More than half of us find it difficult to work because of period pain: but most of us won’t admit it

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Harriet Hall
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Most women have experienced period pain so bad that it has affected their ability to work, according to a new survey.

Conducted by YouGov on behalf of BBC Radio 5Live, the survey, which polled 1,000 women, revealed that 52% of female workers found it difficult to work as a result of the pain, but that only 27% had admitted the real reason to their employer.

Of the 52%, almost a third had taken at least a day off sick as a result of the pain.

Nine out of 10 women surveyed reported having period pain at some point.

London-based consultant gynaecologist, Dr Gedis Grudzinskas has suggested that employers should offer ‘menstrual leave’ – and that women should be more open about their period pains, telling the BBC News that:

“Menstruation is normal, but some women suffer terribly and they suffer in silence.

“I don't think women should be shy about it, and companies should be accommodating with leave for women who are struggling with painful periods.”

Some countries already offer the leave, including Japan – which has offered the leave since 1947, while South Korea, Taiwan and some provinces in China also have laws in place to allow women to take time off during their period.

Sportswear company Nike also has menstrual leave written into its Code of Conduct policy, which is implemented throughout all international branches of the organisation.

Earlier this year, Bristol-based company Coexist, began offering the leave to employees. Director of the company, Bex Baxter said at the time that:

“There is a misconception that taking time off makes a business unproductive. Actually it is about synchronising work with the natural cycles of the body.” surveyed readers on the topic, and 57% of 1,775 voted that they think menstrual leave would be a great idea, while 27% said they thought it was a good idea, but weren’t sure how practical it would be in a workplace, and 16% believed it unnecessary.