The Reality of Menstrual Health Access in the Workplace
In the world of periods, there is a never ending list of misconceptions that are often untrue. From the belief that women can predict when their period is coming, to the assumption that they can simply hold it in until they can access products, there's a huge amount to untangle. Not only do these misconceptions exist but there is such a taboo surrounding periods that they are rarely talked about and broken. A study conducted by DPG found that 6 in 10 women do not feel comfortable discussing their period with colleagues or managers due to taboos and a fear of discrimination. At Perfect Fit we want to crush these myths and empower women to perform their best at work.
The Misunderstanding of Period Predictability
One common misconception is that women always know when their period is on the horizon. The reality is quite different. While some women have regular cycles and can predict their periods with relative accuracy, many others face irregular cycles that make it impossible to predict when their period will arrive. This unpredictability can often catch women off guard, leaving them in need of menstrual products when they least expect it. Therefore, readily available products are vital to avoid uncomfortable and emotionally distressing situations for women.
Moreover, the myth that women can simply "hold it in" until they have access to products is far from the truth. Menstruation is a natural bodily function, and it's not something women can control. Have you ever witnessed a girl whisper to a friend “check me”, she stands up and walks a few paces in front until her friend says “all good”. The fear of bleeding through a tampon or pad, or having started her period without knowing is a feeling known all too well by menstruators. The unpredictability of periods cannot be changed, but the way society nurtures and supports women can.
The issue of access to menstrual products extends far beyond affordability; it's an accessibility issue. 86% of women in a recent study by Fertifia report having to leave work in the middle of the day to buy period products, disrupting their routines and causing unnecessary stress, not to mention the financial losses for the company caused as a result of leaving work. Not only is this damaging to productivity but it creates an undermining sense of patriarchy within the workplace. In a study conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development more than one in 10 women said they had been on the receiving end of negative comments about their periods while at work. Reporting that many employers do not take period pain seriously and subject women to discrimination if they talk about periods, pain or the need for time off. Women do not choose to bleed, period products, as most would view toilet paper, are not a luxury. A lack of availability should not be accepted or normalized.
Perfect Fit's Mission
The state of emergency, encompassed with worry, that women face regarding menstrual health should not be justified in any society. Imagine a young girl in school, experiencing her first period, and finding herself without the necessary supplies. This scenario is both distressing and unfair. This is why we are working tirelessly to make accessibility a problem of the past. Working with schools and workplaces to ensure products are freely available, and education is advanced to combat embarrassment and bullying.
Perfect Fit aims to ensure that no woman or girl has to endure the discomfort, embarrassment, and emotional distress of being without menstrual products. By advocating for abundantly accessible and sustainable products in school and workplace bathrooms, we are taking a crucial step toward normalizing access to products that should be deemed a worldwide necessity. In addition, working toward a more sustainable future where products are reusable and safer than most of those on the market.
The reality is that periods are unpredictable, and women can frequently find themselves without the products they need. Misconceptions only enhance the discomfort they experience. It's time to bridge the gap in menstrual health access and ensure that all women can manage their periods with dignity and ease.