All we have to say is finally. As someone who, since the insertion of my IUD gets cripplingly, nauseating menstrual cramps, this recent news surprises me not one bit. Doctors have ruled that menstrual cramps are as painful as a heart attack.

Dysmenorrhea is the official term for painful menstruation, and it affects the daily lives of around one in five women. In spite of that high number, there’s little research into the condition, and doctors tend to be dismissive of the symptoms, prescribing just ibuprofen. John Guillebaud, professor of reproductive health at University College London, told Quartz that patients have described cramps as “almost as bad as having a heart attack.”

There might not be much in the way of treatment options, but acknowledging the severity of it is at least one step in the right direction. In an interview with the Telegraph, Dr. Imogen Shaw, a doctor specializing in women’s health, said, “in general, there isn’t much research done into women’s health. I wouldn’t say dysmenorrhea has been hugely investigated.”

Attention researchers: maybe it’s finally time to start paying attention to women’s health issues. Being hit by heart-attack level cramps each month? Very much not OK!


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