Women’s Health: The Stigma of Menstruation

I have suffered from the stigma associated with menstruation as well as severe chronic endometriosis which incapacitated me several days, sometimes weeks every month almost my entire adult life. The assumption that menstruation should be painful and that women should go through it without complaining suppressed me from seeking treatment for a long time.
When the pain became debilitating, the treatment male gynecologists prescribed to me was inadequate and sometimes harmful.
I understand now that they either did not appreciate the situation I was in or did not know enough about the disease and its implications on my life. Subsequently, my quality of life deteriorated dramatically.
It was only 20 years into my silent suffering that I was able to find a female gynecologist in the United States who prescribed the right treatment for my condition.
She listened and proposed a variety of options that none of my previous doctors discussed with me.
Between the stigma of menstruation, the obsession with female pre-marriage virginity, and family interference in women’s health choices, most of the options she proposed were off the table for Lebanese doctors, guardians of sexist traditions that confine women to suffer from chronic pain!
We need more female doctors who understand the woman’s body intuitively. Female gynecologists experience the pain associated with menstruation. They know what pain can do to a woman’s quality of life.
They are more inclined to prescribe treatments that save lives and improve their quality. Treatments inhibited by cultural assumptions and patriarchal traditional approaches to menstruation are harmful to women. It’s time to stop the suffering.
Here is an article in the Times by Activist and Actor Meghan Markle and her work around the world the alleviate the stigma around menstruation.http://time.com/4694568/meghan-markle-period-stigma/