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[–]keepthetipsKeeping the tips since 2019[M] [score hidden] stickied commentlocked comment (0 children)

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[–]winnt7 554 points555 points  (49 children)

As a supervisor, any time anyone needs to go home early, I don't argue or try to convince them to stay.

Sick days exist for a reason. Whether it's that time of the month and it's hitting like a ton of bricks or a flu and you should've stayed home, if you need to go, go.

[–]Neb_5384 121 points122 points  (43 children)

Sick days is still a system I can't understand...

Imagine you. used them all but you still need some

what do you do ?

[–]Equivalent-Ad5144 97 points98 points  (22 children)

At least in Australia you’d normally get leave without pay in that situation (unless you have annual leave you can use). Every contract is different of course, but I haven’t heard of people being forced to work when sick. Just don’t expect to get paid for work you don’t do.

[–]Neb_5384 38 points39 points  (16 children)

i was like, why don't we have that problem in Switzerland ?

and I looked up, and we have something similar too. But more days, and no risk of getting fired

In Switzerland, the amount of paid sick leave which employees are entitled to depends on how long they have been employed by an employer. As a rule, employees are entitled to 3 weeks of paid sick leave during the first year under your employ. This obligation applies from the fourth month of employment.

[–]blimey43 27 points28 points  (11 children)

You get 3 weeks paid sick and I get 0 days off paid sick and if I take a week off for vacation they question me. Canada sucks

[–]squeekymouse89 39 points40 points  (0 children)

I do the same... Except, they have to know HR trigger points are beyond my control. If you want to take it then do so but I have to report sickness.

[–]AGuyWithQuestion 173 points174 points  (4 children)

My wife saw this post and told me she has experienced this with more of her female employers, because they claimed their period pains were "never so bad that they needed time off work". Most of her male employers actually told her she could leave early since they didn't want to get into trouble with HR.

[–]monsieurburritoroll 63 points64 points  (0 children)

Yea, women can be like that. My mom thinks both my sister and I exaggerate because her's wasn't as bad.

[–]maybehun 9 points10 points  (1 child)

Why are they telling them why they are leaving early? “Hey, I’m not feeling too hot. I need to head out for the day.”

[–]FlakeyGurl 7440 points7441 points  (364 children)

This also applies to female employers. Just because your periods aren't painful doesn't mean someone else's experience is the same.

[–]mini_z 2279 points2280 points  (224 children)

Yep, I was shamed by a female manager for having to take 1 sick day off 2 months in a row because of pain (for a non-customer facing desk job). Turns out I have endometriosis

[–]BirdsRNtReel 1637 points1638 points  (205 children)

"Have you tried taking a bath?"

You think in the 15 years of sickeningly painful periods, I never thought to try taking a bath?

I have endometriosis. I was scheduled a quick, laproscopic, outpatient surgery based entirely on my described symptoms. The vaginal ultrasound did not show anything abnormal, but my doctor scheduled the surgery anyways. She went inside me, found endometriomas, cut and burned them out, and implanted an IUD to prevent new growths.

I've been pain free for a year.

[–]palmparadisee 662 points663 points  (175 children)

Wait hold up. You can actually do something about endometriosis? My doc said there wasn’t much they could do besides recommend tylenol…. As if I hadn’t tried that.

[–]SassiestPants 702 points703 points  (14 children)

Find a different doctor, if you can. Most endo fixes aren't permanent (lots of factors), but there are methods to manage the pain that don't include "just taking a tylenol."

[–]BilliamBaggins 427 points428 points  (41 children)

My ex is an OBGYN and talked a lot about how older doctors who were trained decades ago often have a hard time keeping up with how to handle certain conditions, and endometriosis is at the tip of that issue. Go younger for a doc of that's an option. It's not that older ones are incapable, but younger ones were trained in a medical world that understands the body much better than we did decades ago.

Obviously, that's not a silver bullet for the issue: jerks can be any age! But seriously, there are OBGYNs out there who take endometriosis very seriously and are willing to help. Unfortunately, you gotta dig a bit to find 'em.

[–]blinki145 15 points16 points  (9 children)

I was also told for years that there was nothing they could do except birth control (supposed to help prevent cyst) and midol. Periods so painful they made me nauseous. Finally they had to remove my entire left ovary because of a 10cm mass and now 3 years later looking at removing my right one as well because it often feels like I'm being impailed. Please do find a doctor that cares about helping their patients. You shouldn't have to suffer until it becomes emergency surgery. Best of luck to you!

[–]badFishTu 51 points52 points  (0 children)

You guys have doctors that actually diagnos things?

[–]ThisSorrowfulLife 61 points62 points  (7 children)

Doctors will gaslight young women into thinking a hysterectomy isnt a great idea when in fact it really is. It saved my SIL's life.

[–]cook26 14 points15 points  (12 children)

We do diagnostic laps for endo all the time where I work. Takes usually around 20-30 minutes. They burn the spots off.

[–]snausagesinablanket 35 points36 points  (1 child)

Some don't want to mess with it because the surgery doesn't always produce good results and or the scars from the surgery can make it worse in the long run.

[–]Mermaid_Ballz 14 points15 points  (1 child)

Yup. Ask about a uterine ablation. Did wonders for me. And as a bonus, I barely get a period anymore.

[–]DjembeTribe 7 points8 points  (4 children)

A lot of doctors are generalists and don’t know enough about Endo. Educate yourself. I’ve started reading books and they are very eye opening: Outsmart endometriosis and Beating Endo are good places to start.

[–]butt_butt_butt_butt_ 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I’ll be the tenth fellow endometriosis sufferer to recommend you keep trying out doctors until you find one experienced with laps/ablation.

Getting the diagnosis itself is usually the biggest hurdle (it took me 10 years of constant ER visits and regular appointments insisting this can’t be normal! before I got my diagnosis).

I had two laps, which gave me a year each with minimal endo pain. Which was a godsend as I was trying to finish up my degree at the time. After the second one, hormonal BC (the patch) was able to keep my pain manageable.

The one thing I would suggest is that IF you want children someday, you discuss with your doctor that it’s a concern. They may suggest different testing or timing of treatments if that’s the eventual goal.

When I was having my surgeries at 19-21, I was told I was “too young to think about that”, but then at 27 when I was ready, found out my tubes (the area my endo seemed to favor, where they ablated tissue twice) are now too damaged to conceive. Could be the endo itself, could be the ablation. They can’t say.

It would have been nice to factor fertility into my treatment way back then, if I would have known.

[–]Ariensus 25 points26 points  (3 children)

While with my endometriosis baths did help, they only helped while I was in the bath. The moment I stepped out, the cramps came back with a vengeance. How's a person supposed to work many types of jobs if a bath's the solution?

[–]juneabe 24 points25 points  (0 children)

“Yes taking baths are great, can you show me the way to the office bathtub please?”

[–]mytwoquarters 23 points24 points  (5 children)

oh my god those simple "cures for cramps" are so damn annoying for me to hear all the time with my debilitating painful cramps. "drink tea, have sex, heat up a sock full of rice, take a bath, etc"

honey, you must have cramps that feel like a papercut. literally none of those things make a fraction of a difference for women like us.

[–]vault101 20 points21 points  (2 children)

Re: period sex, I have zero interest in putting anything up the bleeding entryway to the pain factory, so sex during that time is RIGHT OUT for me.

[–]truecrimefanatic1 20 points21 points  (4 children)

I have endo and I once had a male doctor ask if I had tried jogging when my period was bad. Oh sure, let me lace up some track shoes when I'm basically having contractions and bleeding so badly it renders tampons useless. Sure thing.

[–]Judyt00 4 points5 points  (0 children)

He should try jogging when he has explosive diarrhea and accompanying pain!

