My Dysmenorrhea Story + How it Almost Ruined My Life

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                    Today’s Blog Post is a lot different from the ones I usually do, as I will be sharing a very personal aspect of my life that only those closest to me know about. I’ve touched on this on Social Media and a few Blog posts back, but it was on the surface. Before I go further, please see the disclaimer below as this might not be for everyone.  This is an account of my personal experiences and I hope to inform and educate but I implore you to consult with a Physician.


Disclaimer: The following post might be considered a sensitive subject matter for some people as it has to do with the female reproductive system. If you find such topics unsettling and even “triggering” this might not be best suited for you.

My Dysmenorrhea Story + How it Almost Ruined My Life

I’ve always had extremely painful cramps for as long as I can remember and that has been over 20 years. I  was one of 2 girls in Prep School that started their period at 10/11 and it was an awkward experience. Wearing a pad was one of the most uncomfortable feelings I could have encountered at that age and let’s not even talk about a tampon (I tried it once and it was horrible). I remember it came the day after we had “Girls” and “Boys” Day in Prep school where we were split into groups to have the dreaded “Birds and Bees” talk about all the wonderful changes our bodies would endure throughout the years as females — they lied! I suddenly had this excruciating pain that felt like aliens took over my body and they were having a war on the inside while some were trying to get out. It was a pain I had never felt before. I remember walking to the kitchen and then falling to my knees when the pain hit as tears rolled down my cheeks.

” I was dying I thought, this must be it” were the thoughts in my pubescent brain. I made it to the toilet and saw the source of the pain as it gushed down. Yep! This was it, but why was it here so soon? 

I was told it’s hereditary as those before me (mother and sister) suffered the same fate. They started their cycles at an early age and had the same debilitating pain for years on end! This continued throughout high school which allowed me to become fast friends with the nurse who then moved on to a Private Hospital and I became her lifelong patient. It of course followed me all the way up to University where I had to miss days because I was in so much pain and could not walk much less keep anything down. This went on for a few more years and again I was told “It’s just hereditary”, drink some tea and get some rest. Caribbean people believe tea fixes everything and it does sometimes, but not this time.

My Journey with Dysmenorrhea

My story fast forwards to 2016 while on a highway in Florida during the first day of my cycle the pain was so intense that I had to be rushed to the emergency room as it felt different this time — it was worst and this time everything was numb, I literally could not feel my legs. I was observed and described the level of pain I felt and was given morphine and an injection. That morphine worked wonders and immediately put me to sleep and when I woke up the pain had diminished. The Doctor came in with a diagnosis and said I had Dysmenorrhea — what is that I asked? Will I die? Her reply “No, it’s not life-threatening and depends on the underlying cause you can be treated with medication, relaxation therapy, and rest. I had never heard that word before and was glad she handed me an entire Folder bearing my name, date of diagnosis, and everything I needed to know about Dysmenorrhea.

What is Dysmenorrhea?

Dysmenorrhea causes severe and frequent cramps and pain during your period. It may be either primary or secondary.

  • Primary dysmenorrhea. This occurs when you first start your period and continues throughout your life. It is usually life-long. It can cause severe and frequent menstrual cramping from severe and abnormal uterine contractions.
  • Secondary dysmenorrhea. This type is due to some physical cause. It usually starts later in life. It may be caused by another medical condition, such as pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis.

From there, things only got worst — when I got home the pain intensified though I must admit I live in a stressful environment and my body does not respond well to stress so that made it worst. I was at the Doctor or Hospital every month getting injections to soothe the pain, strung up on drips as I could not eat or keep anything down — this cost money and I was not able to save and the funds soon depleted. I was referred by my Doctor to do a combined ultra-sound to see what the underlying issue was and after paying for that the result came back as “normal” — I was then sent to do a Pap Smear and the result was again “Normal” … Blood Test .. “Normal”.. what the heck was happening here?

The thing about Dysmenorrhea is that you are constantly in pain — before, during, and after your cycle, so I had to pass up several events and opportunities as I could not just “pop a pill and all would be well” .. nope I was in pain similar to contractions or dare I say it .. a heart attack.

Symptoms of Dysmenorrhea 

  • Cramping in the lower abdomen
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Low back pain
  • Pain radiating down the legs
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Fainting
  • Headaches

Where Am I now?

My Journey with Dysmenorrhea
Shot of young fitness female exercising with rope at a gym. Young woman pulling rope at gym.

Today, things are a little better as I am on medication that has major side effects BUT! There are times I have “good months”, where I’m only in pain at 2-3 intervals vs being in pain for 72 hours. I still go in when the pain gets intense to get my shots, I keep up with Pap smear,  Blood Tests, and all the things required of me.  During the bad months, I do not work but stay home and listen to my body and allow it to carry out all the functions it needs so I can heal. 

Because I can’t determine when I have “good” or “bad” months, I’ve switched to remote work as this is a lot easier on my body as there is not the stress of being in an office in pain and having to be in the bathroom and of course no commute. I have been in the gym consistently 4 days a week since 2020, no longer eat chicken, dairy, and gluten, and have limited my sugar intake.  To further help with pain therapy, I see a Chiropractor often and now live a more active Lifestyle. I have been looking to get into Pilates to strengthen my core which has been high on on “to-do” list.

I am constantly doing research on Dysmenorrhea as it is not something talked about in Jamaica as I feel there is not enough information. If you have extremely painful cramps, please visit your Doctor to get professionally examined.

Early detection saves lives.

#My Dysmenorrhea Story + How it Almost Ruined My Life

#My Dysmenorrhea Story + How it Almost Ruined My Life

#My Dysmenorrhea Story + How it Almost Ruined My Life

#My Dysmenorrhea Story + How it Almost Ruined My Life

#My Dysmenorrhea Story + How it Almost Ruined My Life

#My Dysmenorrhea Story + How it Almost Ruined My Life


Haute People was launched in September 2011 as a Fashion Blog and has grown into a Lifestyle Blog. The Term “Haute” can be defined as “Fashionably Elegant” or of High Quality. This blog looks at topics from Beauty, Fashion, Entertainment, Hair Trends, Pop Culture as well as exciting new features every month. A favorite among our readers is “Behind The Seams” where influential people from the Creative Industries are featured. . Haute People are Smart, Bold, Creative and Individualistic. If you have an innate passion for Lifestyle, Fashion and all things current, you are HAUTE.

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