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Don’t ignore period pain

Published on Wed 20 Apr 2022 at 06:01

Resorting to home remedies found on social media to help manage period pain, without seeking medical opinion, can deter early diagnosis and timely treatment of endometriosis. 

By Sharmila Saha Roy

Pelvic pain, just before and during menstrual period, is a common complaint. Many women resort to home remedies – mostly found on social media – to help manage the pain, without seeking medical opinion. 

A YouTube video, for instance, claims that consuming a mixture of carom seeds (ajwain) and salt thrice a day can cure even severe period pain. Whether or not the remedy provides any symptomatic relief, the fact is that chronic pelvic pain is one of the most common symptoms of endometriosis.

A common medical condition in which the type of tissue that forms the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) is found outside the uterus, endometriosis is often undiagnosed. Incidentally, almost 40 per cent women with infertility have endometriosis.

Dr. Shimna Azeez, a public health professional and writer based in Kerala, India, cautions against opting for quick-fixes that may lead to late diagnosis of a medical problem. “There can be many reasons, including endometriosis, for period pain. It’s best to consult a doctor to get the right diagnosis and treatment,” she says.

Some of the common symptoms of endometriosis include painful menstrual cramps, heavy menstrual bleeding, pain during or after sex, pain in the intestine or lower abdomen, discomfort with bowel movements or urination (usually during menstruation), spotting or bleeding between periods. 

It’s possible to treat endometriosis with medication or surgery, provided the condition is diagnosed. Unfortunately, the many myths and misinformation about period pains often act as barriers to early diagnosis and timely treatment. 

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