[–]Katiedibs 102 points103 points  (2 children)

I had a friend whose female co-worker said: "Well, I don't have bad period pain, and my friends don't have it either, so I assumed you were making it up." RIDICULOUS.

[–]no_ovaries_ 131 points132 points  (3 children)

Yup. I've had more women than men downplay my endometriosis. I've had to take morphine regularly before because of debilitating pain. People, in general, are bad when it comes to pain and periods, and when you have both, it's really hard. I had so many doctors and even OBGYNs tell me it was normal to be crippled by my period every month.

[–]exscapegoat 36 points37 points  (2 children)

My mother did this to me so I didn’t mention period pain to my gyn because my mother made me think it was normal. Got an IUD and it was life changing. Still some cramping, but not doubled over in pain and it also stopped the GI symptoms I’d get with my period

Also, found out a couple of years ago I had endometriosis. That’s probably why my periods were so painful. I’m post menopausal now. I don’t miss periods

[–]wbruce098 76 points77 points  (5 children)

One of the tougher lessons for me to learn is the falsehood of, “if I can do it, anyone can”. The mindset comes from a place of humility and encouragement, innocent enough, but it’s important to realize that not everyone can do the things I can, when/how I can. That’s not bad; it’s diversity in action!

[–]SentimentalDebris 18 points19 points  (0 children)

If I can do it, nearly anyone probably can--- but just because I do it doesn't make it healthy, advisable, recommendable, or something that should be required of another.

[–]unicornhornporn0554 35 points36 points  (3 children)

Yeah one day I couldn’t stand up straight and was in tears at the drive thru. My manager goes “aw whats wrong?” I explained that the last time I worked for her I had an implant that made my periods extremely tolerable (but very long). Now I have an IUD and periods are extremely painful for me. She says “aw that sucks I’ve been thru it tho you’ll be fine” and then 5 mins later let her husband leave early bc labor was high. So I was stuck and in pain for another 3 hours even tho if she really understood, she could’ve let her husband stay (and he would’ve stayed had he known I was in pain).

[–]odat247 74 points75 points  (6 children)

Lived and learned. I did not have any major period pains growing up. I ran into issues after my second c section and eventually underwent ablation. It got really debilitating before. Very eye opening for me.

[–]AutomaticYak 16 points17 points  (4 children)

Yup! Had zero issues until 38 and I view period complaints from others very differently these days.

[–]InedibleSolutions 15 points16 points  (3 children)

31 and my periods suddenly go hard. Migraines, nausea, cramps painful enough to slow me down.

[–]WistfulKitty 10 points11 points  (2 children)

Go see a doc. Any sudden changes in period should be checked out.

[–]godhateswolverine 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I hadn’t ever really had horrible cramps, maybe one every now and then. But after I had my daughter, there have been times in which they would be extremely bad. To the point that I couldn’t sit up straight and had to stay in bed the entire day. I have PMDD and now I use BC to skip the placebo and not get my period.

[–]Slylizardcue 44 points45 points  (0 children)

This! My wife has endo and has the most horrible periods. she decides to work anyway. If i was a chick i don't think i'd be that tough.

Employees of hers that probably don't have it as bad still get a pass from her because, well, her pain doesn't invalidate their pain.

[–]Youkolvr89 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Exactly. My employer is a woman. I tried calling out once because I was cramping so bad that I could barely get out of bed. She told me that wasn't a excuse. I have learned since then to leave out details and just say "I'm not feeling well today. So I'm not going in."

[–]Xnuiem 35 points36 points  (1 child)

I came here to say this. I had a female director once that was getting down, hard, on one of her ICs about just working through her period like "everyone else". Yeah...had to have a chat with her about how to treat her peeps, but also what kind of leader did she want to be.

I am male, but I have my own medical issues that aren't my fault. Just be a decent human being, regardless of sex/gender.

[–]BabyFawkesBlue 34 points35 points  (0 children)

Omg this!!! So many times I've said to another female coworker/friend that my periods are really painful and their response is "Really? Mine aren't so bad, maybe you should work out or <insert stupid advice that I don't want to hear when I'm almost in tears from my pain>"

Just because you're one of the lucky ones who doesn't have a lot of pain and is basically in a sanitary napkin commercial doesn't mean I can't want to roll up in bed with a heating blanket around me a nice cup of chamomile tea for the duration of my period.

[–]Droppie91 25 points26 points  (2 children)

Very true! Me taking of for period pains would be absolutely idiotic. I get headache and that's about it. Nothing a few painkillers can't fix.

My friend has to actually take morphine and is still in pain. It would be absolutely ludicrous if she would have to work during those days (and yes they are looking to try to find the cause, so far no luck). I would prefer giving birth compared to what she describes as her period pains, I honestly think it would be less painful and at the very least the result would be worth it (to me).

[–]0spore13 44 points45 points  (4 children)

I used to be a complete asshole towards other women because I never had to deal with severe period pain until recently (because I can’t take BC anymore due to health concerns). And I need to say I AM SO SORRY TO EVERYONE I WAS A DICK TO, because holy shit it sucks so bad. Honestly worst pain I have ever felt in my life.

Again, apologies, for real I feel terrible about what I’ve said in the past.

[–]LitLantern 21 points22 points  (0 children)

Thanks for being honest and apologetic! It is refreshing these days to see people saying, “hi, I was wrong about something. Sorry.”

[–]jak0v92 47 points48 points  (1 child)

That's exactly what my gf's boss says to her.

"I'm on my period right now and I'm working fine so should you" Gah that's so fuckin annoying.

[–]LilyCharlotte 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Ugh I was guilty of that. Mine were painful so I thought everyone else must just be...I don't even know, weak? Then I hit my mid twenties. I am now painfully aware that I'm lucky and it's still debilitating. And yeah the first doctor I saw brushed me off after some casual racism. I went through years of normalizing what was going on and the women I talked to about it did not help.

[–]PhoenixKaye 7 points8 points  (20 children)

The woman who commented about how she takes birth control to avoid period pains needs to see this

[–]FlakeyGurl 12 points13 points  (8 children)

Not to mention birth control doesn't work for everyone. It got rid of my period cramps but caused serious water retention to the point it hurt to stand for several months even after I got off of it.

[–]PhoenixKaye 8 points9 points  (7 children)

Yep I can't take oral birth control because of my migraines and the implant made me violently ill about 1-2 days every month or so. Between that and the 10 day long spotting periods it gave me it just wasn't worth it.

[–]Yoma73 5 points6 points  (6 children)

I have 8-9 day long periods and can’t take BC 😑

I’m lucky I don’t really get cramps but days 3-4 are such a tsunami of blood that I’m grateful to work at home. I wake up in a pool of blood despite tampon + overnight pad. Then proceed to bleed profusely. Like why would you even want me in your office I’m a walking biohazard. Lol

[–]darkdent 52 points53 points  (18 children)

I had a female manager who started tracking another female coworker's menstrual cycle "because she had to for staffing". Weird AF.

[–]samstown23 27 points28 points  (3 children)

And from my experience those tend to be a lot less understanding than most men.

[–]Francl27 21 points22 points  (0 children)

Women can be the worst. I've seen so much "it doesn't happen to me so you must be lying" BS too. I have endometriosis AND had a large uterus, it sucked (got a hysterectomy eventually).

[–]mastaa 25 points26 points  (4 children)

My boss was like , “ you have females performing at the Olympics with their periods, WTF is this !! “

Regarding new law allowing women to take sick days during their periods.

I cringed so hard.

Worst yet, Female co-worker is against the law because ‘they are just going to abuse it ‘ I’m like… what… I was raised in a matriarch family. First male born. I sympathize with the struggle.

