Doctors say menstrual cramps can be as painful as heart attacks

HOUSTON -- There's that certain time of the month when women are in agony and now doctors are saying that pain during a woman`s menstruation period can be as intense as a heart attack.

"I've definitely seen women come to the ER for really bad cramps so I can definitely imagine that it would definitely be on that sort of pain spectrum for sure," said Dr. Megan Pallister, a gynecologist at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic.

Dysmenorrhea, better known as "cramps" is a painful menstruation that can be so severe the pain interrupts the daily routine of one in five women, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

"I have had some pretty serious premenstrual symptoms that have seriously impacted my life and my job," said Leah Brick.  She was medically treated and couldn't eat for weeks because of her cramps.

"Women have had to miss work and school, even up to a week before, sometimes longer than that, and then after the period starts, the pain can last a long time," said Pallister.

She says the best way to treat cramps initially is through over the counter medications, including Advil, Motrin, ibuprofen and naproxen, but if cramps are worse, then a woman could be suffering from endometriosis. This happens when the lining of the uterus grows in other areas of the body and could cause surgery.

"There are different treatments for endometriosis, such as birth control pills or some sort of birth control to regulate your cycle," said Pallister.

Looks like we can all agree - fellas take your woman seriously when she tells you how bad her cramps hurt.