top of page

Let's call time on period shame and inequality in the workplace. Period.

Hiding tampons up your sleeves and avoiding getting changes in the PE changing rooms remain many British sisters abiding memories of periods at school. For the half of the population that deals with periods, the shame of our time of the month has not waned as we entered the world of work.

According to a study carried out by DPG, 1 in 10 had been at the receiving end of negative comments about periods while at work and 6 in 10 felt uncomfortable talking about periods. Most shockingly perhaps, 57 percent lied to their managers because they needed a sick day related to menstrual pain but were too embarrassed to give the real cause.

Why are periods left behind?

Neither schools nor workplaces were created for people with periods. They were built for men and, when women were allowed to join, they were expected to mould to the way that men worked. Regardless of whether we should, we can behave more like men in many ways but the fact is when it comes to menstrual cycles we can't magic our way out of them.

The UK has the largest gender health gap in the G10, and the menstrual health gap plays a significant role in this. While men experience hormonal variations, their fluctuations are not accompanied by extreme pain or discomfort. 80 percent of people with periods experience period pain at some point in their life, from mild to so painful it causes sickness.

Menstrual inequality is not just a once-a-month affair, menstrual conditions such as endometriosis, PCOS and PMDD remain difficult to diagnose and treat and comorbidities with extreme period paid and a whole host of diseases from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to Ehlers Danlos remain mysterious.

The mental toll of menstrual health is not to be forgotten. Especially as we near the end of our periods and experience perimenopause and menopause mood changes become common, with increased feelings of anxiety, forgetfulness and loss of self esteem. The worst bit about dealing with periods is how much it changes across our lifetime -- we think we have it down by our thirties, but menstrual health likes to be unpredictable!