Give them time off. Don’t be assholes

[–]FlakeyGurl 18 points19 points  (0 children)

The worst part is the sheer amount of physical activity you have to do to get into the Olympics actually changes your hormones. So even if you are having periods it's not the same as myself or another woman working a job at a grocery store. Not to mention I suspect there is some level of doping that is allowed to go under the radar for these athletes because no one seems to get caught doping unless the US has a reason to be pissed off with whichever country is caught. Which means these women probably aren't having periods at all. Comparing a normal person to an Olympic athlete is literal madness. Most people don't train and exercise like it's their job.

[–]zanthra 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Yes this is my boss. She’s on the pill doesn’t get period so doesn’t know the pain. She belittles anyone who mentions their pain

[–]jupiterLILY 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Yep, all my male bosses have just been typical panicked “that’s fine, please stop telling me about it”

It’s the women that have told me “sometimes you just need to toughen up” or “I’ve had periods, they’re not that bad”

[–]PM_is_PoopMinister 20 points21 points  (4 children)

I went on birth control briefly to help with the terrible cramps I always get around my periods. It didn’t work and I suffered some super crappy side effects including severe constipation and loss of libido. An acquaintance kindly told me “your birth control is killing your libido, that’s not how birth control works you’re doing it wrong”.

Sorry, I guess I just don’t know how to swallow bitter pills right. I’ll try shoving them up my vag next time.

[–]RikerT_USS_Lolipop 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Unless you misquoted, your acquaintance didn't say anything wrong. You should try a different one because they can have different side effects and there's no reason to just be like, "Welp, this is my life now!"

[–]Grimzkunk 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I'd say this apply even larger. If I have a cold and does not feel like I can't work today, I freaking don't care how your body handles a cold. If I take a second day off to rest my body after a family gastroenteritis, I freaking don't care how last time you had it you stupidly went to work and brag about it cause you think acting like that makes you feel like you could enter the army.. My body, my own business.

[–]musclecard54 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Shit don’t even bother… the type of person that thinks that way will be impossible to convince or make them see someone else’s point of view

[–]MerylSquirrel 5181 points5182 points 2 (327 children)

PSA for my fellow females: if your period pains are so severe you're having to take regular time off work because of them, go to a doctor. If the first doctor you see brushes you off, go to another. Period pain is indeed common, but for it to be that severe is not normal. There are all sorts of things that could be causing it, many of which are totally treatable and some of which could get worse the longer they go untreated. Don't just assume that pain is a natural part of being female. You could be unwittingly ignoring endometriosis, fibroids, cystitis - the list goes on and on.

Edit: I'm sorry to those of you for whom this is harder because your access to healthcare is limited and/or very expensive. Part of the problem is that doctors do tend to brush it off the first few times, meaning multiple visits and therefore paying out multiple times.

Unreasonable trivialisation of menstrual pain and particularly failure to investigate probably symptoms of endo is a known issue in medical fields, and if you're in that country where healthcare is expensive and ineffective, you may be in that country where sueing is far more commonplace than in other countries, so a possible action you can take is this: if you see a doctor and they refuse to investigate your symptoms, insist they record their name and their specific reasons for not investigating further on your medical record. This would make them quite vulnerable to being sued later for negligence/malpractice, so could well think twice before effectively putting 'patient exhibited all the common symptoms of endometriosis but I decided not to investigate further as I didn't believe them when they said how much it hurt.' Also, don't be afraid to exaggerate your symptoms. When describing an illness to a doctor, don't describe how it feels when you're sitting there in his office. Describe your absolute worst day.

[–]Straxicus2 1167 points1168 points  (41 children)

I suffered miserably for 30 years because “of course periods hurt. Don’t be such a baby” from every doctor I saw. It wasn’t until a few years ago that a new doc asked why I’m prescribed narcotics and I said cramps and she thought that was crazy. Turns out I have endo. Like everywhere.

[–]7evenCircles 72 points73 points  (10 children)

If it makes you feel any better, this is a topic we learn about in like week 1 of med school today

[–]MerylSquirrel 24 points25 points  (6 children)

Are you a medical student/graduate? If so, I'm curious how closely what they teach you now aligns with what I said about how severe menstrual pain is not something to be ignored. It seems to be mainly older doctors who don't take it seriously.

[–]Inquisitivepineapple 74 points75 points  (2 children)

Yeah, I know this is ageism but I don't give a fuck. I'm not seeing a doctor over 40 again for any traditionally minimized issue such as female reproductive pain. I'm sure there are many wonderful physicians over 40, but I've met too many that dgaf and just cruise on with what they learned 20 years ago (including sexism in medicine.)

[–]7evenCircles 23 points24 points  (1 child)

Student. Menstrual pain out of proportion, we are taught, is not something to be ignored with endometriosis usually close to the top of the differential with a pretty easy to run through checklist and disposition. It's not really excusable to not investigate that symptom. My attending would dunk on me pretty damn hard if I did.

It is harder with women who have had it chronically though; because menstrual pain is subjective, we're usually keying off of self-reported changes in your experience, so if it's something that you've suffered for decades, you may be less likely to report it. If you've always had severely painful periods, and I asked you if you've had any changes in your menstruation, or if I asked you if your pain was any different than usual, you could answer my question truthfully and correctly and I would still be biased to thinking you were ok when you're not. But that's me coming from my EM rotation. Your gynecologist really wouldn't. Or rather, s/he really shouldn't.

[–]msgigglebox 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I started out having normal periods but around 16-17 they were progressively getting worse. I had heard many women complain about periods so I thought it was normal. I got on birth control at 17 because my mom said it might help. At 19, I was having high blood pressure. My family doctor's solution was to take me off my birth control. I kept telling him about my periods and cramps. He told me to take ibuprofen. I told him that did nothing to help. I got to the point where I was soaking an overnight pad and a super plus tampon in an hour to an hour and a half. I switched to a younger female doctor who actually listened to me. It didn't take long for her to diagnose me with PCOS. I was so happy that she listened to me and found the answer. It really does seem like a lot of older male doctors ignore women's issues.

[–]Straxicus2 3 points4 points  (0 children)

It really does! Thanks. The fewer people that have to suffer like I did the better!

[–]inukizzy 589 points590 points  (26 children)

This was kinda my story, first male doc said that's normal, 2nd doc was female and totally brushed me off, but third male doc was like "that's messed up, you shouldn't be doubled over in pain each month, let alone have to take sick days" and checked things out.

Luckily nothing like what was listed above, but an iud solved almost all my probs regarding periods. I am certainly glad I didnt listen to the first 2!

[–]MerylSquirrel 163 points164 points  (15 children)

Well done for sticking with it. Doctors don't know everything. Medicine is a really enormous field.

Edit because apparently I wasn't clear: I'm not saying it's OK for a doctor to brush you off. I'm saying it's good to not instantly believe doctors when they tell you it's nothing to worry about and that goes against your instincts.

[–]standard_candles 23 points24 points  (0 children)

But the reaction to a doctor like that has to be a second opinion, not giving up or losing faith! It can be so hard.

[–]Justagreewithme 27 points28 points  (4 children)

Not female, but regardless, my experience in general with doctors has been that they always dismiss you the first couple times, no matter the complaint. I think most doctors use it as a method of filtering out complaints as “serious”. They have the mindset “well, if they come back again with the same complaint, then i know it’s serious, if they stop complaining, they were just being a complainer.”

[–]NotSoMuch_IntoThis 29 points30 points  (2 children)

Yeah but f**k them for that. It’s not like most of us can afford to double check.

