Every woman in the world is blessed with the wonderful gift of reproduction. We get to experience the joy of carrying a child and having that physical connection with our babies that men just can’t. Unfortunately, while this joy may come once or twice in most women’s lives, every month (which is most month of our lives) we get to live with the not so wonderful joy of getting our periods. Now for some women this is just 3-5 mildly uncomfortable days and some women are blessed with zero discomfort.
I am not one of those lucky women. For a select few of us, though more than you would expect, our monthly periods are a sort of torture filled with severe cramping, back aches and migraines and a whole list of additional symptoms which include emotional instability. These symptoms can be debilitating, especially the migraines. Let me just testify, it is not a pleasant experience overall. At the age of 17, my mother took me to a gynecologist who put me on birth control pills to control the severity of my symptoms, which for the most part disappeared or became almost unnoticeable.
Except for one. Every month I still have a tendency to get migraines in the week before and during my period. Now if you have never had a migraine, the word might bring to mind the mild discomfort of a headache which can be almost instantly cured with some sort of over the counter painkiller. But this is not so with a migraine. Migraines sneak up on you, starting with a slight throbbing over one eye. During this time period painkillers might help make the symptoms more mild but if the migraine gets into full swing the best thing to do is hole up in a dark room and try to sleep until it disappears. The main difference between a simple headache and a migraine is the severity of the symptoms. Migraines cause an almost blinding throbbing pain over one eye, a sensitivity to light and sound and can even lead to nausea. Sometimes just being in a room with soft lighting can make me miserable.
The worst part of my menstrual migraines really is I never know if I will get them and how severe they will be, it all depends on how my hormones are during that menstrual cycle. Over the years, I have had to adjust my birth control to help control my symptoms more tightly, but still occasionally, a migraine slips through.