How does Women’s Menstrual Health Affect Productivity?


How does Women’s Menstrual Health Affect Productivity?

Despite the increased participation of women in the workforce, silence around the topic of menstruation still exists. There is a lack of conversation and awareness about women’s menstrual health at workplaces. Around 80% of menstruating women experience period pain and other menstrual symptoms which affect their productivity at the workplace. An organisation can best support its women employees by having a menstrual health management policy in place. 

Keep reading to learn how employers can provide support to their female workforce by managing menstrual health and hygiene and the importance of spreading menstrual health awareness.

Managing Menstrual Health at Workplace

Women employees often have to take leave due to menstrual symptoms but they hesitate to tell their managers due to lack of support or stigma associated with menstruation. There is a need to normalise menstruation in the workplace by creating a supportive culture. Here is how organisations can provide support for menstruation and menstrual hygiene at workplace.

Creating Awareness

The first step towards managing menstrual hygiene and health at the workplace is creating awareness by providing menstrual hygiene health education. An open discussion on menstruation helps in reducing stigma and creating a work culture where menstruating employees can freely share their conditions. It helps HR managers better understand and support the needs of menstruating employees.

Creating Period-friendly Environment

A period-friendly environment includes

  • Clean washrooms for women
  • Installing sanitary napkin vending machines or providing free access to sanitary products
  • Proper disposal of sanitary napkins
  • Providing proper sanitization and hand-washing facilities
  • Providing support for pain management such as hot water bags, pain relief medication or patches

Adopting Flexible Working Practices

Allowing menstruating employees to work from home or have flexible working hours can help reduce absenteeism and improve productivity. Allowing breaks or medical appointments during working hours can make it more comfortable for women to work during their menstruation cycle.

Conducting Menstrual Health Education Workshops

Organisations with a significant number of women employees can conduct sessions or workshops for menstrual health education. It can educate employees on how to manage menstrual symptoms, what is good for health during periods and common myths about menstruation.

Why is Menstrual Health Important?

Menstrual health is a broad term that encompasses 

  • Awareness of menstrual hygiene and self-care during menstruation
  • Easy access to menstrual healthcare and sanitary products
  • Diagnosis and treatment of menstrual health issues

Maintaining good menstrual health is important as it helps prevent infections, ensures good reproductive health, boosts confidence and overall well-being and improves productivity and access to growth opportunities. To spread awareness about the importance of menstrual health and hygiene, 28th May is celebrated as Menstrual Health Day every year globally. The 28th day of the 5th month represents 28 days of the menstruation cycle and 5 days of menstruation in each cycle.

To better understand the importance of menstrual health let us explore the various aspects related to menstrual health through some commonly asked questions. 

Is Menstruation Good or bad for Health?

Your menstrual cycle can tell a lot about your health. Having a regular menstrual cycle is an indication of good health. The fluctuation in hormones during the menstruation cycle is crucial for your reproductive health, cardiovascular health, lipid profile, proper thyroid function, bone strength, and metabolic health.

How does Menstruation affect Health?

The changing hormones throughout your menstrual cycle affect your health in many ways and cause menstrual symptoms such as headaches, cramps, bloating, mood swings, acne, and fatigue. Not everyone experiences all symptoms. Depending on your health conditions the symptoms can range from mild to severe.

How can I have a Good Menstrual Health?

Here are some simple tips to have good menstrual health

  • Maintain menstrual hygiene
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a healthy diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins
  • Stay hydrated
  • Have good sleep
  • Manage stress

How Menstruation affects Productivity?

It is a common belief that menstruation hampers productivity. However, if we understand how the hormones (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone) fluctuate and affect our body we can use this information to improve our productivity. Our menstruation cycle is divided into four phases:

Menstruation - It is the first phase where actual bleeding happens and lasts for up to 7 days. All hormones are low during this phase. Use this time to rest and rejuvenate.

Follicular phase - It is the second phase where bleeding stops. It starts from the 11th day and may last upto 16 days. Due to increased levels of estrogen and progesterone, you experience a desire to learn and high creativity during this phase. It is a good time to learn and do complex tasks.

Ovulation phase - It is the phase when an egg is released and it lasts for only 24 hours. There is a sharp rise in estrogen and testosterone levels for 3 to 4 days. This phase makes you proactive and energetic. It is the ideal time to work in teams and achieve your goals.

Luteal phase - In this phase if the egg is not fertilised, the uterus starts preparing for the next cycle. Progesterone rises to its peak before dropping, which has a calming effect and may slow you down. The end of this phase is the start of PMS (Pre Menstrual Symptoms). This is the time to relax and indulge.

Maintain Menstrual Hygiene and Avoid Diseases

Using some simple strategies, menstrual health management can be achieved in workplaces. Having an open dialogue around menstrual health issues, raising awareness, flexible work practices, and having a period-friendly space are the first steps towards breaking the taboo associated with menstruation and developing a more inclusive work culture. 

It is highly necessary that one maintains the basic hygiene during these days as menstruation-related diseases can trigger anytime. In severe cases surgical procedures may require as well. Keeping a comprehensive health insurance policy in place will help in mitigating those unexpected expenses arising due to a health emergency. Our health insurance plans offer coverage for certain factors affecting menstrual diseases such as cancer, depression, anxiety etc. Our maternity-related plan ‘Care Joy’ is one with the less waiting period in the market.  One can connect with our experts to customise these plans as per the requirements and budget.

>> Also Read: How to Cure Hormonal Imbalance in Females

Disclaimers: The above information is for reference purposes only. Kindly consult your general physician for verified medical advice. The health insurance benefits are subject to policy terms and conditions. Refer to your policy documents for more information.

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