Last year, Zomato, a food delivery service in India, sparked conversation when it allowed paid menstrual leave to all its female and transgender employees. According to this rule, Zomato provided a 10-day period leave per year and this was done to break the stigma around menstruation. Naturally, this decision sparked conversations and was both celebrated and criticized by people across the spectrum, which prompts us to ask the question: how “real” is period pain?
What's period pain?
For years, period pain has been viewed as an inherent, innate part of womanhood, and it was believed that every menstruating person experiences period pain. The idea isn’t wrong, given that periods result when the uterus contracts, which further allows blood to flow outside the body, thereby causing muscle spasms or period cramps. They are also usually associated with pain in the lower abdomen, but can radiate to the lower back and inner thighs.
Period pain is very common and most women experience varying intensities at some point in their life, and it’s believed that in 10 out of 100 women, the pain is so severe that they are unable to carry on with their day-to-day activities between one and three days a month. Period pain, can also be a sign of dysmenorrhea and there can be other existing conditions like the presence of fibroids in the uterus, PCOS or in some extreme cases, endometriosis or even cervical cancer.
Why don't we talk about period pain?
This leads us to the more obvious question: If period cramps are a sign of such grave disorders, why don’t we talk about it more often? Is it because women fear that excessive talking about period cramps will lead them to being labelled as “dramatic”, “delicate” or even “complaining”, individuals? What doesn’t help either, is the fact that talks revolving around periods are considered taboo in our society, consequently giving birth to a generation of women who accepted period pain as a “curse” to womenkind and therefore, chose to suffer in silence.
Recently, a study published by Dr John Guillebaud, a professor of Reproductive Health at University College, London, compared period cramps to being almost as painful as heart attacks! Surprising, isn’t it that something we consider as a normal part of womanhood is actually painful and therefore, it’s good to know that there are women now who are openly talking about period pain and companies like Zomato, which are paying attention and provide solutions to these problems so that the stigma around periods can finally be broken at its helm.
How to reduce period pain?
For those experiencing excruciating pain during menstruation, it’s advisable that they seek help and consult a gynecologist.
- Based on advice given to a lot of women and girls, its common knowledge that painkillers like ibuprofen do help with period cramps.
- Applying warmth in the form of heat packs can also help the cramped muscles to relax, thereby relieving the pain.
- Some people also insist on eating correctly before, during and after periods start. Reducing caffeine content, regulating salt and sugar intakes and starting your day with a healthy breakfast rich in iron, have also been known to curb regular period pain.
- A period tracking app can also help in pre-empting the signs of period pain and perhaps help one prepare in advance the possible approaches to soothe period pain.
Whatever you do, however you decide to navigate about soothing your period pain, don’t forget to speak up. The more attention our problems get from researchers, doctors, media professionals, the better it is in our fight to make the world more compassionate to our concerns. In the meantime, don’t suffer in silence, rather don’t suffer at all.
Carmesi is trying to take care of your period woes by launching incredible Cramp Relief Air Activated Heat Patches that instantly provide relief and ensure that you have a painless period. These are made of 100% natural ingredients and provide relief for up to 8 hours! Feeling better about period pain, ladies?