There is a British company that is allowing their female employees to take days off while they are on their period. You can read the story here: http://www.fox2detroit.com/news/99904536-story.
A few of my male friends have been up in arms about this, because they wouldn’t get those days off. However, if you have not experienced what it’s like to have a period, you can’t ever know just how bad they can get, so let me help you out.
If you go to the feminine hygiene aisle of your local store, you will see a selection of mostly tampons and pads in different sizes or absorbency. For example, o.b.tampons go from “Regular,” for light flow days, to “Super,” “Super Plus,” and “Ultra” depending on how heavy your flow gets. In pads, you can typically choose from thin or normal thicker pads, and also with or without wings, which help affix the pad to your underwear and save your panties from overflow leaks around the sides of the pad. There are also different sizes to choose from, regular, heavy flow, extra heavy flow, and overnight. So, you choose the product you will need for the way your period flows, and change them as needed. I prefer to use pads instead of tampons, because I don’t like having to insert the tampon and take it out.
I am currently on my period, which started Thursday. My period usually starts off fairly light, then gets heavier for a couple days, then gets lighter again until it vanishes for the next month or so. However, sometimes, a period will be particularly heavy flow, and this is indeed one of those times. Since yesterday morning, I have gone through over half a pack of “overnight” pads with wings. These pads are HUGE, cover a lot of panty space, and are supposed to be for the nighttime when I’m asleep so I don’t have to worry about leaking onto my bed or anything. However, I’ve had to change these overnight pads about every two hours, because my period is so heavy that I’m soaking these pads. And along with the super heavy flow, there are also clots that come out onto the pads, too. And along with that, there are also cramps, pain, and general discomfort. And grossness, let’s not forget how disgusting it can be. It is horrible when I feel a clot flowing out and seeing it on the pad when I change it, and equally horrible when I’ve been asleep and go to change my pad and it has NOT protected me for the last two hours, and I’ve leaked all over my panties and bed sheets, so I have to change those, too.
Now, let’s add work into the equation. First, you have to successfully leave the house and make it TO work without leaking all over your pants, because with a flow this heavy, you certainly aren’t wearing a skirt. If you do make it to work, then you also have to make it through your entire shift, and have enough pads or tampons with you so you CAN. If you are having a super heavy flow, you may need almost an entire BAG of pads to make it through the day, which means you have to somehow bring them with you to work. And if you have to bring that many pads with you, chances are someone’s going to see them, which then makes you self-conscious about it. Then, depending on the job you do, you may not even be ABLE to take the required number of bathroom breaks you need to in order to change your pad often enough so you don’t leak all over your clothes. Some union positions only allow a certain number of breaks per shift, so you may be leaking even if you’ve taken all the precautions you can.
So, instead of having their women come to work with all this going on, one British company has acknowledged that period can be a huge problem, and are allowing women to deal with them at home instead of at work, and I for one applaud their decision.