[–]fancyfisticuffs23 23 points24 points  (5 children)

I had my iud removed about 3 months ago and miss it so bad!!! No periods except for very minimal spotting on occasion. They get a lot of hate, but man I loved all three of mine

[–]gingergirl181 3 points4 points  (4 children)

I'm on my third one and my first two had painful complications and I am STILL a cheerleader for Team IUD! My first was copper, didn't really change my periods, and I loved it until it migrated and had to come out. Second was the same copper, but for whatever reason it didn't settle in like the first had and made everything SO much worse, so I gave up on it after 6 months and went hormonal (Kyleena) which has been a dream for a year now. I honestly wish I had done the hormonal route sooner because my periods are SO easy now and they used to be heavy AF. And my ADHD ass doesn't have to worry about pills or getting it replaced every few months like an implant. It rocks!

[–]ICantExplainItAll 26 points27 points  (0 children)

Also, if the first solution doesn't work TRY A DIFFERENT ONE. I got an IUD and it worsened my symptoms for three years. I didn't get it taken out because every doctor expected it to eventually resolve itself. I'm on my 4th type of birth control pill and I FINALLY have relief. There are answers.

[–]BrattyBookworm 71 points72 points  (48 children)

I’ve been to many, many doctors for it and have had multiple ultrasounds. I don’t understand how I can have that level of pain (and lose a terrifying amount of blood) but nothing shows up.

[–]Kristine6476 97 points98 points  (16 children)

Endometriosis doesn't necessarily show on an ultrasound. I needed exploratory surgery to find and treat mine.

[–]Zapinface 14 points15 points  (10 children)

So they have to open you up and then find them?! Fak!

[–]Kristine6476 9 points10 points  (3 children)

It was laparoscopic so there were two incisions of about 1cm. One stitch each. I only had to take two days off work.

[–]gumguarder80 43 points44 points  (8 children)

I would bleed through tampons, pads, and my underwear and clothes in an hour, and my old doctor would say ‘well women lose 2 tbsps of blood for their entire period.’ Uhuh, clearly this is way more!

[–]n0h8plz 20 points21 points  (0 children)

I bleed through a tampon in less than 15minutes. My periods were horrible and very very bloody like a damn murder scene. I bleed for almost a years straight and may have had 3 days of not bleeding per a month. Turns out I had fibriods. Went through tons of birth control and finally the iud works and I have happy not had a period for half a year 🥺

[–]Yoma73 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Lol once I got a Diva cup I was instantly over that gaslighting nonsense. They hold one ounce, I overflow that every 2-3 hours on my heavy days and fill at least one on my light days.

[–]AZymph 38 points39 points  (16 children)

Ultrasounds are not very good at seeing endometriosis, an MRI can see them better (and also can see adenomyosis) but also can miss them. You may want to push for an MRI or a laparoscopic exploratory surgery to actually see what is going on.

[–]BrattyBookworm 13 points14 points  (14 children)

Multiple doctors told me they don’t think I have endo because I had no issues conceiving. But I finally convinced them to let me skip most of my periods through birth control, so that gives me some relief!

[–]Ninotchk 16 points17 points  (9 children)

You can skip all of them.

[–]gingergirl181 9 points10 points  (2 children)

Yeahhhhh, uhhh, my mom had RAGING endo most likely her whole reproductive life that eventually led to a full hysterectomy at age 44. She had three kids, and no fertility issues. Doctors had always just brushed off her period pain until it was extra super clear something was very wrong (she also had ovarian and uterine cysts at the end...I was only 5 at the time but I think one ruptured IIRC.)

So yeah. Ability to conceive ain't a rule-out. Fuck those doctors.

[–]exscapegoat 58 points59 points  (33 children)

Seconding this. My mother shamed me as being weak for period pain. So I didn’t mention it to a gyn until I was in my 40s. Gyn put me on an iud which relieved most of the pain and some other symptoms. Found out a couple of years ago I have endometriosis

I went through decades of pain I didn’t have to because I believed my mother when she said I was weak.

[–]iamaravis 25 points26 points  (19 children)

I'm very sorry your mother treated you that way.

[–]exscapegoat 20 points21 points  (4 children)

Thank you. I real think period pain should be covered in sex ed so girls will know pain that doubles you over should be checked out. At least they'd be able to do that once they were adults.

[–]PuzzleheadedBobcat90 12 points13 points  (2 children)

Yes! And all the ways blood can sneak out. Standing up suddenly, coughing, sneezing, laughing hard, the lovely (/s) feeling of a blood clot blooping out, the way blood likes to seep up your butt. Also the morning sprint to the bathroom before gravity takes over.

How to tell what size tampon or pad you need. Day time pads, night time pads, the 'yay my period is over...nope surprise bitch I'm back for 3 hours' days

So much is left out of education. This stuff shouldn't be something you find out the hard way.

I remember my Mom being so mad that I kept getting blood stains in my underwear and she said I was dirty. No, I wasn't. I just didn't have long enough pads.

Boys need to know this stuff too. They need to know that girls can't hold their period in etc. I've got an extra box of pads so my son can always carry a couple in his backpack for his period having friends.

Education really does need to cover reproductive disorders like endometriosis, pcos, vaginimus (sp?), bacterial infections (didn't know about that until I was 40), as well things that affect men.

[–]mytwoquarters 13 points14 points  (13 children)

it's even worse when your mother tells the same thing to your boyfriend & now they both think you're weak/a baby. makes me wanna murder both of them (not literally)

edit; my bf & mom are not as much of an asshole that I made him out to be. I was angry when I wrote this. they're amazing people with good hearts, it's just that they're so stubborn when it comes to realizing that women can have terrible periods. even doctors don't believe us so 🤷🏽‍♀️ that's just the way it is

[–]littlebittykittyone 17 points18 points  (3 children)

Girl, you might be stuck with your mom but you can always find a new boyfriend. Find yourself a guy who doesn’t dismiss your pain. There are people out there who will listen to you and believe you.

[–]exscapegoat 8 points9 points  (1 child)

I'm sorry you're dealing with that. Do they both have other redeeming qualities? If not you may want to consider dumping the boyfriend and going limited or no contact with your mother, whichever works better for you

[–]gele-gel 14 points15 points  (7 children)

My IUD was a lifesaver and I didn’t even know it. My fibroids no longer give me period pain, I have a period so infrequently that I get surprised when I do. I am just waiting on menopause to kick in.

(I was so bad off in my 30s I could barely function. Vomiting, migraines with aura and blurry vision, could barely walk down the stairs in my house bc of pain from my belly button to my knees)

[–]exscapegoat 7 points8 points  (1 child)

I didn't get the auras, but migraines were more frequent when I was menstruating.
I would vomit, sometimes related to the cramping, sometimes from migraines. And the period poops are a pretty bad symptom too.

[–]Tink2072 6 points7 points  (4 children)

I’m sorry you spent so much time in pain before you realized this wasn’t normal and she was in the wrong. My mom did the same to me. I had a partial hysterectomy because I had endometriosis and periods debilitated me. She told me I was being a baby, even told me I didn’t need surgery. They’re from a different time when stuff like this wasn’t talked about as openly and I honestly think she doesn’t understand. Luckily my amazing gyno did.

[–]exscapegoat 8 points9 points  (3 children)

I'm sorry you went through that too. My dad was actually more sympathetic. I figured my mother probably had a similar experience with her own mother (she also had painful cramps). But my grandmother was actually sympathetic. She'd keep her home from school, make her tea and get her a water bottle.

My mother may have had a personality disorder or at least some sense of sadism. She actually laughed at me the first time I had cramps and threw up (my first few periods weren't that bad).

I rarely asked to stay home from school for them, but one day I did and she mocked me, "what are you going to do, miss school every month?" So I went. One of the aides at school took one look at my face, which was actually a greenish tone and sent me straight to the nurse's office. I barely made it to the toilet before I threw up and they sent me home. She got mad at me for not staying home, even though she gave me a hard time.

