Periods and Productivity: Navigating Menstruation in the Workplace

For people who have periods, menstruation is a monthly occurrence that can impact every aspect of their lives, including their ability to work effectively. Unfortunately, many workplaces are not designed with the needs of menstruating employees in mind, which can lead to discomfort, embarrassment, and even a decrease in productivity. We want to openly explore the challenges that people face in the workplace when it comes to menstruation and provide tips and strategies for navigating periods in a professional environment.

The Challenges of Menstruation in the Workplace

One of the biggest challenges that people face when menstruating in the workplace is the lack of adequate facilities for managing menstrual hygiene. Many workplaces do not provide access to clean and private toilets, hand washing facilities, or even basic supplies such as tampons and pads. This can lead to embarrassment and discomfort for people, who may feel like they have to hide their periods or risk being judged or stigmatised by their colleagues.

Another challenge that people face is the impact that menstrual symptoms can have on their productivity. Symptoms such as cramps, fatigue, and mood swings can make it difficult for people to concentrate and perform at their best. However, many workplaces do not have policies or accommodations in place to support employees who are experiencing menstrual symptoms.

Navigating Menstruation in the Workplace

Despite the challenges, there are several strategies that people can use to navigate menstruation in the workplace and maintain their productivity.

  • Speak Up

The first step is to speak up and advocate for your needs. If your workplace does not provide adequate facilities for managing menstrual hygiene, consider speaking to your supervisor or human resources department about the issue. Explain why it is important for you and your colleagues to have access to clean and private facilities, and provide suggestions for how the company could improve its policies and accommodations.

  • Be Prepared

It’s also important to be prepared and have the necessary supplies on hand. Make sure to keep a stash of tampons, pads, or menstrual cups in your desk or bag, so you are always ready for unexpected periods. You can also consider using period tracking apps to help you plan ahead and anticipate when your next period is due.

  • Take Breaks

If you are experiencing menstrual symptoms, such as cramps or fatigue, it’s important to take breaks as needed. This could mean taking a short walk, stretching, or even taking a power nap. By allowing yourself to take breaks and rest when needed, you can help to manage your symptoms and maintain your productivity throughout the day.

  • Find Support

Finally, it can be helpful to find support from other people in the workplace who are also navigating menstruation. Consider forming a support group or network, where you can share tips, strategies, and experiences with one another. This can help to reduce feelings of isolation and stigma and create a more supportive and inclusive workplace culture.

Menstruation is a natural and necessary part of a persons life, and it’s important for workplaces to recognise and support the needs of menstruating employees. By providing access to clean and private facilities, as well as policies and accommodations to support employees experiencing menstrual symptoms, workplaces can create a more inclusive and productive environment for all employees. In the meantime, people can use strategies such as speaking up, being prepared, taking breaks, and finding support to navigate menstruation in the workplace and maintain their productivity.