Stereotypes On Dysmenorrhea and Way Out


When  i was nursing the idea of  writing this educative health article, I asked myself a  simple logical question of what African society thinks on African men writing on this subject. Im not a health practitioner but a Journalist whose sole responsibility is digging deep beneath the surface to disseminate qualitative information to the public space.

 While growing up, I could remember my neighbour, a father of 3 children, how he  incessantly flogged  his daughter alleging her of witchcraft. He had no empirical evidence against this young promising girl. She was brilliant than one could ever imagine. I was younger then and couldn’t fathom why a father would hate her daughter so much.

  The bible in Hebrews 12:6 says ‘’For whom the lord loves he chastens and scourges every son whom he receives’’.  My parents chastened me too, but it was all done in love’’. I was so terrified of my neighbour in question that I started avoiding him, I saw him as the devil I was always taught to avoid on Sunday school classes in my parents local church. I later overheard my parents discussing about my neighbours daughter one silent night that she experiences a terrible stomach pain which is as severe as not been able to attend school and sometimes get her on the hospital bed.

   When I got to the university years after , I understood  this mans claim on his daughter as a witch when discussing with a cousin who was a medical student in my school at the time. ‘’Opssssss! So she was only suffering from a disease called dysmenorrhea ‘’ she was constantly brutalized and labelled a  witch by her father for a medical condition, what an ignorance!’’.

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  The above story now takes us to the concept of dysmenorrhea. Wikipedia define dysmenorrhea as a painful period or menstrual cramp. It occur when menstruation begins and reportedly can last for three days. It is normal for women to have mild abdominal pain during menstruation and when the pain becomes terrible, this is a red flag pointing to dysmenorrhea. It is reported that about 10% of women experience this.

  Dysmenorrhea is grouped into primary and secondary. According to research primary dysmenorrhea is mild and been experienced by 50 percent of women while secondary dysmenorrhea is related to gynecologic disorder.

  One of the causes of this medical disorder includes retroverted uterus i.e uterus that tilt backward, inability to do regular body exercise, bad habits of smoking and drinking. These symptoms  are commonly found in mild or primary dysmenorrhea.

  Fibroids, adenomyosis, sexually transmitted infections, ovarian tumor and a host of others are signs of secondary dysmenorrhea.

   Analgesic and oral contraceptives are said to be helpful in treating medical condition.

Kayode Adeshina Rhymes

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