PERIOD DRAMA: Wear White Again, by Hologic, aims to end the suffering of a heavy period
Women tolerate a lot. A heck of a lot. Everyday sexism, lower pay (nine in 10 workplaces pay men more, according to one UK study), mansplaining, manspreading and so much more.
One of the most heart-breaking things too many women simply put up with are heavy periods. Part of the reason is that the topic remains taboo (this is 2019, people!) with a third of us finding it an uncomfortable topic of conversation (that explains why 35 per cent of men and 20 per cent of women don’t know where in the body period blood comes from).
Yet more than one-in-five women experience unusually heavy periods. That can mean an excessive loss of blood, prolonged and irregular periods and bleeding between periods, all of which can obviously have a dramatic impact on quality of life. And, sadly, many women think this is simply part and parcel of being a woman and are not aware that the condition is treatable.
Dr Dawn Harper, from TV’s Embarrassing Bodies, says, “Despite affecting more than one-in-five women in the UK, many living with heavy periods feel uncomfortable speaking to their GP about them. They believe there is nothing they can do except have a hysterectomy [an invasive procedure which involves removing the womb], so they just ‘get on with it’, suffering in silence. However, this is not the case: there is plenty that, as doctors, we can do for heavy periods.’
“Wear White Again is a fantastic campaign helping women overcome these fears and break down the barriers helping them talk to their GP. You can find loads of useful tips and information on their website.”
Because it’s rarely talked about, not enough of us know the knock-on effects of heavy periods. Physical consequences include fatigue and anaemia caused by iron deficiency, reduced immunity and severe pain. The psychological impact can mean depression, moodiness, anxiety and lack of confidence. On top of that, sufferers call in sick, avoid going out, and miss the gym, and experience constant fear of leaking and the subsequent embarrassment.
Now, thanks to Wear White Again, a Hologic campaign, you have the knowledge and power to change some of the stats below …
62% of sufferers did not realise heavy periods are actually a medical condition
43% missed work as a result of heavy periods
58% feel they can’t carry out their usual daily routine
74% have experienced anxiety issues related to the condition…
69% of sufferers have depression, and…
49% have had issues with anaemia