It looks like some doctors are getting this, finally!
That’s right—agony. Not aches or discomfort or grumpiness, but very serious pain. Dysmenorrhea, the clinical term for painful menstruation, interferes with the daily life of around one in five women, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. And yet there’s remarkably little research into the condition, say experts, and too many doctors are dismissive when presented with the symptoms.
Frank Tu, director of gynecological pain at NorthShore University HealthSystem, tells Quartz some physicians are taught that ibuprofen “should be good enough.” Clearly, this is not an adequate response to such severe pain. How severe? John Guillebaud, professor of reproductive health at University College London, tells Quartz that patients have described the cramping pain as “almost as bad as having a heart attack.”
It’s not only women’s period pain which is taken less seriously, either – ignoring women’s pain is a concerning practise across medicine. Recent research has shown that women’s pain is taken much less seriously by doctors generally.