Doctors ruled menstrual symptoms to be as painful as heart attacks in some cases, did you know that? Probably not (even though the research has been published for a few years now).
But doubling over, inhaling Ibuprofen like they’re Smarties, and turning sheet white just to get through a shift on a bad period is the sad reality for many women (or uterus landlords) in the UK – including myself.
And it’s far more common than you’d think. Do you know why?
I’ll tell you.
Not only are we fantastic at masking pain, we’re also overlooked by our GPs.
And put simply, this is a recipe for disaster.
Each month I brace myself for a rendition of Killing Me Softly – but instead of singing it, my uterus kindly spells out the lyrics on my intestinal walls with what feels like a blunt, rusty knife.
Women crawl into medical practices, brows dripping with sweat, teeth gritted, pleading for the doctor to acknowledge this internal torture – only to be met with an apathetic shrug and the default response that “period pain is a part of being a woman.”
And we have no other choice but to swallow this ignorance.
In a perfect world, we’d pay for private gynaecological help, but with prices starting at roughly £260 for one consultation at places like The Women’s Wellness Centre, we prefer to opt for a hot water bottle and schedule an emotional breakdown in attempts to be budget-friendly.
So what if we have endometriosis, adenomyosis or dysmenorrhea. Showing up for work and proving we’re team players like the cis men is the obvious priority…
Without a doctor’s note, our employers have a bullet-proof excuse not to grant us time off work during these agonising days.
This has to change.
Women already have to navigate a maze of social issues in the workplace, from the way we dress to the way we speak, and more broadly, just the way we exist in the office.
So imagine on top of that delicate balancing act, we march on in and demand for some rest-time to nurse our bodies when in pain.
Absolutely zero point.
Over to you, legislation.