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To think the menstrual cycle affects our careers?

(121 Posts)
Fianceechickie Fri 03-Nov-17 10:13:57

First day of AF today and I feel as usual, like a worn out dish rag. Most months I feel like this for a few days before/after starting. Not at work today but thinking ‘how the hell do I get through work feeling like this?’ I must have spent a quarter of my working life being well below par, plus when you add the probably dodgy decisions and irrational reactions I’ve made while having pms I can’t help thinking ‘what if all the hormonal stuff wasn’t there?’ What do you ladies think? I know some women have easier cycles but are women put at a disadvantage by hormones?

whoareyoukidding Fri 03-Nov-17 10:19:59

I think that it's dangerous to have discussions like this, because this is the sort of thing a certain type of man says to justify his 'superiority'.

ArcheryAnnie Fri 03-Nov-17 10:34:37

Does having a period make me feel awful sometimes? Sure. But we've all got used to just having to get shit done regardless. The burden (exhaustion, pain) falls on us as women, not the companies and organisations we work for, because of all the women I know, we still get it all done regardless.

Some men are incredibly stoic about pain, too. But others collapse at the slightest thing - there's a reason "man flu" is a standing joke. (Can you imagine how most men would cope with having blood flow out of the tips of their penis as a regular occurrence? Can you imagine the fuss some of them would make, and how heroic the narratives about menses would be?!)

And as for hormones - men have them too, just different ones. I look forward to a thread from a man about how being a slave to testosterone had made them make some bloody stupid decisions, got them into needless conflict, and had adverse affects both on their own careers and the companies they work for.

Women do take more sick leave than men, on average - but it isn't to deal with their own illnesses, the discrepancy is down to them taking the days off to care for sick children. If more fathers pulled their bloody weight, then this discrepancy would disappear.

I don't think our periods affect our careers at all - it;s patriarchy that does.

picklemepopcorn Fri 03-Nov-17 10:34:46

I think it’s a real issue. Perhaps medicine should be looking into it.
Between pregnancy illness and menopause, a prolapse repair and being distracted by concern about leakage I feel disadvantaged by my biology.

KungFuPandaWorksOut16 Fri 03-Nov-17 10:41:28

I can honestly say my menstrual cycle has never affected my career 🤔

Fianceechickie Fri 03-Nov-17 10:45:06

I think society needs to be far more open about the difficulties some women face without men being able to use it as an excuse to say women are weak. Women themselves are often too afraid to say ‘you know what? I felt terrible that day because...and that’s why my performance might have been below par’ because we’re scared of proving those men right who said years ago that a cycle handicaps a woman and she’s therefore less suitable for some jobs so we just get on with it. Perhaps if men had cycles too, medical science would have done more but the only ‘solutions’ we have are using more hormones to suspend cycles or anti depressants! Not all women are even clued in as not all women have troublesome cycles. Sure we’re stoic, we get on with it regardless but does that stoicism really cancel out the impact of hormones or does it just get us through the day without collapsing with exhaustion or losing it with everyone?

reallyanotherone Fri 03-Nov-17 10:58:28

No, i don’t think it does.

I have noticed many women are quick to blame “hormones” for reactions they think might upset or disrupt others.

For example, how many times on here have we read “aibu to be upset” then a description of someone treating her badly, then “but i have my period so am hormonal/over sensitive”

I grew up with this. “Mum, i’m upset because/i feel x, y,z”, to be met with the response that it was probably my hormones and i was overreacting.

Look at it the other way- When women get “hormonal” why isn’t it because their hormones make them more likely to speak out about unjust treatment, or their hormones make them passive and not wanting to rock the boat at other times. Doesn’t mean the treatment is any less unjust, whatever time of the month and whatever action is taken.

I’ve probably spent more days at work feeling shitty because of viruses, colds, sleep disruption etc than because of periods.

