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Very few women manage to skip over their periods without experiencing at least some pain, but while mild cramping and discomfort might be par for the course for most women, recent research reveals that a whopping 20% have had their lives seriously affected by their menstrual cycle.

In a report published by Quartz, a number of experts in the field of reproductive health have asserted that the pain experienced by some women is "almost as bad as having a heart attack" and yet very little research has been done into the reasons behind this chronic monthly pain.

Commenting on the laissez-faire attitude which many women encounter when approaching GPs with their concerns,  the director of the gynecological pain at NorthShore University Healthsystem, Frank Tu admits that the vast majority of doctors are taught that ibuprofen "should be good enough."

Reflecting on the lack of research which has been devoted to something which affects a staggering number of women worldwide, John Guillebaud, professor of reproductive health at University College London asserted: "Men don’t get it and it hasn’t been given the centrality it should have."

Echoing these sentiments, Dr. Imogen Shaw, a GP specialising in women's health admits she thinks greater research would be conducted if men endured the same pain on a monthly basis, saying: "I suspect there would be, being very cynical,"

Acknowledging the need for extensive research in the field, Prof. Guillebaud confirmed: "I do believe it’s something that should be taken care of, like anything else in medicine."

Dysmenorrhea is the clinical term for painful periods. but it has no definitive medical origin.

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