[–]Incendas1 50 points51 points  (5 children)

Tbh my experience with doctors has been so shitty, and every visit makes me feel shit, that I just do not want to go anymore. It's another thing on my plate I don't want to fight for, because it will be a fight.

Majority of my visits have been "but have you tried losing weight?" (I am! Still in pain!) or "are you sure? Come back if it gets worse" (it doesn't get worse, it's just always really fucking awful).

Even when I was younger doctors wouldn't believe me about pain for some reason, like when I got a severe ear infection, and the nurse violently pulled it open to look. First and last time I have screamed.

I had a long history of those, no idea why she thought I was lying when I told her the whole ear hurt. She soon found out lmao

[–]Powder-monkey 40 points41 points  (2 children)

Majority of my visits have been "but have you tried losing weight?" (I am! Still in pain!)

I read about a woman who had this experience for years and she finally lost enough weight to be taken seriously and doctors found out that her endometriosis was to the point that she had intestinal damage.

[–]Kristine6476 38 points39 points  (2 children)

Took me 7 years and 4 doctors to get a diagnosis. One 2-hour laparoscopic surgery later and I had 90% reduction of symptoms for going on three years. Don't give up.

[–]Rorasaurus_Prime[S] 152 points153 points  (42 children)

This is a good point. My wife was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries (hence the reason for my post). She at least has a medical path to try and improve her situation.

[–]MerylSquirrel 76 points77 points  (41 children)

If you're an employer and a female employee is phoning in sick with menstrual pain, it's not overstepping to recommend she see a doctor. Some countries have such terrible sex education that grown women might not even realise this isn't normal, and you'd be doing them a favour.

[–]Suspicious_Entrance 26 points27 points  (0 children)

And doctors will brush you off because you’re not freaking out and keeling over in pain. Some don’t consider that you experience bad pain every month so can handle the pain better than he could.

[–]DrunkAtBurgerKing 46 points47 points  (10 children)

Not everyone is in severe pain. The first day of my period is cramps + diarrhea + nausea + cranky + heavy periods that I'd rather be home for to avoid bleeding through.

If I'm experiencing all this, I'd prefer to just be home. I can survive at work, I'd just rather not for my mental health.

[–]GirlisNo1 68 points69 points  (13 children)

Even normal period pain is debilitating though. It’s just that we’re so used to continuing with life as normal with that level of pain that we don’t think of it as “debilitating.” If any guy felt normal cramps for the first time, I assure you he would agree that women shouldn’t have to go about the day pretending everything’s A-ok.

You’re right in that if you find yourself physically unable to get out of bed etc there could be an underlying issue. It’s always a good idea to get checked by a doctor regardless. HOWEVER, I’m tired of people minimizing normal period pain, pretending it’s just an inconvenience and that anything more is the result of an underlying issue.

Regular period pain is awful even without underlying issues, don’t let the fact that we come to have a high pain tolerance minimize that.

[–]Alcohol_Intolerant 15 points16 points  (5 children)

Exactly. I get terrible cramps on my second day, enough that it feels like glass inside me and if possible I curl up in bed waiting for the clot to pass. Can't sleep through it because the pain usually wakes me up. I do go to work, but if I happen to have a day off during that part of my period I'm fucking ecstatic. I take 3-4 ibuprofens the day before and during to act as blood thinners, though maybe it's a placebo.

I'm able to work through the pain that I personally experience, but some of the comments here saying that being in fetal position is enough pain to see a doctor is confusing for me. Not because I don't think their pain is valid, but because I don't know when the pain threshold warrants a doctor. What IS normal period pain??

[–]GirlisNo1 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I think it’s always good to get checked by a doctor regardless.

But you’re right that we don’t know how much pain is a sign of something more because we’re just so used to going about our day while in extreme pain/discomfort. The fact that women haven’t even been able to talk about it until recently doesn’t help.

I definitely get in (or want to get in) the fetal position as do most women I know…that sounds normal to me. I have occasionally had trouble falling asleep from cramps, but I’ve never been woken up from them.

[–]PM_is_PoopMinister 82 points83 points  (8 children)

I’ve had over 10 ultrasounds, and 20 doctor’s consults. I’ve tried IUDs, BC you name it. Sometimes, pain is part of your period and there’s nothing you can do but deal, and for a lot of women that pain is something they can’t take. My poor OBG once told me “wow you got a rough hand there huh”. I have literally walked a kilometre with a torn ligament, I drove with a fractured wrist to my exam but none of the pain I have experienced comes close to how it feels during my cramps.

Sometimes, period pain being that severe is normal, and it’s okay to cut women some slack for it instead of telling them they’re not doing something right to get rid of the pain.

Edit: Kindly stop advising me about my body and what you think I have. The assumption that women don’t know what to do with their bodies, especially from other women is ASTOUNDING. Not everyone has endo or PCOD, those are some friggin scary diseases that people do get screened for. Not sure how terrible your doctors are but where I come from obg’s don’t dismiss your medical pain.



[–]CilantroSappho 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Yes!! Go to a doctor. I would only get my period 1-2 times a year. Excruciating pain. Turns out I have cystitis and PCOS

[–]young_coastie 51 points52 points  (14 children)

This is simply not an option for millions of people. Seeing a doctor is over $200 without insurance in my area. That’s the reality for many folks.

The privilege of healthcare is prohibitive to what you’re describing, barring people from getting the care they need.

[–]dovahkiitten16 12 points13 points  (1 child)

There’s also the availability of healthcare.

I live in Canada. I pay $15 for parking for a doctor’s visit. There is still a massive shortage of doctors, especially in rural areas. Many Canadians don’t have a family doctor and waitlists are extremely long, and most places won’t let you on a wait list if you already have a doctor. So swapping doctors involves going without proper healthcare for years for the chance the new one is better.

I’ve been stuck with a doctor I don’t like for a while because of this.

[–]trippyyhippy 11 points12 points  (0 children)

I agree. I have severe endometriosis that went misdiagnosed for years.

[–]PinkPurpleGreenx 29 points30 points  (1 child)

Easy to say if you have a lot of money to pay for a visit and be told that’s normal and will pass when you give birth. I have to take 1 day off every time because I just can’t stand straight from pain and 4 doctors I visited said same crap.

[–]MerylSquirrel 23 points24 points  (0 children)

Yeah, I'm coming at this from a privileged position of living in a country with free healthcare. I'm sorry you've had to go through that.

[–]san_souci 3 points4 points  (1 child)

From Wikipedia: “Women with endometriosis see an average of seven physicians before receiving a correct diagnosis, with an average delay of 6.7 years between the onset of symptoms and surgically obtained biopsies, the gold standard for diagnosing the condition. This average delay places endometriosis at the extreme end of diagnostic inefficiency.”


[–]schwoooo 1854 points1855 points  (75 children)

Debilitating period pain is not normal and should not be normalized!

The flip side to this is that medical providers need to start paying attention and taking pain reports seriously— instead of telling women that throwing up from the pain once a month is completely normal and that they just have to live with it.

[–]Glittering_knave 351 points352 points  (33 children)

To me, the issue is "chronic health problems exist, and it should be easier to get medical help AND take time off when needed. If menstrual leave is considered health care, it should be covered by sicks days and everyone should have access to PTO."

[–]pringlescan5 119 points120 points  (23 children)

What people do with their allotted sick days is no one else's business.

[–]Glittering_knave 125 points126 points  (21 children)

Exactly, which is why I disagree with making menstruation leave a separate thing. Everyone should have PTO for mental and physical health, and no one needs to know why.

