Doctors Say Period Cramps Can Be As Painful As Heart Attacks…Women Agree
I was really struck by a recent episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” where Dr. Miranda Bailey checked herself into another hospital and told doctors there that she was having a heart attack. And while you might assume that the doctors would spring into action, trying to treat her, instead they questioned her, telling her without completing a full battery of tests that she couldn’t be having a heart attack.
Spoiler alert: She was, indeed, having a heart attack.
Like so many “Grey’s Anatomy” episodes, it spoke to the societal issue of the medical community’s ancient ignorance when it comes to women’s physiology and the way disease and pain presents itself. Hint: It’s different than men. And it also spoke to the ways in which our voices are ignored, even when we’re speaking about our own bodies.
Women are often hushed and quieted when we make even the slightest mention of our menstrual cycles. And not just in social circles. The medical community hasn’t done nearly enough research into understanding the very function that helps us create other human lives.
A recent piece from Elle UK featured a quote from Dr. John Guillebaud who published a piece in Quartz in 2016 examining research surrounding severe menstrual cramps and other period-related pain.
Guillebaud says his patients have described the cramping pain as “almost as bad as having a heart attack.”