Painful periods, known as dysmenorrhea in medical parlance, are not something that you have to live with. It’s important for all adolescent girls, and young women to know that periods are normal, period pain is not. So if you have menstrual cramps that make you miss school or office, or cripple you such that you are unable to even get out of bed, then you should discuss your period cramps with your gynaecologist.
How severe is your menstrual cramp or dysmenorrhea?
Many girls consider period pain to be normal, as this is the usual menstrual education given to them by their mothers, sisters or friends, hence knowing if a girl has mild or severe dysmenorrhea is the first step in making girls take charge of their life.
If your answers to most of the points below is a yes, then you suffer from mild dysmenorrhea:
- You are in your late 30s or early 40s
- The onset of pain happens during your period
- Your period cramps are only slightly discomforting
- There are rarely blood clots in your period
- You never, or rarely suffer from bloating, nausea or vomiting during your period
- Your bowel movements are normal during your period
- You don’t feel lightheaded during your period
- No one in your family has had dysmenorrhea
- You don’t have any other gynaecological problem
Below are the signs that you have severe dysmenorrhea:
- You are a teenager, in your twenties or in your early 30s
- The onset of pain begins 1-3 days before your period
- Your period pain type is that of intense cramping in lower abdomen that causes great discomfort and leaves you immobile as well
- You almost always suffer from one or more problems such as bloating, nausea or vomiting during your period
- You either feel constipated during your period or your bowel movements can be classified as loose or diarrhoea like during your periods
- During your periods, you either feel slightly dizzy or at times, so dizzy that you feel you might faint
- Your mother suffered from dysmenorrhea when she was young, or your elder sister is currently suffering from severe menstrual cramps
- You have been diagnosed with a gynaecological problem such as endometriosis, adenomyosis, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, hormonal imbalance
We recommend you download this #WhySufferSilently poster that explains the symptoms of mild painful periods v/s severely painful periods. You can use this poster as a conversation starter with your mother, sister, friends or doctor.
While you are here, we also request you to help us in our mission to end painful periods. You can do so by sharing these 3 posters from #WhySufferSilently within your network. You can also follow us and share our posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Do you have any of the following questions?
Disclaimer: The contents of this blog have been simplified to enable an elementary understanding of dysmenorrhea (painful periods). This blog does not constitute medical advice.