5 Nigerian Women Share Period Pain Stories

May 28, 2021

By Oreoluwa Olukorode

For most women, period pain was a whole new experience no one prepared them for. From mild discomfort to unconsciousness, five Nigerian Women share their period pain stories and how they have been dealing with it. This was compiled to celebrate Menstrual Hygiene Day which is today, May 28, 2021, as solidarity to all women around the world who experience different symptoms every month.  The theme for this year is “Action and Investment in Menstrual Hygiene and Health” 

Period pain

Mariam, 27

I’ve always had this awful pain during my period since I was nine years old and it was strange because no one talked about the pain during the menstrual hygiene talks at my secondary school. I thought something was awfully wrong with me and I couldn’t tell anyone. When I was 14, I decided to try my hands at the painkillers we had at home. I made sure I had a pack in my bag in case I felt the pain at school. When I did (as expected), I immediately popped diclofenac and I’m not sure this act worsened the pain or if it was taking pills on an empty stomach but I passed out and woke up in a clinic with my mum by my bedside. 

After seeing a gynaecologist, I was advised to stay off painkillers because of my ulcer. My period became more painful over the years too. I always have to leave work to take care of myself which has gotten me fired a couple of times and I frequently go to the hospital, especially for the first 3 days. I take injections almost every month for the pain and sometimes, my hot water bottle helps in a way.

I honestly can’t wait to have kids because I heard the pain reduces right after. 

Chika, 25

I experience cramps every month a few days before my period starts. When the pain starts, I get these terrible headaches and I start vomiting uncontrollably then I lose appetite for a few days –I keep asking God why he created me like this.

Nothing works for my pain. I’ve tried pills, injections, and hot water bottles. Ice packs help in a way but it’s difficult to get one, especially in a city with abysmal power supply like Lagos.

I remember when I just started seeing this guy, we went to the movies together and I passed out from how painful my cramps were. People poured water on me, slapped me, dragged me, it was chaotic. When I opened my eyes, people were asking if I had an abortion, I was embarrassed. The guy stopped talking to me after that. I don’t blame him though, he was probably scared to death. 

Oyindamola, 22

I started menstruating when I was 11years. I don’t remember having any serious pain when I first started but then, my period wasn’t regular for about a year after. Few years later, I had this terrible pain that I was rushed to the hospital. I could not stand or eat or do anything for a while. I was given injections then it got better.

When I was in my senior year in Secondary school, I used to go to the school clinic several times to get injections for the pain. I get the injection, sleep and wake up better. Rinse, repeat. Just a few years ago, I had to leave a service in the church because of how bad the pain was. It was so serious that I started praying to God for forgiveness, I thought I was going to die. 

Recently, I’d say the pain has reduced but I still hardly do anything on the first day. Painkillers help me feel better, especially when I take them on an empty stomach. The issue now is I have Ulcer so I am always careful of the NSAIDS I use. I have period diarrhoea too but I don’t use a specific drug for it. For most people, I hear the period pain stops after the first day. For me, it lasts throughout or comes towards the end of the period. It’s exhausting.

Debby, 23

My period flow used to be relatively normal; 2 heavy days with mild cramps that just require me to curl up in my bed for ten minutes or so, but ever since I recovered from COVID-19, my flow took a wild turn. I’m aware that different things could have caused this wild shake-up but it coinciding with the time I contracted the virus is scary.

Now, I get this excruciatingly painful headache that affects my vision that I find it hard to walk around. Not to mention, I now experience five days of heavy wrenching flow that I have to use about 6 pads daily, and the cramping is so severe. My doctor advised me to exercise and eat healthy because this might just be my body adjusting to the sedentary life of working from home. I really hope that this is just a phase. 

Ire, 32

This might sound a little extra but what I experience when I’m on my period is not “pain”. It is more of contractions like someone is hitting on my pelvis with a bat. I started menstruating when I was ten years old and I only had cramps whenever I ate too much junk in the week leading up to my period so I just watched my sugar consumption.

After I had my son, the period contractions started. I even thought I was having a miscarriage the first time I experienced it, it was crazy. I now spend long hours in the toilet because the contractions trigger my menstrual diarrhoea. I also try to sit over a bucket of hot water, it relaxes my vagina.

Subscribe to our newsletter here.

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

June 3, 2019

Every week, we ask anonymous people to give us a window into their relationship with the Naira – their secret Naira Life. When was the first time you earned money? A scholarship when I was in 100-level. The money wasn’t coming to me – it was going to my dad’s account – but it was […]

June 15, 2020

As misogynistic, incoherent, and unrealistic as the Nigerian version of wife material is, it has got nothing on the Zeeworld’s version. The storylines are not the only annoying thing about Zeeworld, the standards women have to keep up with in their relationships with men are too. Here’s a Zeeworld Women’s Guide to landing a husband. […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

May 21, 2022

The subject of today’s Sex Life is a 27-year-old man who masturbated for the first time when he was 22. He talks about the transition from saving himself for marriage to just enjoying sex, and why he never considered masturbation till he started having sex.

Recommended Quizzes

November 27, 2019

Do you have a face that could make angels jealous, or should you really be walking around with a nylon bag over your head so you don’t scare children? Well, this quiz is here to answer that by telling you exactly how good-looking you are. Take and find out: 11 Quizzes For People Who Aren’t […]

October 29, 2019

We are going to be attempting to guess when you’ll marry based on your favourite Nigerian foods. What does your fave swallow have to do with when you’ll tie the knot? Please, don’t ask complicated questions. This quiz is rigorous and accurate (don’t quote us), so just take it already. QUIZ: Why Do You Have […]

April 9, 2020

At some point in life, we all learnt that someone can be very intelligent and still lack common sense. That’s the difference between being book smart and being street smart. If you’re not sure where on the spectrum you fall, well, that’s what this quiz is here to tell you. Take it:

More from Her

May 11, 2022

Today’s subject on #Zikokowhatshesaid is @fehinlean, a 30-year-old Nigerian woman. She talks about her childhood love for motorcycles, why she waited until she was 28 to ride one and handling the stares when people realise she isn’t a man, on her biking trips across the country.

May 7, 2022

“I have gone from believing in the possibility that God exists to questioning the reality of that chance.”

In this essay, Mariam talks about her journey with religion over the years and what influences her lack of faith.

Read here:

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X