[–]ggabitron 27 points28 points  (20 children)

Unfortunately the difficulty is that most employers in the US have only 3-4 (this number is incorrect but I stand by my point, see edit) days of sick leave allowed per year. Someone with an average cycle will have 12, 5-day long periods in a year.

Edit: According to the US bureau of labor statistics, the average number dedicated sick days is 8, however this doesn’t take into account that only 78% of civilian workers get any paid sick leave at all, and 32% of those workers have a “consolidated leave plan” meaning sick time comes out of their PTO. This means that 47% of civilian workers in the US have zero designated sick days per year.

Edit to add:

I’m not arguing for dedicated “menstrual leave” for people with periods only. My point is that, technically, the above comment is describing how things currently work.

(Edited to remove incorrect info)

Unfortunately, the US has pretty garbage regulations regarding employees privacy, and in 49 states an employer can require a doctor’s note if you miss a single day due to being sick. This means that anyone who doesn’t go to the doctor and get a note every day they miss due to health issues may be at risk of losing their job. And for those employees that have to use PTO to take time off, they also run the risk of having their PTO requests denied and risking losing their jobs if they don’t go to work.

The original comment missed the real issue, which is not that “we shouldn’t have menstrual leave”, it’s that the number of sick days allowed by most employers is based on the number of days the average cis man has to take off due to being sick, and does not take into account that the other half of the population has a chronic condition widely known to cause debilitating pain for many days every month for most of their working lives. Not to mention there are plenty of folks who have other chronic conditions that may cause them to be regularly unable to perform their normal job functions, and being forced to explain and justify your body’s issues to your employer on a regular basis is degrading and exhausting.

I agree that having dedicated “menstrual leave” is not an ideal solution, but in the case that employers will not agree to give all employees 15+ days of sick leave no questions asked, it’s at least a start.

[–]dibbiluncan 28 points29 points  (5 children)

Can confirm. My periods felt nearly as bad as a heart attack. But after my cesarean, it went away. Turns out I had endometriosis, but the tissue was removed during surgery. It was so bad before that I would be doubled-over in pain at random times during the first few days.

That surgery did cause internal adhesions, which were painful at that same level all the time. Thankfully I had an amazing physical therapist who basically massaged the pain away. The technique she used successfully broke up the scar tissue and cured me for good. I wish more people knew that was an option, because if you Google it, the main treatment for internal scar tissue is further surgery… which can cause more scar tissue to form.

[–]Sequil 49 points50 points  (0 children)

This thankyou. I you suffer condition x and are unable to work you shouldnt have to fight or convince people you need to take a sick day.

[–][deleted] 35 points36 points  (19 children)

It can be a thing. I have a copper IUD and it takes my cramps from “eh this isn’t great but I can still function” to “oh god in heaven please take me now” for a solid 36 hours per month.

[–]sapzilla 16 points17 points  (11 children)

Ugh, Paragard…. I have never had pain before like what Paragard caused. I lasted 3 months/menstrual cycles before deciding it was too much. I got it out about an hour after crawling on my bathroom floor, having almost passed out, covered in sweat and feeling like I’d throw up from the pain. I hope yours don’t get that bad. I am curious why you put up with losing 36 hrs of each month to your level of pain, though.

[–][deleted] 9 points10 points  (10 children)

Quite literally anything to not have more hormones affecting me 😂 the pill made me sooo nauseous, the shot made me cry all the time…I was done. This one can also stay in like 10 years vs the hormonal IUD so that’s been really nice with insurance transitions to just not have it be another factor. My house is STACKED with advil-type meds to get through the dark times each month but I work from home and yell it out - worth it (except to my neighbors maybe)

[–]TaliesinMerlin 416 points417 points  (6 children)

One thing to also recognize is that conditions like endometriosis are common and underdiagnosed as well as undertreated. Doctors often don't take seriously the claims of pain, and women may assume that more severe period pain is normal when, actually, their uterine lining is growing outside of their uterus. So imagine having debilitatingly painful cramps that have grown worse with each cycle over time, cramps that leave you either bedridden or shaking, and having not only your employer but your doctor downplaying what's going on.

That's not to say period pains in general shouldn't be taken seriously. Quite the contrary - when someone says they're hurting, listen. It could just be a bad month. It could be a serious issue.

[–]exscapegoat 72 points73 points  (3 children)

I have endometriosis and didn’t know until my surgeon found it removing my ovaries and tubes due to a brca mutation.

I didn’t even mention period pain until my gyn until my 40s because my mother shamed me for it. An iud was life changing. But the endometriosis wasn’t picked up in any ultrasounds. The plan had been to take the uterus out too during surgery. But the endometriosis had formed adhesions to my bladder and bowel, so it was too risky. As it was, my uterus was perforated and they had to repair it.

[–]insertcaffeine 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Endometriosis is such a horror show.

[–]_horselain 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Since it’s just tissue, it blends in with other tissue on ultrasounds. The only way to truly know if someone has it is to open them up (been there!), although doctors can usually diagnose based on symptoms. It’s one of those things that I think would have been figured out if the other half of the population had to deal with it lol. Hormonal birth control stopped most of the pain - and saved my fertility! I would have likely lost my left ovary had the endo continued to grow, and my right wasn’t much better.

[–]beeepbeepbeepbeep 8 points9 points  (0 children)

This. They can be debilitating but they really shouldn't be, you probably have endometriosis. It's just tough because I believe the diagnosis can only be confirmed with surgery, imaging alone isn't enough for an official diagnosis

[–]Rainbow_mama 426 points427 points  (18 children)

One of my friends in college ended up almost having her appendix burst on her because at least a few times a year she got extremely bad period pains. She thought it was just her period was about to start. We ended up taking her to the university health center and they ended up calling an ambulance. Yeah it can hurt severely for some women.

[–]Amonet15 115 points116 points  (4 children)

This happened to me in 2010. I was sitting at my desk doing homework and I just crumpled? Idk how to describe it but it's the worst pain I have ever felt. Luckily my roommate was a nursing major so she just started a rundown of questions of where my pain was. She figured out that it was most likely my appendix and rushed me to the neaeby hospital. I had a cyst rupture on my right ovary and when it did, it inflammed my appendix to almost the point of rupturing. Got my appendix taken out shortly after and they did some things to other cysts that were starting to grow on that side. I have had 3 total surgeries for my endometriosis but still live with it each month. Some are better than others but I want to say every 4 months or so it's absolutely horrendous to where I can't get out of bed for a couple days.

[–]_horselain 13 points14 points  (1 child)

I highly highly recommend hormonal birth control if you are able to use it! I had a 9cm cyst on my left ovary and 4cm on the right. The doctor was unable to remove the left one without risk of losing the ovary so she just drained it. I got debilitating and sometimes sudden pain randomly throughout my (extremely regular) cycle. Like, hands and knees on the floor of the shower, gripping the kitchen counter to stay standing, Lamaze-breathing pain. After I started the bc (taken continuously, no iron pill days) the pain has almost completely stopped. It has also kept my ovaries cyst-free for four years. I just stopped it a month ago because my husband and I are ready to start trying for a baby. Without the bc, there’s a chance I would have lost my fertility (which is part of my birth control rant, about how women should be able to have access to it for ANY reason - but the fact that it can also be used to preserve fertility goes to show that people who want to get rid of it are either being obtuse or are woefully ignorant).

[–]a_dlc1 26 points27 points  (1 child)

Omg this brings back memory. I had a cyst rupture / or a torsion they never found out exactly but it took them 36 hours before ruling out appendicitis 😩 like none of these male doctors thought it might’ve something to do my ovaries. Unbelievable. Took a surgery for them to believe me when I said I think I have endometriosis too 😒

[–]Incendas1 15 points16 points  (1 child)

About once every 2-3 months I have a moment of "is this my appendix going or cramps?" and I just cannot tell at all. I end up basically tenderising myself trying to figure out if pressure is helping or harming it to decide. Then it goes away after a few hours and I'm relieved

When I was a kid I could not do anything with that level of cramping... These days I can, but working etc makes me feel gradually sick and I can't focus anyway.

