Normal or Not Normal?
What is normal? Is it something that can really be defined?
“Normal” isn’t the same as “common”. “Normal” usually depends on context - your body, your environment, or your culture. In medicine, normal is so often defined by what is common specifically for healthy white cis men.
The definition of “normal” is important because it impacts who can get care and who can’t. People often don’t seek healthcare for something they think is normal and doctors may not provide care if they don’t think something is abnormal.
Menstrual stigma means we don’t often openly discuss periods, so it can be hard to break down this restrictive definition of normal. If a symptom bothers you, that’s all that matters to warrant seeking help - forget about what’s “normal”or “not normal”!
"It had gotten to the point that I was having full blown panic attacks the days before my period because I knew the worst pain of my life was coming"