LostInTheTunnelOfGoats Fri 03-Nov-17 10:59:09

Yes, honestly, mine has. I have endo and it's hideous. It is manageable now though, with the correct medication.

Morphene Fri 03-Nov-17 11:01:33

I think AF can affect women's careers...but it depends very much on their experience of menstruation and their career.

Some people are living in a week long blood bath with pain bad enough to require painkiller abuse. They are susceptible to anaemia which will sometimes be serious enough to cause significant time off work.

Some people spot for a few days.

Some people work typing numbers into spreadsheets all day. Some people are professional athletes.

This is an area where generalizations are the enemy of all.

disahsterdahling Fri 03-Nov-17 11:03:35

Of course it does - in some cases.

This is going to be another of those threads where those with easy periods who have 3 days trickle and then it stops will wonder what the fuss is about.

If of course you flood for a week and can't leave the house, or get terrible hormonal headaches, or terrible period pains, it stands to reason that it will affect your career, especially if you keep losing jobs due to capability because you simply can't do the job for one week in four.

ThymeLord Fri 03-Nov-17 11:05:27

I think that it's dangerous to have discussions like this, because this is the sort of thing a certain type of man says to justify his 'superiority'

Really agree with this. Yes, some individual women may have awful periods and accompanying conditions, but it is far too sweeping a generalisation to say that all women's careers are affected.

ArcheryAnnie I wish there was a like button so I could like your post.

Greyponcho Fri 03-Nov-17 11:05:52

Yes.
I have endometriosis and pcos, the wonderful combination of hormones, pain and required medications have ruined my career.

LostInTheTunnelOfGoats Fri 03-Nov-17 11:07:02

Morphene absolutely spot on.

As ever, a lot of the problems faced by those with nightmare periods would be lessened by a better attitude/more awareness from HCP plus correct treatment. Instead of being fobbed off with "it's just a period, everyone gets them". Ha.

VileyRose Fri 03-Nov-17 11:09:17

Yes! It absolutely does. We are cyclic not linear and it is a blessing not a curse or a weakness, in fact a huge strength. check out this book called Optimized Woman by Miranda grey

Felinewonderful Fri 03-Nov-17 11:10:02

I agree with you fiancee. I feel so awful for a quarter of the time. Exhausted, painful cramps, migraine, nausea, can't think straight or concentrate. I have been to GP regarding this but apparently not much they can do as the pill didn't sort it out. I could quite genuinely call in sick for a few days every month. I power through it but it's such an effort. I think some women have an easier time of it than others with regards to menstrual cycles.

Fianceechickie Fri 03-Nov-17 11:10:33

Be interesting if it was possible to research the correlation between success in careers and the menstrual cycle. I wonder if those with easy cycles are more successful in their careers. Also, I’m not generalising here. I’ve said lots of women don’t have bad cycles so won’t be affected. It doesn’t make it a non issue. Those women are at the same biological advantage as men and probably just as little sympathy with their fellow women. Hard to believe some posters thinking we shouldn’t even discuss this.

Ragwort Fri 03-Nov-17 11:12:10

I guess it depends on the individual - I have never experienced any period pains, discomfort, 'hormonal' issues (don't even really know what that means) and I am well through the menopause - perhaps I have been particularly lucky? I have mostly worked in an all female environment and can honestly say have never had anyone tell me they can't work for 'menstruation' reasons.

JacquesHammer Fri 03-Nov-17 11:13:21

I don't think our periods affect our careers at all

I think that can depend. If I currently worked for someone else rather than myself I would be having 2/3 days off every month, as simple as that.

I get no hormonal issues whatsoever, but the dealing with the physical aspect of mensutruation would be nigh on impossible in an external place of work.

This is an area where generalizations are the enemy of all

Couldn't agree more with this.

VladmirsPoutine Fri 03-Nov-17 11:14:15

Nope. No. We're not doing this.

