Dysmenorrhoea is a medical term used in association with periods to describe frontal low pelvic pain.
Soon after my first period started I began to get severe pain most, if not every month. Usually within 3 to 4 hours of starting I would be on the floor with sickness and diarrhoea from the contractions in my womb. It would only last a few hours but the intensity was crazy.
I would make noises like a woman having a baby; I would scream, shout, swear and I would roll about the floor like a possessed (mad) woman. I could quickly go from feeling boiling hot and sweating to freezing cold and hugging a hot water bottle – this between hugging the toilet and hugging a sick bowl.
One time at a restaurant in Spain my period came on suddenly. A doctor at a nearby table called an ambulance as he thought I was having an appendicitis. Another time the deputy head at my high school later told me I had gone green during the contractions and that she had never been so worried about a student. It is also ironic that whilst working at my local hospital where I was meant to be looking out for people, I would be taken out by the pain and would actually roll around the toilet floor for a few hours until the contractions ceased.
As you can imagine this also made me anxious about actually planning anything, as I knew that roughly once a month for a few hours, wherever I may be I could literally be taken out by the pain.
In the two to three hours that I experienced the pain I felt like I was dying and when the pain subsided I often felt like I had been given the gift of life. After such intense pain I would always feel so much more with myself like all the pain had been worth it, if this makes sense?! I felt somewhat renewed and all the heavy fuzziness leading up to my period would turn to clarity.
The only solution given to me by doctors was to go on the pill and as I was not happy with that I decided to ride it out each month. Even with all the intense pain experienced, deep down I knew there was something healing and something very precious about having a period.
As I have grown more in touch with myself and started listening to the true woman within, I started listening to my body and what it truly wanted. This meant eating foods that nourished and supported me, resting when I needed to and (a big one for me) saying no to added pressures that usually I would go along with just to make others happy.
I started to experience less and less symptoms, and now even if I am to experience slight pain I see it as a great opportunity to learn more about me rather than another opportunity to see it as something’s ‘wrong with me’.
I realise the fuzziness leading up to, and the pain experienced during my period was just showing me how I had lived up to that point. It was my body’s way of talking, telling me I needed to listen and to see how hard I had been with myself, how self critical I had been and how I was adverse to feeling the sacred woman inside unaffected by all that the outer brings or throws at her.
I do not dread getting my period anymore; in fact I find it the most beautiful, sacred and divine time. Having a period each month is a huge cleansing which deeply assists me with healing my body. It is amazing to have this opportunity every single month to cleanse, renew and revitalize myself.
I now enjoy the feeling as it draws close, offering me a chance to feel into how I have been with myself the previous three weeks. Sometimes I can feel this as a frustration, a wanting to have it over and done with but more often than not I feel it as a surrendering back towards the truth and wisdom that my body holds.
My period pulls me back to a deep place inside me and as I go back to this sacred place all that I live which is not truth has to come out.
In the week leading up to my period any issue I may have been working on gets intensified, which gives me the opportunity to feel into my past momentums and deal with them. Sometimes this week can feel long and it can be a time when I grab at food and eat more than usual.
I now see that having dysmenorrhoea was just a way in which my body was recalibrating itself showing me the unloving hard way in which I had viewed the world and treated my body. It also showed the lack of acceptance and self worth I had for myself as a woman and so the way I feel about dysmenorrhea, it gave me a new opportunity every month to re-imprint this. It also allowed for a big clearing, without which all these unexpressed emotions would still be in my body, hanging around waiting to perhaps manifest into something much more sinister.
Now when I have my period I see it as a celebration, and a time to truly accept myself in full.
I feel deeply blessed having a period every month and to be able to accept the gift of a renewal it brings. I have been super inspired by the Women In Livingness monthly groups in London and the Our Cycles App. By honouring the true cycles that are within us, be that the moon cycles (for those ladies who no longer menstruate) or the period cycle, we open ourselves up to the true magical opportunities that await, as we rediscover the awesomeness of womanhood.
by STC, UK
You may also be interested in:
Painful Periods – Nurturing Doesn’t Always Mean Horizontal by Leonne Sharkey