They always say “Girl Power”, and for me, it is exceptionally prominent during that special time of the month.
If you know what I’m talking about, and have once experienced that awful thing called “menstrual cramp”,
you would definitely agree with me.
A couple of weeks back, I had the opportunity to attend a talk by Dr Yong Yoke Fai from NUHS and
learnt more about how menstrual cramps could just be one of the many symptoms of more serious problems
Immediately after the talk, I shared the information I’ve learnt with A,
and it was only then when I found out that she actually had this same condition a few years back before I met her.
Why curl up in bed and suffer in silence? 😦
Let me share what I’ve learnt with you!
Endometriosis is a condition where the endometrium
(which is the medical word for blood lining in the womb that thickens and sheds off during menstruation)
is found in areas outside the uterus, usually within the pelvis.
It sounds scary, doesn’t it?
The scarier thing is – this condition is so common that every 1 in 10 women suffers from it and
it could start as early as puberty.
A lot of us might think that menstrual pain is just part of menstruation and endometriosis
probably only happens to older ladies.
But that is sadly not the case.
From what I understood from A, she always suffered from bad menstrual cramps,
her periods were usually very heavy (she once felt faint from all that massive bleeding),
but fortunately other common symptoms of endometriosis like painful intercourse and pelvic pain
did not happen to her.
As you can imagine, as the mucous and bloody membrane starts lining
other parts of your body other than the uterus, it would definitely cause discomfort, pain or even ulcers.
It could even affect your bowels.
And depending on where it went, the severity and level of discomfort would vary accordingly.
Because of this, one very common result of this condition is infertility,
and up to 40% of infertile women have endometriosis.
But like what the doctor said during the talk, menstrual pain is not always a synonym of endometriosis.
* You can imagine how all the ladies were freaking out as we were listening to his explanation about the condition!
But good knowledge of female-related conditions and how to cope with them is important for all modern ladies, especially now where information can easily be found on the internet.
There is no need to suffer in silence every single month when you’re in pain.
So here are some tips from me to you for coping with discomfort during your period.
IS IT HOT IN HERE OR IS IT ME? :p
Applying a little bit of heat to the stomach can help easy menstrual pain.
For me, I have a cute little heat bag that helps me tide through the pain.
Alternatively, you can also use a hot water bottle and wrap it in towel before putting it on your tummy.
Exercise helps release endorphins and these happy hormones can help you relax and also assist in reducing pain.
When the going gets too tough, turn to the pills.
Two common kinds of drugs you can use are Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
(eg, Ponstan and Synflex) and Arcoxia respectively.
The former is effective in reducing menstrual cramps but are often associated with gastric side effects.
They are a little more troublesome though because they need to be taken 2-3 times a day for effective pain relief. The latter, Arcoxia is also highly effective in reducing menstrual cramps and works the same way as the former.
But this one is associated with lower risk of gastric side effects and only requires a pill a day for it to work.
*Feeling like a pharmacist now. :p
Another guiltier but definitely yummier source of endorphins is in chocolates! Hot chocolate can make me happy,
and it can also help you reduce that nasty menstrual pain!
And this also reminds me of the gorgeous dessert table at the event!
The organizers sure know what makes us girls happy!
The yummy desserts were from Elijah Pies and I’m a huge huge fan of the Nutella Pie served at the event.
Tastes good and looked good, what’s there not to love! :p
And I’m sure some delectable sweets will keep the PMS away. Heh!
Check out that pie! Salivating already lah!
With that, I hope I am doing my small part in helping spread awareness about Endometriosis
as well as different ways to cope with menstrual pain.
To be honest, I had absolutely no idea what Endometriosis was before the talk,
and I think it is important for us ladies to know our bodies,
talk about our pain and not treat menstruation as a taboo topic.
If you are interested to find out more about Endometriosis,
this is where you can find the Facebook Page for Endometriosis Awareness Campaign Singapore.
May your periods always be happy!