Having pain during your period is not normal. To combat this preconceived idea, the French research institute provides a clear and concrete response to all women who suffer because of their menstrual cycle.
All women have unfortunately heard at least once in their life: “Having pain during your period is normal“. This way of normalizing or even minimizing this recurring pain ultimately pushes women to be patient with their pain. To the point that some almost feel illegitimate to consult a doctor for this reason.
Pain that affects nine out of ten women
In order to break down beliefs around this subject, the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) took up the issue. A study carried out by researchers from the organization focused on a cohort of 21,287 women, aged 18 to 49.
90% of them explained having pain during their periods, called dysmenorrhea, which they evaluated on a graduated pain scale (0 corresponds to no pain and 10 to maximum unbearable pain).
In detail, four out of ten women believe they feel moderate to severe pain, classified between 4 and 10, the causes of this pain being varied, ranging from endometriosis to inflammatory pathologies, including malformations of the uterus.
Inflammatory substances produced by the uterus
“It must nevertheless be emphasized that pain is not always associated with an underlying pathology. At the time of menstruation, the uterus produces inflammatory substances called prostaglandins, causing muscle contractions which can be painful, without a particular disease being responsible. rightly reminds the researchers.
Why are some women more prone to this pain than others? The answer is not yet entirely clear. Previous studies, such as the one published in Epidemiologic Reviews, suggest that family history greatly increases the risk for a woman to suffer from this pain in turn. Certain modifiable factors such as smoking, diet or obesity could play a role, but these data remain controversial and the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms still mysterious.
Pathological or not, this pain can nevertheless be relieved.
Benefit from appropriate support
To do this, women must benefit from medication, which may involve taking painkillers or hormonal treatments. “Above all, it is crucial to take an interest in the impact of these pains on women’s daily lives, by taking the time to listen to them and ask them questions specifically on this subject.” still believes Inserm.
Ultimately, what women and girls who suffer from their periods need is, above all, appropriate care. Because “having pain during your period is neither normal nor inevitable” conclude the scientists.