is advised to maintain consistent levels of physical activity such as yoga throughout the month.
Additionally, there is plenty of evidence TENS stimulation can help with menstrual pains. The market is full of machines created just for that, and we happen to have one of our own. TENS reduces the cramping which is caused by reduced blood flow to the muscles. Results of the trial illustrated that our Ova Plus did not present any side effects, such as nausea and drowsiness, commonly associated with analgesia and other pain relief drugs.
The conclusion of this piece is self-explanatory. While it is important to be aware of how to manage menstruation symptoms, we need to raise awareness, not just to young women but everyone when it comes to period pains. Having more knowledge on the subject will reduce the stigma and taboo that comes when talking about periods out loud, as well as fight the mentality of women feeling obliged to force themselves to work when feeling unwell.
It is a must for the world, and it is vital for young women. Gaining more knowledge of the subject that directly affects them help women make better self-care choices in terms of how to cope with the pain and when to seek medical attention.
Menstrual symptoms such as period pains strongly affect the lifestyles of many women when it comes to productivity, whether they are forced to take a day off or try to get through the day despite the pain. This calls for an open discussion of periods, breaking secrecy and shame around the subject that is ingrained in the society’s mind. Information about periods must be easily accessible to women of all ages and a failure to provide that is what results in women not receiving the correct treatment if required.