While many women can breeze through their periods each month without even missing a beat, others are not so lucky. Some women can suffer through truly severe menstrual cramps each month and come to really dread this part of their cycle. Below are 8 things only these women would understand.

1. You Are Not Exaggerating

Though different perceive pain differently, those who suffer from severe menstrual pain are not faking it or exaggerating. Some women describe the pain to be even more powerful than labor pain. People who don’t suffer from this just can’t understand our feelings fully.

2. You Are Not Drug Seeker, Either!

Most women who have severe cramps treat it with over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen, home remedies like heating pads or natural therapies like bioidentical hormones. Without such medicine, it’s very likely for us to faint over. However, there’re always some people saying that you have a low endurance and should not take pills too often.

3. You Are Not Sickly!

Sometimes menstrual disorders can be part of larger issues. But most women who have severe periods are otherwise healthy and lead regular, normal lives for the other three weeks of the month! Don’t assume that just because a woman has severe menstrual cycles that she has other health problems as well. According to western medicine, there’s still no proven causes for severe menstrual cramps for young women.

4. You Have to Fight Fatigue as Well as Pain

Pain is not the only issue with a heavy period. Fatigue and exhaustion are also problems and can be just as difficult to cope with – and sometimes it is the pain itself that is causing the fatigue to begin with. It’s good for people to understand that these women are dealing with more than one issue.

5. You Sometimes Struggle with Mood Swings

Many times, heavy periods can result from imbalances in the female hormones, especially in progesterone and estrogen. This can result in having to deal with the emotional roller coaster that hormonal changes can bring with them – and these changes in mood can be difficult to cope with as well.

6. You Are Not Crazy!

The pain, fatigue and mood swings that you experience on your period are the result, again, of an imbalance in the hormone levels. It is not a sign of a mental illness or emotional instability – though some women who have these problems might have to cope with increased stress or anxiety or problems with depression.

7. You Feel Overwhelmed

The pain and fatigue that a severe period can bring with it make it harder to do even the simplest things, like going to work, cleaning up the house or doing other activities of daily living. This can make it easy to get behind on things – and even easier to feel overwhelmed.

8. You Appreciate a Show of Support

Menstrual cramps make life hard. And while most women won’t thank you for a big slap on the back during this delicate time, they do appreciate a show of support. A friend or family member who can bring over a meal or pick up the drying cleaning can go a long way to helping out.

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