Period pain is causing women to lose almost 9 days worth of productivity every year, with working while nursing menstruation-related symptoms causing more issues than simply taking the day off, new research has revealed.
The Dutch research published in the BMJ Open medical journal on Thursday studied 32,748 women aged between 15 and 45, and looked at their productivity levels during menstruation.
The researchers measured both time women took off from work or school as well as time they continued to work or study while feeling ill.
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The study found just under 14 per cent of women took time off during their menstrual periods, while a whopping 80.7 per cent reported “presenteeism” (they continued to work or study) during that time.
Of those that decided to go to work when they felt ill, they reported an average decreased productivity of 23.2 days per year.
On average, those that took time off from work because of their period only did so for 1.3 days per year, and productivity loss was equivalent to an average of 8.9 days per year.
"Women said that they weren't as productive as they could be while at work - they needed to go to the toilet every hour or they had a headache and couldn't concentrate," Theodoor Nieboer, an author of the report and a gynecologist at the Radboud University Medical Center, said.
When women did decide to call in sick due to their periods, only 20 per cent told their employer or school it was due to menstrual symptoms.
But, a whopping 67.7 per cent wished they had greater flexibility in their tasks and working hours at work or school during their periods.
“Menstruation-related symptoms cause a great deal of lost productivity, and presenteeism is a bigger contributor to this than absenteeism,” the study concluded.
“There is an urgent need for more focus on the impact of these symptoms, especially in women aged under 21 years, for discussions of treatment options with women of all ages and, ideally, more flexibility for women who work or go to school.”
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