Generally, women stick to talking about menstrual pain with other women because, well, it’s relatable. And as concerned and caring as the male population can be, it’s a type of monthly cramping and burning and stabbing that’s hard to completely understand unless you’ve experienced it. Not to mention, there are times when it feels like our pain levels just aren’t taken seriously.
But John Guillebaud, a reproductive health professor at University College London, is here to validate the pain of menstruating females everywhere. Finally, a man believes us! Guillebaud told Quartz that he’s had patients compare dysmenorrhea (the medical term for painful menstruation) to be “almost as bad as having a heart attack.”
Almost as painful as when blood’s blocked in a vital organ, potentially causing death!? Um, yeah, that actually sounds about right.
Women have taken to Twitter to respond to this new-found comparison, though many aren’t thrilled about how it was a dude who finally “revealed” how debilitating a monthly visit from Aunt Flo can actually be.
Ever wondered what it’d feel like to have tiny elves holding sharp, tiny shovels, digging through your insides? Just have a period!
— Linda Afya (@LindaAfya) February 28, 2018
Sometimes I’m tempted to get pregnant, just so I can have a period break.
18 years of parenthood just to avoid 9 weeks of suffering. That’s what it has gotten to. pic.twitter.com/JxqYk1u7OA
— Toni (@t0nit0ne) February 21, 2018
We’ve beeeeeen saying ☹️😔😣
I was once sedated because the pain was so excruciating, the only way I couldn’t “feel” it was if I was sedated. https://t.co/lPQrfpHDcg
— Ottilia Anna M 🦁 (@MaS1banda) February 27, 2018
One woman even went on to say that her monthly periods were more excruciating than childbirth.
When I was in labor with my first child, I didn’t know I was in labor because the pain wasn’t as bad as my monthly cramps!!
— she persisted 🦋 (@kdkneisley) February 28, 2018
Pain resulting from menstruation occurs when the uterus contracts to get rid of the old lining. Sometimes, severe contractions can end up restricting blood vessels in that area, causing that OMG-MY-INSIDES-ARE-ABOUT-TO-TURN-INSIDE-OUT sensation. And while it’s frustrating that it’s taken this long to shed (no uterus lining pun intended) light on the monthly impact periods have on part of the population, at least these discussions are starting.