Women Of Twitter Are Totally Dragging Doctors For Taking So Long To Really Understand Period Pain

Women are finally being taken seriously about serious period pain. After an article in Marie Claire, published on Tuesday, discussed how a professor of reproductive health at the University College London has referred to menstrual cramps as “almost as bad as having a heart attack," the Internet responded with a resounding "no, duh."

For many years, women have frequently been dismissed as just having a little bit of pain during their periods, where they are advised to simply take some over-the-counter medicine and assume that it will probably go away. The Marie Claire article pointed out that doctors, specifically male doctors, also happen to take women’s pain less seriously than pain reported by men.

The professor who compared cramps to a heart attack is a man, but Marie Claire says it is a step in the right direction to see that menstruating folks (because, of course, not all women get periods and not all people who get periods are women) might finally be taken seriously for when it comes to pain.

On Twitter, plenty of folks responded to say that while it’s good this article was published and that the conversation is moving (slowly) forward, it’s still “nothing new.”

Controversies over how doctors treat women in pain have been in the news for a few years now: An article in Cosmopolitan in 2016 talked about how doctors just don’t take the time to know more about their patient's pain — particularly when they're connected to period cramps.

"Doctors need to be asking specific questions," OB-GYN Dr. Sherry Ross said to Cosmopolitan at the time. "How disruptive are the cramps? Do they cause you to miss work or school? Are you unable to exercise because of them?" Dr. Ross also advised women to come to doctor’s appointments prepared with questions so doctors can realize that patients care much more about their health.

In 2015, Joe Fassler wrote an article for The Atlantic about how his wife Rachel could have died because of the sexism in an emergency room. He writes that some nurses told her it was “just a little pain” and what she was experiencing was not an emergency. In reality, she had an ovarian cyst that had grown so much it was causing organ failure in the ovary. Finally, after the male doctor left and a female doctor took over in the emergency room, she was able to get the help she needed.

While it's a given that period cramps are the worst— it's nice to be reminded that, despite stigma and sexism, this pain deserves to be recognized for what it is.