How to Manage Your Work During Your Period

How to Manage Your Work During Your Period

For most women, menstruation typically lasts five to seven days a month. On average, women experience menstruation for 40 years of their lives. That adds up to 2,400 days of menstrual pain, which is a lot of uncomfortable days in your lifetime. According to WebMD, menstruation can cause 9 different types of pain and discomfort in your abdomen, uterus, ovaries, lower back, legs, head, etc. at the same time. That is 2,400 days with 9 simultaneous pains in your lifetime.

For women, the struggles of a work-life balance can become absolutely overwhelming as you experience pain and discomfort during your period. Menstrual pain, known by its medical term as dysmenorrhea, can disrupt your social and professional life. The equilibrium of enjoying a successful professional and blissful social life can be undermined by painful menstruations during your period.

The pain you often feel during this time comes in many forms. Identifying the cause of your pain can better help you treat the condition so that you can resume your normal activities during your menstruation. It is important to find a solution that has maximal benefits with minimal side effects. Finding a viable treatment to remedy your uncomfortable periods can help you fill each and every minute of your day with pleasant and productive activities.

There is a fine line between normal menstrual pain, and severe, debilitating menstrual pain that can immobilize you during your period. Periods are normally uncomfortable for most women. Most women will experience varying degrees of pain during their menstruation. During your menstruation, your uterus will contract repeatedly to get rid of its unwanted inner lining.

This uterine contraction causes discomfort and different levels of pain for women. Menstrual pain is so common that close to 80% of women have this unpleasant experience every month. The rest will also experience this discomfort at some point in their life. Therefore, most women are not immune to menstrual pain and discomfort. Unfortunately, many women will experience monthly menstrual discomfort and pain until they reach menopause.

It is normal to feel pain and discomfort during your period. However, if your menstrual pain is so severe that it disrupts your personal and professional life during your period, you might have an underlying medical condition that must be diagnosed and treated. There are different types of period pain. Below, we will discuss the most common types of menstrual pain so you can determine whether your pain is normal, or requires a medical intervention:

Referred Pain

Referred pain is when you feel pain in regions of your body that are not the original source of pain. During your menstruation, your uterus keeps contracting to expel its unwanted inner lining. The source of your period pain is your uterus. But the pain from your uterus will radiate to other regions of your body, causing you to feel pain in your pelvis, lower back, and thighs during your period.

Pelvic pain is a common form of referred pain that is very common during your menstruation. Pelvic pain causes muscle spasms, and triggers a burning sensation in your lower belly. The sharp, stabbing pain radiates in your abdominal region, causing you to feel pain in your appendix, bladder, and small and large intestine.

Referred pain is a normal neurophysiological mechanism that does not need medical intervention. You can relieve referred pain by using heat therapy or over-the-counter pain medication. Applying heated pads or a warm water bottle on your abdominal region can help soothe your discomfort. If you experience menstrual pain at work, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen can help relieve your pain.

Primary Dysmenorrhea

Primary dysmenorrhea is the most common type of menstrual pain. This type of menstrual pain is prevalent in teenagers and young women. Primary dysmenorrhea typically occurs during the first three days of your period. This is a sharp, back-and-forth kind of pain that feels like you are repeatedly getting stabbed. Fortunately, menstrual pain caused by primary dysmenorrhea wanes towards the end of your period.

Primary dysmenorrhea causes mild to medium menstrual discomfort and pain. This type of menstrual discomfort does not require medical intervention. You can easily treat primary dysmenorrhea with heat therapy and over-the-counter pain medication. Primary dysmenorrhea causes pain during the first few days of your period. You will feel no pain or discomfort after your period ends.

Secondary Dysmenorrhea

Secondary dysmenorrhea is a serious type of menstrual pain that requires medical intervention. This type of menstrual pain is so severe that it can immobilize you during your period, making you very unproductive at work or even miss work altogether during your period. Secondary dysmenorrhea is usually caused by an underlying medical condition.

Secondary dysmenorrhea is typically caused by an infection, fibroids, or a disorder in your reproductive system. Unlike primary dysmenorrhea that causes pain only on the first few days of your period, secondary dysmenorrhea causes abdominal pain throughout your menstrual cycle, with the pain intensifying during your period.

The most common cause of secondary dysmenorrhea is endometriosis.


Endometriosis is a serious disorder that can cause debilitating pain throughout your menstrual cycle. Endometriosis is when endometrial tissue that is supposed to grow inside the lining of your uterus grows outside your uterus. The endometrial tissue can grow on your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and your intestines.

During your period, your body tries to shed its unwanted uterine lining. The endometrial tissue that grew on your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and intestines have no way to leave your body. As a result, they remain trapped in their place, causing inflammation and extreme pain in your abdominal area. The severe abdominal pain can make you feel sick, and cause constipation, diarrhoea, and rectal bleeding.

While women of all ages can be afflicted with endometriosis, the disorder is more common in women in their 30s and 40s. Endometriosis causes severe, debilitating pain that can incapacitate you, affecting your professional life during your menstruation. Common symptoms of endometriosis include severe menstrual pain, excessive menstrual bleeding, and painful urination and bowel movements. If you experience symptoms of endometriosis, you must visit your gynaecologist as soon as possible.

Treatment options for endometriosis depend on the severity of the condition. Common treatments for endometriosis include pain medication, hormonal therapy, and surgery to ease the pain. You must consult with your gynaecologist to determine the best treatment option for you to relieve your discomfort.


Menstruation is usually an uncomfortable and painful event for most women. The severity of menstrual discomfort and pain can adversely affect your productivity and professional life during your period. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available to ease menstrual discomfort. To ease your discomfort, maximize your productivity, and improve your work-life balance during your periods, you must identify the cause of your menstrual pain so you can find an effective solution for treating it.