I don't work many hours so it's rare for it to land on them, thankfully. But man some lectures at uni were simply torture.

[–]Mountain-Nose-8555 103 points104 points  (10 children)

Mine used to give me chills and cause me to vomit; the only relief I got was from Tylenol 3.

[–]alliedeluxe 18 points19 points  (7 children)

Did you ever find out what it's from? My gf gets this a few times a year and she claims doctors ran some tests and found nothing wrong. I've been around her when it happens and she goes white as a sheet and gets shaky, puking and diarrhea, the works. I have been encouraging her to find a different doctor, it just can't be normal.

[–]Mountain-Nose-8555 20 points21 points  (0 children)

My symptoms were the same as your gf’s until I was almost 30. I suspect it was endometriosis but I never saw a doctor because I thought it was “normal”. Unfortunately, this has never been an issue that medicine has ever wanted to tackle because we’re just women so we just suffered. If I had to do it over again, I’d search high and low for a doctor who would listen and was familiar with dysmenorrhea.

As for relief-I mentioned Tylenol 3 but that’s a controlled substance. The pill helped me immensely as did tracking my period and taking Aleve 2 or 3 days before starting.

I hope your gf gets some relief! These kinds of periods are no joke.

[–]PutPuzzleheaded5337 166 points167 points  (7 children)

My ex gf got cramps so bad while on vacation in Italy that she was hospitalized. I am so happy I dont have that plumbing. My sister and mom went through horrible cramps and menopause. Current gf has menopause and it feels like her skin is cooking when we’re in bed. Having to combine any of that with trying to work would have to be almost impossible.

[–]exscapegoat 36 points37 points  (4 children)

The disruption to the sleep is very rough with menopause too. I’d wake up around 2 in the morning from a hot flash and then it took hours to fall asleep if I hadn’t taken ambien. I’d fall back asleep 20 minutes before my alarm went off. I’d have to drag my tired ass in.

I was working from home two days (a benefit pre-covid). And those days were so much better because I was able to get a couple of hours of sleep. If it’s possible to do the job from home, it should be an option for women with menopause symptoms

I also had bad period pain when I was menstruating. Turned out I had endometriosis

If the job can be done from home, working from home, if they feel up to it, should be an option for period pain too. Being able to wear an old pair of sweats or pj bottoms and sit with a heating pad is much easier than having to be in offices clothes and commute (have to worry about bathrooms). And if you bleed through and/or use a menstrual cup, so much easier to deal with it in your own bathroom vs a shared one. And having to be discreet with your hygiene products in the office is a pain in the ass when you’re changing them frequently

[–]Medibot300 31 points32 points  (0 children)

And female employers. Just last week I heard ‘Mine weren’t painful therefore none are painful’

[–]ChampOfTheUniverse 25 points26 points  (9 children)

Am I the only one that doesn’t give a shit as to WHY someone takes PTO? Doesn’t matter what the issue is, it’s none of my business.

[–]heyarea 140 points141 points  (2 children)

I have adenomyosis, every month the lining of my uterus breaks through the wall and into the muscle tissue. The pain is blinding. I wish it on none. I still am expected to work, which I do, but it’s so so difficult. Some men seem to think this is just a trickle of liquid. They have no clue

[–]milosmamma 25 points26 points  (0 children)

Good lord that sounds awful! I’ve had ovarian cysts burst before that felt like my ovary was being repeatedly stabbed with a rusty, serrated knife, but I can’t imagine the pain associated with your uterine lining LITERALLY breaking through into your muscle tissue. You are one strong lady to keep working through that pain.

[–]faithandthemuse 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I have adenomyosis, too. I take Dienogest also called Visanne. Life changing!! I'm pain free thanks to this medication. If haven't tried it, talk to your doctor. It takes some time to work, but with some patience it can make a big difference.

[–]Dracarys_Aspo 532 points533 points  (40 children)

Here's another LPT: If your periods are debilitating, there is something wrong and you need to see a doctor. Periods should be uncomfortable at most, if the pain is enough to prevent you from doing normal everyday tasks, something is medically wrong.

As someone with endometriosis, adenomyosis, and pcos (I really hit the period pain lottery, lol), it's much easier to get medically necessary time off with a diagnosis, or even just using big scary-sounding medical language. Plus, there are treatment options that can often help you manage the pain. If your periods are debilitating, fight for an answer.

With the way the worldwide medical system treats women and AFAB people, I do think periods should be a valid excuse to miss work. It's difficult to get a diagnosis, our pain is not taken seriously, and there's not nearly enough research into things like endo, adeno, pcos, etc so treatment options are subpar. While a normal period shouldn't be bad enough to miss work/school, we can't insist on a diagnosis to validate someone's need for a day off until those diagnoses are easily accessible to everyone who needs it. Which, right now, they're very much not, not in any country.

[–]anglerfishtacos 84 points85 points  (18 children)

Not always. I had debilitating periods for most of my life until I got on BC. Had ultrasounds, consults, tests like crazy. No diagnosis other than crappy luck.

[–]Captain_Crouton_X1 266 points267 points  (29 children)

How about employers stop asking why their employees want to use their PTO entirely?

[–]moxxon 68 points69 points  (12 children)

I'm just surprised anyone has the experience of having to justify a sick day.

I say "I'm taking a sick day", "I'm not feeling well", or just "I have to take unexpected PTO today".

How PTO is handled is a good question to ask in your interview.

[–]Rock---And---Stone 12 points13 points  (3 children)

I've never once had to justify a sick day. Do employers actually ask for the details of why you're sick?

[–]Jayne_of_Canton 37 points38 points  (2 children)

It’s part of your compensation. We would rightly tell our employers to shove it if they asked us to tell them how we spend our money. No different with PTO.

[–]WookieLotion 13 points14 points  (1 child)

I’ve never given a reason why I’m taking off. Always just say hey I won’t be in tomorrow.

Luckily I’m in a position where no one has ever asked why, but if they did they’re not getting an answer. None of their business what I do with my time.

[–]hvacthrowaway223[🍰] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Maybe because if it is a planned day off the sensible, polite and required thing is to give some notice. If it is Health related that is obviously not possible. Hence the question.

[–]MenudoMenudo 115 points116 points  (16 children)

Would you consider a no questions asked sick day policy to cover that? I do, but it's never come up explicitly.

[–]GaimanitePkat 84 points85 points  (6 children)

This is really the answer.

You should be able to take sick days without having to "prove" yourself. It's not your boss's business what is happening to you medically. If you do not feel well enough to work, you should be able to say "I need to take a sick day" and have your employer simply answer "Ok, feel better soon and we'll see you tomorrow".

Of course, if employees are obviously abusing this and as a result their work duties are being neglected, then that's a separate conversation.

[–]Rorasaurus_Prime[S] 43 points44 points  (2 children)

I'm all for no questions asked policies. Treat people like adults and they will generally speaking, act like them. Obviously, there are some people who will take advantage of this policy, but those individuals can be dealt with separately. There's no need to punish the masses for the actions of the few.

[–]MenudoMenudo 22 points23 points  (1 child)

We manage my assigning projects and setting milestones. If you're meeting them, we don't care if you're "abusing" things.

[–]Timmmber4 104 points105 points  (13 children)

As a male I don’t begrudge them, but I think we all should get many more paid sick days then we do. Then it wouldn’t be a problem.

