If you've ever been curled up like a ball writhing in pain because it feels like someone is stabbing you from within your uterus out through your pelvis, then you know period pain.
Women's health, and in turn, women's pain in regards to their health, has been historically swept beneath the rug and misunderstood. Being told to suck it up and pop an Advil while suffering from cramps and other symptoms of your period is a frustration well-known to the female-bodied.
A recent piece in Quartz brings to light many issues with women's health. The author, Olivia Goldhill, detailed her own experience with severe period pain, which she likened to that of a slipped disc, as well as her struggle with doctors who were quick to misdiagnose her pain, or prescribe birth control pills and other general methods of addressing the issue without truly understanding it.
A (male) doctor shared a major revelation with Goldhill that has women worldwide nodding their heads collectively: unsurprised, yet finally feeling more understood.
John Guillebaud, a professor of reproductive health at University College London, told Quartz that patients have described the cramping pain experienced as a result of menstruation as "almost as bad as having a heart attack."
Yes, you read that correctly.
While some may be shocked by the idea that the levels of pain many women experience due to dysmenorrhea (the fancy medical term for painful periods) reach these heights, uterus-havers worldwide couldn't even act surprised, since this isn't news to any of us. There is often a lack of understanding and research where women's health is concerned. Guillebaud cited the "culture of silence" around periods, telling Quartz, "Men don't get it and it hasn't been given the centrality it should have. I do believe it's something that should be taken care of, like anything else in medicine."
Naturally, women took to Twitter to express their own experiences, stories, and feelings about the comparison between period and heart attack pain.
rt if you knew this already https://t.co/9RXQz1Q8Wr— z (@zojacobi) February 27, 2018
"In fact, ignoring women's pain has been a concerning medical practise for, well, forever" https://t.co/Lh8Gr4eBfr— susan ev 🚲⛰️🌵🚚❄️ (@susan__ev) February 28, 2018
When I was in labor with my first child, I didn't know I was in labor because the pain wasn't as bad as my monthly cramps!!— she persisted 💙🦋 (@kdkneisley) February 28, 2018
If men had periods, 'menstrual leave' would probably be a thing.— TONI TONE (@t0nit0ne) February 21, 2018
RT this tweet if you've ever had to take a day off work because you were suffering from agonising period pain. pic.twitter.com/TVJg3MGSY3
Sometimes I'm tempted to get pregnant, just so I can have a period break.— TONI TONE (@t0nit0ne) February 21, 2018
18 years of parenthood just to avoid 9 weeks of suffering. That's what it has gotten to. pic.twitter.com/JxqYk1u7OA
I knew I wasn’t being over dramatic https://t.co/b2SkJwjWXG— Student Dr. Esosa the Great (@NigerianBabeee) February 27, 2018