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Whether you’re going to work, school, shopping, doing errands or anything physical, there’s so much going on while on your period. First and foremost, the cramps are horrible. Most women have to carry on through the day while they are cramping. If you’re working and working with other people, most of the time, you’re forced to have a smile on your face even when cramping or else, you may seem like a complainer, weak, or even annoying. You don’t get a free pass to sit around and do nothing. You have to show up to work while cramping and on your period and are expected to put in 100% energy. The reality is that you are expected to go through your work shift and expected to still fulfill your requirements. A lot of this shows that women are resilient and have the strength to continue on with their day.
Being on your time of the month is not fun and this can lead you to count down the days until it’s over. People who menstruate know the pain of being on your period. Often times, women have to go to work while on their period. And people who do not menstruate do not know what the reality is for them to be working while on their period.
Regardless of where you work, if you bring up menstruation to a man, most of the time, they will not understand and may look confused, disgusted or uninterested. Some assume that cramps aren’t that bad and that it’s not even a big deal. Some may even see you as “weak” and that you’re just “being dramatic.” Because they may not understand, you may feel frustrated when telling your male coworkers about how you feel.
If you’re on your period, you’re constantly double checking or wondering if you leaked through your pads/tampons/underwear. A couple hours after you’ve put a new tampon or pad on, you’re wondering if you need to go to the bathroom again just to double check. The constant worrying and double checking can be exhausting and time consuming because you have things to do but you don’t want to leak through your pants and possibly get embarrassed if someone sees. Or even worse, what if you run out of tampons/pads and can’t find anyone or a nearby place to get more?
Being on your period affects your hormones and can cause mood swings. You’re at work and a coworker makes a friendly, harmless joke and all of the sudden, you’re upset and think your coworker was being disrespectful. Sometimes, being on your period may make you more sensitive than usual and you may secretly want to cry about a joke being made. Or other times, you may find yourself getting annoyed and upset. Or you’ll constantly feel tired throughout the day and feel the need to nap or lay down. Being on your period is exhausting so being at work for a full 8-hour shift can have you feeling worse. But although it may feel like this, many people often disregard their feelings and push forward because they know being on your period is not an excuse.
Finally, being on your period while at work may cause you to feel bloated. If you’re bloated, you may not want to eat during lunch and want to sit down and relax. Because being bloated prevents you from eating and makes you constantly feel full. Or being on your period may want you to eat everything and crave things you normally wouldn't eat. You may want to have an earlier lunch because of how hungry you feel or you may want to have snacks with you throughout the day because your body is telling you to eat. Regardless, being constantly hungry or craving food like chocolate and cookies at work can cause your feel differently.
Being on your period is no fun, especially if you have to go to work or school. Most people will understand but normally, you do not get a pass to lay around and relax. You still have responsibilities, to go to school, and to go to work. It’s a whirlpool of emotions but at the end of the day, you are expected to do what you need to do. This showcases that women may not always get a break and that although there are obstacles, they push through and still remain productive and professional.
My name is Linda Tran. I'm 24 years old from Boston and I'm majoring in Marketing with a concentration in Social Media at the Southern New Hampshire University. A fun fact about me is that I learned coding and HTML at the age of 11.