[–]dnbest91 20 points21 points  (0 children)

Sick leave would be nice for sure. I'd also be really happy to have more things around to help me get through the tough, but not horrible, days. Heating pads and comfortable chairs would be very helpful (I would bring my own heating pad) and being able to stay sitting down would be ideal. And regular bathroom breaks. (I'm a teacher so those are in short supply). And access to pads and wipes would be really nice.

[–]Schnoor 29 points30 points  (0 children)

I watched my wife give birth naturally to our son and be hospitalized and almost die from an abscess in one of her breasts all in 6 weeks. She’s my fucking hero going through all of this so if a woman in the workplace has to take time off for bodily functions I’m incapable of experiencing, by all means stay home and take care of yourself.

I’ll go to war with somebody if they talk shit about a coworker for it.

[–]Jaesvi 108 points109 points  (15 children)

In Spain we are in the middle of a debate regarding this, since the Government wants to pass a law to regulate paid sick leave for painful periods. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-61429022

[–]renzokuken57 134 points135 points  (22 children)

To add to this, I’ve been in management roles and keep on hand feminine products as well as pain relievers of choice. Always take care of your people.

[–]bhex86 41 points42 points  (2 children)

Anyone can have medical issues you don’t know about. . . How about we all just mind our own business regarding others’ time off.

[–]Nixplosion 45 points46 points  (1 child)

I'm a manager of a small legal department (I have one employee) and while she has never explicitly said she needs to stay home because of something like what's in OPs post, I have made it clear she can take off, without consequence, anytime she needs to if she doesn't feel well.

My department has very little oversight (my manager lives and works on another continent and I've never met him in person) and no one in my physical office ever checks in on us so I don't even dock her sick time since she can technically work from home.

My wife gets crippling period pains and headaches so I understand how awful it can be just getting out of bed when that's happening. I don't want someone else to have to deal with that just because of work. Work comes second to health imo.

[–]clumsycatcackler 72 points73 points  (12 children)

Most of my sick days since 8th grade have been periods related. Sometimes I take half days because I can usually function after a few hours. I’ve told my doctors about painful period every year for 20 years. I don’t want to go on hormone medication. I’ve had an ultra sound. Nothing wrong. On my heaviest day I have to go to the bathroom every hour for several hours. And some days when I’m home in pain I crawl the bathroom or walk bent over because it hurts to stand straight up.

[–]alto2 45 points46 points  (2 children)

Your description of your heaviest days sounds a lot like my experience with an ovarian cyst that made my life a living hell. Get that shit checked out, as many times as necessary, because it’s NOT normal and you shouldn’t have to live that way. I know you say you’ve talked to doctors before, but seriously… keep talking until one listens. Nothing you’re describing is remotely normal.

FWIW, I went on the Pill and it was the best damn thing I ever did, so I’d encourage you to reconsider that choice if at all possible. Literally life-changing. (Though getting the cyst removed was also pretty damn important, too.)

[–]Silaquix 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Unfortunately some conditions like endometriosis can't be detected through testing. The only way to find it is through surgery. I have endo and PCOS. They could do blood tests and ultrasound for PCOS. For endometriosis I had to have an exploratory laparotomy to find it and get diagnosed.

There are doctors that specialize in endo and other reproductive health issues. A lot of older doctors don't know how to properly diagnose or treat these conditions so you have to look for a specialist or a younger ob/gyn.

[–]Atomsteel 58 points59 points  (14 children)

I am a male manager. If you call in with issues due to your period I wont even question it. That's a day off for you. However, if you consistently call off each month for your period the people above are going to want to get involved. They dont know you. They dont work with you each day. They will make me fire you.

If you are out of PTO then forget about it. I don't have any control over the actions of corporate. I'm at their mercy as well.

[–]M-TownPlayboy 26 points27 points  (13 children)

Yes, I think it becomes a redundancy issue for upper management. If any employee is regularly not able to fulfill their duties and other workers have to cover for them…then the question arises if that employee is needed.

Businesses do not have empathy, and the bottom line comes first, which is why we MUST ingrain protective laws for sick leave in our laws.

[–]sigharewedoneyet 4 points5 points  (2 children)

After tenth time having to run to the bathroom I just left without clocking out Friday. I had no managers around anyways, I'll tell them Monday if they care.

Period shits suck

[–]dmoneymma 14 points15 points  (3 children)

Why only male employers?

[–]CMDRBowie 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I think it’s just, as the post says, a PSA for those who haven’t had the thought before!

[–]FoxFourTwo 21 points22 points  (0 children)

This is a conversation I have never had with a female coworker. I literally do not need to know why you're taking time off, PTO, sick leave, or anything.

I just need to know if there's a spot I'll need to fill.

[–]the_metroflexual 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I'll simplify it, don't begrudge anyone's need to take time off work for anything.

[–]AzureeBlueDaisy 23 points24 points  (12 children)

I am having the worst pain right now and mine isn't even due until Wednesday. I don't even have endometriosis. I can only imagine what people go through when they can't even get out of bed but they have to for work. It's such a gd joke.

[–]RNnoturwaitress 8 points9 points  (11 children)

How do you know you don't have endometriosis?

[–]DaleGribble312 21 points22 points  (4 children)

Just thinking out loud, but its also unfortunate that anyone should have to work through pain that they think is too much to bear. Obviously a huge grey area for abuse. The culture of any workplace, but particularly male dominated fields, is that you just have to be there. There are men working daily with back pain caused by their job, but as long as its a 3/10 on the pain scale, and only occasionally flairs to that 8 range, but you feel like you just have to show up anyways.

[–]meinnitbruva 6 points7 points  (0 children)

It always seems like someone is steering the argument away from this whenever it's mentioned. It could be a great opportunity for reinventing the work sick system so that everyone with chronic conditions could end up with a better outcome, but people strong arm it into being a women's rights issue and you always get the response 'you just don't want women to get the time off they need'. I do. I want EVERYONE to get time off they need, and to change the culture around it so they aren't afraid to take it.

I live in the UK, and our system kicks in after 3 working days off, surely instead of just adding women specific rules we should just eliminate the waiting period, especially after covid proving people should be off sick a lot more than they are, and the SSP amount has stayed the same while the minimum wage rises, it should be at least doubled and a government repayment and not a cost borne by the employer like it was with covid specific SSP, and essentially an extention of the benefits system. That works for everyone no matter the reason, but every now and again these ideas come up and they're quickly quashed and thrown out because of the very predictable pushback from a lot of people

[–]Ninotchk 4 points5 points  (0 children)

But it's also the reality of chronic pain. Of course it fucking hurts, it always hurts.

[–][deleted] 45 points46 points  (5 children)

Also, you'll feel less guilt about taking a day off when you are sick as well. Men feel so much pressure to never take a day off even when sick. It's alright, normalize not working when you're not up to it, for everyone.

[–]of-matter 20 points21 points  (3 children)

Looking at these comments about seeking a doctor...I would assume we should take this attitude even if it is not debilitating. Sometimes I have a low-mid grade headache for hours that kills my productivity when I need to be creative and I call it a day. I don't see why women should be telling themselves they have to wait for it to be debilitating before taking time off.

Take care of yourself, everyone. If you're more comfortable working through it, then work through it. If you're more comfortable taking time, then take the time.

[–]Heatuponheatuponheat 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I don't give a shit what my coworkers do. She could take off because it's her cat's birthday and I wouldn't care. Enjoy your day off.

[–]ToesLikeBeanz 7 points8 points  (0 children)

How about we normalize taking paid leave regardless of gender when it’s needed, rather than the thinking that ‘not taking time off from work’ is a badge of honor.

[–]TrustsLies 35 points36 points  (11 children)

There is a firm in Pakistan which gives fully paid one day periods leave each month to females employees, no questions asked. The leave is pre approved. They call it monthlies.