Shark Week. The Red River. The Crimson Wave. Carrie at the prom. There is a reason why none of these nicknames for a woman’s period sound delightful and fun.
For women, menstrual cycles are something that we learn to live with from a very young age, but no one seems to want to talk about the fact that it can be a very painful experience.
Everyday living can be affected when physical and emotional discomfort is involved.
Working in these conditions can be troublesome and demanding. However, it’s been taboo for people to be excused from work because of what they could consider a certain amount of pain every month.
While period pain can vary from cycle to cycle, 20 percent of women deal with severe amounts of discomfort during their periods, which can make daily activities hard to accomplish.(4)
In many other countries, companies are allowing women to take days off on account of menstrual pain. Japan incorporated menstrual leave years ago, beginning after World War II. This has allowed women to have a psychological leave due to the pain that periods may cause.
Women in South Korea have also been able to leave work due to their periods since 2001. However, this has been under scrutiny for possibly being discriminatory towards men.
Naama Bloom, CEO and founder of HelloFlo, brought up the idea of period leave being problematic in an article for Motto.
“My hope is that period leave will be understood as something that is used to manage physical pain and that the actions of the women who choose to use the leave won’t be subjected to heightened criticism, ” said Bloom.
A multitude of problems could arise from the idea of women leaving work for their menstrual cycles, but with so many women dealing with such a heavy burden in the workplace, it’s becoming difficult to ignore.
What is your opinion on the topic? Do you think that women should have a period leave?
Reviewed March 30, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith