People are finally talking about period pains, something that we, as a society, still don’t really understand or recognize. Period pain, like much of women’s reproductive health in general, is under-researched, misunderstood, often swept under the carpet, and shrouded in taboo.
Looking beyond the sensationalist headlines (the heart-attack pain scale comparison came from a single doctor’s anecdotal evidence), the conversation raises all kinds of important issues and questions that we are long overdue in discussing.
For example, why is so little known about a condition that affects 20% of women to the point that the menstrual cramps debilitate them from doing their daily activities? Why do doctors take women’s pain thresholds less seriously? Why are women left with little option but to keep quiet, take some pain relief, and get on with it? Would there be more research and understanding if men had to deal with period cramps too?
Right now, there isn’t really a prominent lobby pushing the need for further research, and there still appears to be a general media discomfort about using period-related words on their channels. There are such deep-rooted linguistic and societal links between the womb and the emotional over-reaction of women, and even the word ‘hysteria’ stems from the Greek word for uterus. You could say that this has been going on for a while now. So if things are going to change anytime soon, we really need to start talking about period pain, to normalize it, and to get doctors to start taking it more seriously.
Ironically (or not), it took the revelations of a man for people to start the conversation. But talking about it, they are. While some people are shocked by the headline-grabbing comparison to millions of women, this is old news, and they took to social media to share their stories. Scroll down below to check out some of the best Tweets and let us know what you think in the comments. Because after all, change has to start somewhere, doesn’t it?