Why is Taking Paid Leave for Period Pain Controversial?

In a recent mood survey conducted by Womanizer with its global tester panel (the_MasturbaTEAM) where 470 respondents from 26 countries answered the questionnaire, only two out of three menstruators have wanted to call in sick because of severe period pain and only a third have actually done so.

Despite often experiencing period pains, many struggle through their daily routine again every month.

Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower stated that the gender pay gap figure was 6.0% in 2018¹. Its gendered social norms inherently devalues women’s labour, and lack of policies that require employers to offer equal pay for equal work. While women continue to face barriers including gender bias, both conscious and unconscious, this results in unequal opportunities, choices and outcomes. Menstrual leave is unfortunately still uncommon.

The results of the survey show how necessary and at the same time controversial this measure would be, and how taboo the topic still is in the workplace.

Why don’t menstruators call in sick?

The belief that it is not socially accepted persists (52% agreed), as does the fear that employers will not accept period pain as a valid reason (47% agreed). At the same time, 1 out of 3 participants are convinced that it is not a legitimate reason for calling in sick. 4 out of 10 said they were too busy or had an important appointment.

Understandably, there is fear of discrimination against menstruating employees or an unconscious bias in terms of evaluating women’s performance in the workplace. On top of that, in Asia, presenteeism at work despite being sick generally is a persistent issue – for a variety of reasons.”

– Ms. Andrea Tan, Sexual Wellness Educator

Andrea added, “Tackling the conversation on menstrual leave will mean tackling unconscious biases women face in the workplace as well as the company’s mindset towards the true cost of presenteeism. However, a concerted effort to look at the implementation and benefits of menstrual sick leave is key to moving the needle in retaining talent, showing trust in employees and providing the conditions of a work environment that allows an employee to function most productively.”

Menstrual leave in reality

The topic of periods or period pain seems to be even more of a taboo in a professional context than in public. 97% of respondents said that menstrual leave has never been discussed, let alone addressed, by their employer. It is not surprising then that 86% of these employers do not offer menstrual leave (just under 9% answered “I don’t know”).

But what do menstruators themselves think about the extra days off? The majority would very much welcome the offer. For example, 8 out of 10 menstruators agree (very much) that they would be more productive if they could rest during the day when the pain is at its worst. Almost as many agree (very much) that menstrual leave would be a good signal from companies to create a safe workplace. 72% agreed that this measure is appropriate and fair.

But while there is a lot of support here, there are also some concerns. For example, many fear that this will lead to (more) reservations about employing menstruators because they may miss more days of work than non-menstruators with 77% of respondents agreeing.

How masturbation can help reduce period pain

Last year, Womanizer selected 486 women globally, including APAC countries such as Korea, Singapore, Australia, to prove scientifically that masturbation helps reduce period pain. Each participant was asked to masturbate during their period and complete a survey that monitors their pain. They were also given a Womanizer product, although it was not compulsory to use it.

Between June and September last year, the average pain intensity of their period was reduced from 6.7 on a 0-10 scale to as low as 5.4. Masturbation had an almost immediate effect on the intensity of period pains. There was a continuous decrease in the course of the testing months. Even after the participants returned to their usual remedies in October, the pain relief associated with masturbation was still noticeable.

Andrea further states, “Masturbation is seen as one of the key tools used to navigate emotional wellness and sexual wellness health (which includes pain management). I actively work various forms of pleasure practices which include masturbation through the work for clients with sexual health or dysfunction issues.”

If you’re interested to reduce your menstrual pain or increase pleasure, you may want to check out the following Womanizer products that stimulates the clitoris and provide a strong, efficient orgasm experience in as little as 1 minute so that the release of pleasure hormones will reduce pain as well as your mental stress.

1 – Womanizer Premium Eco

2 – Womanizer Liberty

3 – Womanizer Starlet

Earlier this year, Womanizer scientifically proved with the Menstrubation Study that regular masturbation can help against period pain and have a short- as well as long-term pain-relieving effect. This was the first clinical study worldwide. All the results are available at https://menstrubation.com.

¹ Report:Singapore’s Adjusted Gender Pay Gap, Ministry of Manpower, 2018, stats.mom.gov.sg/Pages/Singapores-Adjusted-Gender-Pay-Gap.aspx

Images: Ms. Andrea Tan, Envato and Shutterstock

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