EXCLUSIVE: Period pain is a good sign, expert says while busting common myths

Updated on Sep 10, 2021 12:58 PM IST  |  74.3K
Myths related to painful periods

A sharp cramp in the middle of the night and you end up scrambling for painkillers, hot water bags and whatnot. Painful periods, in medical terms known as dysmenorrhea, can happen due to several reasons. Dysmenorrhea is further divided into two types – spasmodic and congestive. While the condition may be a cause of worry for many, experts say it is normal for most women.

“Dysmenorrhea is absolutely normal and it happens in about 70-80 percent of women. If it’s a cramping pain in the pelvic area once you start bleeding, it can be because of the contractions in the uterus. This can cause varying degrees of pain, from mild to severe. As a result, some women may suffer from a fainting attack,” says Dr. Ruchi Srivastava, Professor and Senior Gynaecologist, Sharda Hospital, Greater Noida.

The amount of pain and symptoms are different in different women. If somebody is experiencing more pain than the other, this can’t be termed as abnormal, without consulting a doctor.

Period pain, Srivastava says, is often surrounded by a lot of myths. Here she attempts to bust a few.

Myth 1: Pain during periods is a bad thing

Fact: Mild to moderate pain during menstruation is certainly a good sign that your cycles are fine. Women should not feel that there is an underlying problem. Often people see period blood as bad and dirty, and if it is coupled with pain, they think it is even worse. Any kind of pain is termed as bad. “However, like I mentioned, pain is normal and actually a sign of a healthy uterus and ovaries,” says Srivastava.

Myth 2: Eating sour and cold foods during periods causes pain

Fact: On the contrary, girls and women should eat sour foods because often they are packed with Vitamin C. And Vitamin C, which we all know by now, is good for immunity. Even cold foods do nor hamr. As long as you are not eating spicy and oils foods, which can increase your gastro issues, you can eat everything.

Myth 3: Painful periods cause or result in infertility

Fact: This is again wrong. “A lot of girls in their early 20s who are about to get married come to me with this question. But again, like I mentioned before, pain is normal and does not lead to infertility. But yes, if the pain is due to endometriosis, it can lead to infertility. But there’s a reason behind this pain and also it presents with other symptoms as well,” explains Srivastava.

Myth 4: Exercising during periods will increase pain

Fact: Exercising is actually recommended during menstruation as it tends to keep away the pain. However, if you haven’t done exercise at all, you should not start it suddenly during periods. Only if you have been exercising throughout the month, you don’t need to give up on it during periods. A 10-minute normal exercise would do the job.

Myth 5: A cold water bath can alleviate your period pain

Fact: This is not backed by science at all. Pain is caused because of the uterus shedding its walls. This has nothing to do with what kind of water you are putting on your body. Yes, hot water baths can have a soothing effect on the body and that is exactly why doctors recommend hot water bags to fight pain. “But with that being said, cold water baths are also okay,” she says.

Myth 6: Playing, and especially swimming, should be avoided to tackle period pain

Fact: Women and girls can play whatever sport they want and can go swimming as well. This is one of the biggest misconceptions about periods and most of the girls fall prey to it. The only concern is that water will soak all the blood, but there are several products available in the market to counter this, like menstrual cups, period-proof undergarments, and tights. Just like exercising, playing sports is also healthy, and it won’t in any way aggravate the pain.

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