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Is how you handle period pain any indication of pain threshold?

(17 Posts)
LillianFullStop Mon 08-Aug-16 08:53:52

Is how you handle period pain any indication of pain threshold?

FTM here and I'm swinging between thinking I could probably managed without and epidural (I'm scared of needles!) and thinking I don't want to deal with that kind of pain!

Also I've heard of stories of people who manage the birth without an epidural but the have to get it anyway for stitching tears where a local and G&A wouldn't be enough. That would really annoy me thinking I should have just had epi all along!

hopeful31yrs Mon 08-Aug-16 18:00:58

I've had some horrific period pain in the past which has got so bad I've vomited all over the place. My DD was a back to back labour and i got to 10cm without much input from anyone before I asked DH to get someone for some pain relief as I'd been told I wasn't in labour but had been kept for induction the next day. To be fair it started as a period pain but was different in the end but I don't remember being in that horrific pain I used to have during a period that would make me roll around the bed trying not to vomit.

BackforGood Mon 08-Aug-16 18:08:22

Don't think there's a correlation. Lots of women don't get period pain. Those that do, presumably get it to a differing degree.

Put on your birth plan that you'll see how it goes - you have no idea until you are in the situation. Childbirth is very individual too.

StandoutMop Mon 08-Aug-16 18:30:47

I had terrible period pain until I went on the pill. After that, if I ran 2 pill packs together, the resulting pain would make me throw up.

I had 3 DC, one with no pain relief, 2 with Tens machine only. It was painful yes but less intense than my period pains were and somehow easier to cope with - maybe because I wasn't expected to go to work etc in labour where as with period pains life had to go on.

I don't think being bothered or not by period pains will mean you will or won't be able to labour without an epidural. As others have said, just see how it goes and try not to get hung up on wanting a particular sort of birth. If it hurts, get pain relief. If you can cope without, great.

(All that said, I did have a midwife who reckoned a history of period pain = shorter pushing stage as womb was used to contracting. I have no idea if this is true generally, all of my pushing stages were less than 30 mins, in fact about2 mins for dc3).

Dixiechick17 Mon 08-Aug-16 19:13:03

I used to get bad period pain, and had to take strong pain relief. I also would have considered myself to be a person with a very low pain threshold. I managed the labour with no pain relief, other than two puffs of gas and air. I had gas an air properly after for the stitches, but they weren't too bad to be honest and I mainly wanted to try it, as I chucked it accross the floor mid labour. I would recommend going in open minded and don't feel pressured into doing it without when you really don't want to.

NoCapes Mon 08-Aug-16 19:17:23

No, I'm an absolute mard arse about period pains, I'm all ibuprofen and hot water bottles but I am a beast in labour
3 babies, 8lb 5oz, 8lb 3oz & 8lb 12oz (who was also back to back) and never had any pain relief, no gas & air, not even a paracetamol for any of them
I don't know what takes over me, I'm like the hulk, just so focused on getting them out I've no time to think about pain relief

mamapants Mon 08-Aug-16 19:22:59

I don't think its related. Especially as there is no way to compare the pain level you are actually enduring.
I occasionally take some pain relief during my periods but that's mainly for the migraines I get with them. My period pain is a pretty dull ache and occasionally cramping pain.
At its worst though my period pain is about 1% of the pain level I experienced during labpur , where I actually thought I was dying.
My best friend complains a lot about her periods, but thought labour 'wasn't that bad'

Hensintheskirting Mon 08-Aug-16 19:23:46

In my opinion - it's totally different. Pain from childbirth is like no other feeling - not just in terms of "it hurts" but in terms of actual bodily sensations. It's very weird and not all bad (in my opinion). Best thing is to keep an open mind about it and go with the flow. You might be fine on gas and air, you might go for an epidural, you might just pop out the baby in an hour. Take it as it comes! Good luck

Lweji Mon 08-Aug-16 19:24:17

There's no such thing as how you handle period pain. There's really bad period pain that makes you bend over, down to no pain at all.

Then there's labour pain. Quite frankly, my labour pain was comparable to the period pain I usually get if I don't soak on ibuprofen (or if I'm not on the pill). I had DS on gas and air (and possibly didn't even use it properly).

Labour had the slight advantage of lasting less than my period. smile

mamapants Mon 08-Aug-16 19:42:10

I've seen a list somewhere where they've ranked the 15 most painful things, childbirth is at number twelve I think. So if you've experienced any of the others it might give an idea.
Although I've experienced both cluster headaches and second degree burns(was a small one though) which were down as more painful than childbirth but weren't in my opinion.
Tooth abscess is on the list as note painful, I've never had one so can't compare but have heard a few people say that.

HumphreyCobblers Mon 08-Aug-16 19:52:10

I also think that 'pain threshold' is a very unhelpful way of looking at things. Some people are in more pain than others when having their period or when in labour. Maternal physiology plus baby position can result in wildly differing experiences, it is not down to anyone's internal ability to handle similar levels of pain.

LittleBee23 Tue 09-Aug-16 15:28:51

I don't cope well with period pain at all. I had a back to back first labour which was very painful in early stages with only gas and air and a home birth with second baby.

I'm a complete wuss with pain but managed labour pain quite well. I don't think you know until you do it. I think you just need to go in with an open mind and take pain relief when you feel you need it.

Jodie1982 Thu 11-Aug-16 09:39:28

I'm currently pregnant with DC 6. All 5 of my previous deliveries were totally different. My last one I thought I was going to die 😣 he was in an awkward position, I had awful SPD and he was a big baby, 10lb 2oz. The worst of them all.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHorrid Thu 11-Aug-16 09:45:11

I'm not sure if women handle period pain differently - they just have different kinds of periods.
I rarely take any pain killers when I had periods. Not because I'm particularly brave but because my periods aren't particularly painful.

For me childbirth was extremely painful. Only had gas and air with the last one but I spent all 4 hours of labour in hospital begging for pain relief (they didn't realise how fair along I was till they saw the head).

sandylion Thu 11-Aug-16 09:53:44

It's a completely different pain. Somehow excruciating and bearable. My second birth was significantly more painful as I was being monitored flat on my back whereas my first birth was a water birth and more active. I had gas and air for both and a shot of the morphine with no. 2 which took the edge off. I found hypnobirthing helpful in both births as you need to take yourself to another place I think. It's weirdly primal!

Sleepybeanbump Thu 11-Aug-16 09:54:24

No. I have a fairly low pain threshold and I pushed out a 9lb baby with no pain relief.
I had a fairly quick birth that progressed fairly smoothly which meant I benefitted from all the birth hormones that really spaced me out and enabled me to deal with the pain. It was bloody painful but I was just in a weird place mentally and experienced it as productive pain with an end rather than bad illness pain if that makes sense.
It's impossible to know what you will feel like- keep your mind and options open.
I do believe that it's generally tiredness and demoralisation with long births and births that don't progress smoothly that generally means people need pain relief as much as the intrinsic pain of childbirth, but everyone's different. Some of my friends had a few contractions and said stuff this, others thought in for a penny in for a pound I'll see how long I can stick this for.

A lot is down to the environment which determines your mental state. I was at home with a doula until fully dilated so time passed in a blur and I was as relaxed as I could be. Transition in hospital (hated hospital and did have a wobble at transition) like most of my friends had would have been hard to cope with.

Sleepybeanbump Thu 11-Aug-16 09:56:24

And yes to excruciating and bearable and weirdly primal. I said after to a rather nonplussed NCT group that it was on the one hand the most painful and terrifying experience of my life, but also totally manageable.

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