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Women are losing 36 days a year to period-related issues, says study

We’re missing out on so much due to the ‘period day gap’.

Ever had your plans derailed by period-related issues? You’re certainly not alone. 

So many of us have been there. We agree to go on that date, join those work drinks, hang out with friends, then the day rolls around and it’s not the usual ROMO that holds us back – it’s overwhelming cramps, back pain, and anxiety. 

According to a new bit of research from menstrual health brand Joii, this is happening to women and those who menstruate a lot – 36 days a year, in fact. That number rises for people affected by endometriosis, who lose up to 60 days a year due to pain and discomfort. 

What Joii calls the ‘period day gap’ causes women to miss out on socialising, dating, work opportunities, exercise and education. And because we’re still not entirely comfy talking about periods, we tend to make up an excuse when we can’t do this stuff. More than half (55%) of those surveyed said they made up an excuse for their absence to colleagues, employers or friends. 

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What’s concerning is that too many of us are accepting debilitating period pain as ‘normal’, when it could be a sign that something is wrong. Few of us feel fully informed about women’s health conditions, let alone empowered enough to fight for our doctors to investigate our symptoms further. The study found that nearly a third of women surveyed did not know the symptoms of endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, or fibroids.  

What needs to change? A greater understanding of our periods, better provisions of healthcare for issues such as endometriosis and PCOS and a full demolishing of any remaining taboo around the topic of menstruation. 

Justyna Strzeszynska, founder of Joii, said: “As someone who suffered heavy and painful periods most of their adult life, I can really sympathise with the suffering that many experience each month. I too have cancelled social events and stayed home from work because of immense period pain. I’ve had to apologise to friends’ partners for staining furniture, excuse myself numerous times to use the toilet and wash my sheets on an almost daily basis.

“What’s shocking is just how many of us are suffering in silence and accepting this as the norm, the monthly ‘period day gap’ is for many an accepted part of life, but it shouldn’t have to be. 

“More research and better menstrual health education is needed to help drive understanding of conditions like endometriosis. Taboos need to be broken in schools and workplaces to drive important conversations around menstrual health. Everyone who menstruates needs to feel they can take control and understand their body better.” 

Main image: Getty

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