If you feel sometimes unable to perform 100% because your period / pms makes you hormonal then that's you. You cannot make a blanket statement about all women. There are many things that make me feel ragey from time to time including having blocked sinuses when I'm at work but I get on with it.

This type of rhetoric gives a certain type of misogynist a license to continue spouting misogynistic crap.

disneydatknee Fri 03-Nov-17 11:15:43

Yes I think it does to some extent. After my daughter was born, every period came with crippling headaches. To the point where I couldn’t concentrate and it effected my eye site. I’m now on the pill to regulate my cycle and it’s helped massively. But at the time I was thinking thank god im on Mat leave, how could I work like this?! I generally feel quite lethargic and unmotivated on my period which could effect work performance. But now I think the only real drama is the amount of time I spend in the toilet on those days blushIsn’t the female reproductive system great urgh.

MrsFrisbyMouse Fri 03-Nov-17 11:19:00

But I also think our cycle can be very empowering and an asset.

The waxing/waning cycle of fertility influences me in different ways and one of the reasons I just don't get on with hormonal contraceptions as I'd miss that connection to my cycle.

For example - in the pre-menstrual phase - I find that my worries about things become enhanced, sometimes seemly trivial things can feel overly important. But I have come to recognise it as a time for introspection and contemplation. Learned to recognise the feelings and try to use them to highlight things I feel insecure about, or identity underlying worries or stuff that needs to change.
I then find in the next stage of ovulation and fertility - that I am able to act on those things and have the energy to make positive changes in my life - informed by the previous introspection.
Both bits feel like strengths in different ways - one being about reflecting and contemplating - the other being about acting and doing.

Believe it or not - I'm not a new age type person - just recognise in myself that this is (for me) part of what being a woman is, and try to embrace it.

MrsFrisbyMouse Fri 03-Nov-17 11:20:36

Edit - this does not mean I think you're less of a woman if you don't have periods, use hormonal contraception, suffer from horrendous PMT/periods etc etc.

LostInTheTunnelOfGoats Fri 03-Nov-17 11:22:27

Dangerous to discuss menstruation and how it can negatively affect some women? Not just "a few" by the way. Thousands of women will suffer from hard to manage, extremely painful periods at some point in their life, even without having endo/pcos /fibroids etc.

How dare you try to police this discussion.
It's the 21st century - the problem isn't finding a solution for period problems, it's finding someone to take us seriously. Endo takes around ten years to diagnose, usually because women are fobbed off from the word go. Proper treatment can give sufferers their lives back, but they have to wait years to access the necessary treatment

The problem here isn't women's biology, it's the fact that when something goes wrong, we are expected to put up and shut up in case men might see it and think we are delicate flowers? I've experienced pain as part of my daily life that most men would go straight to A&E for.

If you want to do something, write to your MP or local trust about the disparities in treatment between men and women who complain of pain - women are taken far less seriously. Or the a look at the amount of workplaces that still don't provide adequate toilet/sanitary disposal facilities for their female employees. Oh and then there's the fact that menstruation is still a dirty little secret that women are expected to be ashamed of.

But don't try and police discussion on a women's forum. If we can't talk about it here, where else?

CaptainHarville Fri 03-Nov-17 11:26:45

I think like most health issues relating to women it's all minimised. Pregnancy makes me feel ill but the lack of sympathy because you're pregnant not ill. Even though the nausea, vomiting, general feelings of exhaustion would get me sent home if I weren't pregnant. Same with periods some women do have awful days where the pain is terrible and blood loss severe, but it's a period and they should just get over it! That sentiment often comes from other women!

bananafish81 Fri 03-Nov-17 11:28:56

It might affect some women's careers. But it's a sweeping statement to say 'our careers'. It doesn't affect mine

I had very easy periods and only had them every few months anyway because of PCOS but didn't want to have to bother with the inconvenience of them if I didn't need to, so I used contraception to avoid having them.

flowers to anyone who struggles with theirs

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