A couple of months ago I was scrolling through my newsfeed and stumbled upon a video of a news segment where they were discussing the idea of work leave for period pain. The woman proposing the change mentioned how common it is for women to have to use their sick leave for period pain and then not have enough left over for when they actually get sick.
Personally, I agree that it isn’t fair that women are taking sick leave in order to deal with pain associated with their period every month. But also, the discussion brought up a few thoughts that I’d like to share with you, because I believe there is a different way that we could be approaching this situation.
While I think is totally essential to normalise periods (and challenge people who get grossed-out by the sheer mention of a period on a regular basis) it deeply concerns me that we’re moving towards accepting things like debilitating period pain as a totally normal thing.
Now, this isn’t me dismissing these symptoms, or anyone who experiences this pain. If fact, I believe that if you are experiencing pain once every month that has you bed-ridden, has you taking hard-core pain medications, has you doubled over in pain, gives you migraines that make you vomit and have to retreat to a dark room, or you experience irregular periods (varying one week to months apart), experiencing spotting, never-ending acne, very heavy or very light periods, breast tenderness or in some cases, find yourself suicidal in the lead up to your period;
NONE of that is normal.
And you deserve so much better than to be told to accept these symptoms as ‘normal’ every single month.