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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

I hate periods!

I hate periods!

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The pain we women go through monthly and every time it comes, it feels brand new. Some men would tell us, ‘you experience the pain every month so get used to it’. I would just scuff at them or ignore them totally because as the saying goes, one who feels it knows it.

The medically oriented would tell you dysmenorrhoea, some would say period or menstruation cramps but all of those terms mean painful menstruation.

Dysmenorrhoea is an abdominal pain, stemming from uterine cramps, during a menstrual period.

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Painful menstruation usually starts during adolescence and the main symptom can be cramps pain in your lower tummy (abdomen).

The pain can spread towards the lower back and sometimes the top of the legs. It can be severe enough to interfere with everyday activities, resulting in absence of school or work. The frustration the female goes through when period pains make us miss important functions is immeasurable. I feel so angry when I wake up to go to school and my abdomen just starts aching but I cannot do anything about it but to just cope with it but if I cannot stand it anymore even with all the pain reliefs I ingest, I cry till I sleep.

The pain can sometimes make you ask questions that do not have answers.

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Why was I born as a woman?

Why do others feel no pain when menstruating? Forgetting that we are made in different ways.

I admire people who do not experience menstrual pain, like my friend Anna. I always wish to exchange our systems even though I know it’s not possible.

Dysmenorrhoea can be subdivided into two components;

Primary and secondary dysmenorrhoea.

Primary dysmenorrhoea is menstrual pain when no underlying cause is found and secondary dysmenorrhoea is when the cause is identified as a gynaecologic disorder.

The associative symptoms women usually have with primary dysmenorrhoea are; headache, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, breast tenderness, tiredness, urge to urine frequently and feeling emotional and teary. Important point to note, do not disturb someone menstruating.

In secondary dysmenorrhoea, your period tends to become painful after several years of “normal” periods .

The following may indicate secondary dysmenorrhoea:

If you have a change in your usual patterns of pain

If you have other symptoms- for example

Irregular periods

Pain between periods

Pain during sex

Pain in the lower passage(rectum)

You should see a doctor if you develop any of these symptoms

My friend Mariama C would tell me” Isatou, I have tried nearly all pain killers, natural remedies like ginger but I still experience painful periods.”

My reply would always be, “I can relate to your pain, try and see a doctor”. This is something that most women and girls can chat about for the whole day trying to find out different ways to alleviate our pains.

Fatou would always complain of more severe pain accompanied with frequent vomiting and contractions that cannot be stopped even when she uses pain reliefs. Her mood changes when her period is about to start because of the pain she goes through.


Most women with painful periods have mild pain that they can treat at home. However, if your pain becomes more severe, you should see a doctor.

There are number of treatments that may help if you have primary dysmenorrhoea:

Keep active and try gentle massage

Non steroidal anti inflammatory pain killers can greatly alleviate the pain.

Warmth: you may find it soothing to hold a hot water bottle against your tummy or have a hot bath.

Eat healthy and exercise regularly.

With all the remedies for period pains and the significance of the menstrual cycle in the life of a woman, I still have a little bit of dislike towards it. However still proud to be a woman because we are strong beings. With all the pain, we force ourselves to do chores, go to school or work and take care of our families. Kudos to all women.

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