Why workplaces should provide free period products
Menopause & Unexpected Bleeding at Work
Unexpected and heavy bleeding is a common symptom of menopause. Menopause is rarely a topic of open discussion in the workplace — despite the fact that nearly half of the world’s population experiences or will experience this biological transition, which marks the end of a person’s menstrual cycle and fertility.
The definition of menopause is when a person with a uterus has had no periods for 12 months. The time leading up to menopause is known as perimenopause, and afterwards is postmenopause. During the menopause transition (lasting between 4 to 10 years), the balance of hormones in the body changes, and this can result in a wide range of symptoms, both physical and psychological.
According to a study from the Society for Endocrinology in the US, a startling one in four people will experience serious menopause symptoms. One of these symptoms is abnormal bleeding - and it’s normal in that some people will bleed:
- Too much
- Too long
- Too soon
With this in mind, it’s extremely likely that people in the midst of their menopause transition might be caught with no period products on them at work. The shame, disruption, discomfort and stress when this happens has a huge impact on employee’s wellbeing and productivity.
Watch this video with Jane where she talks about her experience of unexpected bleeding at work and how it would have helped if her workplace supplied free period products in the bathrooms.
Everyone deserves basic necessities where they work. Workplaces provide everything most people need in the toilets, which includes toilet paper, soap, and in some cases, fancy hand wash and creams. Periods are a natural part of life and a biological function that occurs (mostly) once a month. So why don’t we cater for periods in the same way?
Many big and small companies are providing period products for their employees, and we should all look at them and follow their lead. Providing period products at work is the right and inclusive thing to do.