‘Menstrual discomfort is normal, severe pain is not’

It’s just period pain, it’s supposed to be painful, you’ll be better in a few years.’ Doctors say that this is the kind of advice one should completely ignore if one suffers from intense pelvic pain during and around their menstrual cycle. It might not ‘just be period pain’ if it interferes with your daily activities. It could be endometriosis.Shamita Shetty recently opened about undergoing a surgery after suffering from endometriosis.She said, “I didn’t even know what it was. All the women out there, please google endometriosis.”What is endometriosisEndometriosis is a chronic condition where the endometrium (the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus) grows outside of the uterus on other organs such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the tissue lining the pelvis resulting in inflammation, scarring, and pain. It ails roughly 190 million women globally, as per the World HealthOrganisation “This tissue can develop on organs in the pelvic cavity, such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the tissue lining the pelvis. This can lead to inflammation, scarring, and pain,” explains Dr ArunaWhile menstrual discomfort is normal to some extent, severe and debilitating pain is notNormalisation of period pain, societal taboos, reasons for delayed diagnosis“Firstly, its symptoms, such as pelvic pain and infertility, overlap with other gynecological conditions, leading to misdiagnosis or dismissal of symptoms. Additionally, societal taboos around menstruation and reproductive health contribute to a lack of open discussion and education about conditions like endometriosis,” says Dr ArunaKalra, Director, obstetrics and gynecology, CK Birla Hospital, Gurgaon. “Lack of awareness, combined with the normalisation of menstrual pain, contributes to the delayed diagnosis and inadequate management of endometriosis. More education and open discussions about menstrual health are crucial in addressing this issue,” suggests Dr Neelam Suri, Senior Consultant, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital. “However, the severity of symptoms can vary among individuals, making diagnosis challenging. These symptoms can also be mistaken for other conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome or ovarian cysts, leading to misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. In some cases, women may experience debilitating pain that significantly impacts their quality of life, while others may have mild or no symptoms at all,” shares Dr Preeti Rastogi, Director, Obstetrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Medanta, Gurgaon. Period pain that significantly impacts daily life or persists despite over-the-counter pain relief medication warrants medical attention. Ignoring symptoms could lead to delays in diagnosis and treatment, potentially worsening the condition and affecting fertility – Dr Preeti RastogiWhile menstrual discomfort is normal to some extent, severe and debilitating pain is not. It is essential to advocate for your own health, seek medical attention, and not dismiss symptoms as ‘just part of being a woman –Dr Neelam SuriCelebs who have spoken about dealing with the disease Celebs who have spoken about dealing with endometriosisI was told I would never have children naturally, that I only had a 10 to 15 percent of having them in vitro. When you’re staring down the barrel of your 40th birthday and you hear that you can’t have kids because this disease went unchecked and undiagnosed for so many years, it’s devastating–Padma LakshmiI didn’t even know what it was. All the women out there, please google endometriosis. You need to know what this problem is all about–Shamita Shetty on her surgery for endometriosisIt makes it hard, every little cough and stuff. But it is truly still better than the contractions and the pain of endo–Chrissy Teigen on her surgery for endometriosisI’ve enjoyed feedback and deliberation about my appearance for almost 20 years. And you’re right it is puffier than normal right now. I have endometriosis, an autoimmune disease that every woman should read about–Amy Schumer on the puffiness of her faceWith doctors essentially telling me I was being a big baby about my period, or misdiagnosing PCOS, etc etc. Finding out that I had (endometriosis) was the most bittersweet moment because it meant I wasn’t crazy! I wasn’t a “baby”! I had every right to be feeling like the world was caving in. But it was terrifying to find out–HalseyPossible symptoms of endometriosis When to see a doctor“If you experience severe or debilitating pelvic pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, or other persistent symptoms that interfere with your daily life, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can help manage the symptoms and prevent potential complications associated with endometriosis,” says Dr Neelam Suri.


Recommended For You