For some women menstrual cramps are more painful than heart attack

Gynaecologist Dr. Jen Gunter, in her blog on women’s health, has said that the period cramps are often much more painful than heart attacks

The Hush Post: On World Menstrual Hygiene Day it would be alarming to know that menstrual cramps can be more painful than cardiac attacks. A gynaecologist, who writes a blog on popular women’s health, has recently explained in one of her blogs that why period cramps can hurt way more than a heart attack.

Gynaecologist Dr. Jen Gunter, in her blog on women’s health, has said that the period cramps are often much more painful than heart attacks.

“If you are waiting for terrible, excruciating chest pain to tell you that you are having a heart attack, well, you are going to miss the heart attack,” Gunter wrote. “Heart attacks often produce vague symptoms or mild pain, that is why many people ignore them … In addition, more than 40% of women have no pain with heart attacks. It would be dangerous for women to think that a heart attack should be at least as bad as their menstrual cramps.”

Dr Gunter’s blog mentions that besides pain, heart attack symptoms can also include shortness of breath, a lightheaded feeling, nausea, vomiting, and unexplained tiredness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

But primary dysmenorrhea — the scientific term for painful periods — always hurts, said Dr Gunter.

“Period pain happens mostly because of substances called prostaglandins, Gunter explained in the post. They’re released from the lining of the uterus and make it contract. And during these period contractions, pressure on the uterus can be just as high as it is during the “pushing” stage of labor, the gynaecologist added.

“So if you need an analogy to describe period pain,” Gunter wrote, “use labor or cutting your finger off without an anesthetic.”

Dr Gunter’s write-up came as recently there was buzz on social media about menstrual cramps. The genesis of the development dates back to 2016 when Quartz magazine had carried an article about the menstrual pain suffered by women all across the world. The article acknowledged that menstrual pain can be serious and even debilitating — and yet, there’s been disappointingly little research on how we can treat it, said a report.

But the story had a resurgence on social media last week after Elle UK zeroed in on a single quote from the piece. Reproductive health professor John Guillebaud told Quartz that patients have described cramp pain as “almost as bad as having a heart attack.”

That quote sparked immediate interest. Other news outlets including Marie Claire picked up the story, and it spread like wildfire on Twitter. To many women, the comparison wasn’t so much surprising as it was glaringly obvious.

“[Retweet] if you knew this already,” Twitter user @kitttenqueen wrote, sharing a link to the story on Marie Claire. 94,000 people did.

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