Periods, man. The experience is different for everyone who menstruates, but it’s common to find the pleasant experience of your uterus violently expelling blood and inner lining accompanied with some degree of pain. It might not help you to know this, but there is a fancy medical name for period pain: dysmenorrhea.
There are two main classifications of dysmenorrhea: primary dysmenorrhea, which isn’t associated with any specific abnormality, and secondary dysmenorrhea, which is pain caused by an underlying gynecological problem. There isn’t really any method for you to classify which one you fall under without seeing a doctor, but if you are a) experiencing bad cramps that are out of the ordinary and feel drastically different from the usual pain your experience, or b) experiencing pain that drastically inhibits your ability to function, i.e. by making you pass out or physically incapable of moving, those are probably good times to check out a gynocologist.
Some other tips for keeping the dysmenorrhea as manageable as possible:
- take some painkillers
- put a hot water bottle over your pelvis
- consider switching to hormonal birth control
- lie in different positions until you find one that is comfortable
- wear loose clothing
- take dietary supplements such as Omega-3, thiamine, and Vitamin E supplements
Here’s to making that time of the month less of a dread!