Let's Start Talking About Menstrual Health Outside of "Pregnancy"!
Have you ever noticed that menstrual cycle and women’s health is mostly discussed in the context of pregnancy, but outside of that no one seems to care?
“Heavy periods? Take a pill. PMS? That's normal, everyone has it. Too much pain? No problem. Take a pill. Feeling depressed before periods? Everyone does. Breast pain? Oh, stop being such a wussy. PCOS? Take a pill. Trying to get pregnant now? Okay, let's get you off the pill and boost you with fertility meds.”
These are some common responses many of my clients heard prior to making their way to me. Sound familiar? If so, please know YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
In fact, a recent study showed a large number of women feel dismissed and even mocked when trying to address period-related concerns, and almost always hormonal contraception is offered as the only possible solution.
Except that it is not a solution at all! Most of the time it is a handy band-aid at best. Unless of course you want to get pregnant. Then suddenly you get way more attention...
I don’t know. Perhaps because menstruation was stigmatized for so long. Perhaps because woman’s health and periods in particular is such an under-researched area that health care providers feel powerless with such a hopeless situation. Perhaps because doctors were never taught the importance of period health. And let’s be frank, many of them don’t have periods themselves.
The great news is there seems to be more practitioners who realize that we missed the main point! In fact, just a few years ago, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology proposed using menstruation as an additional vital sign along with blood pressure, body temperature, etc. It was not officially accepted, but even the proposal itself seems to be a huge step in the right direction.
I firmly believe that,