Period cramps a good enough reason not to work? Watch

klipsan
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I've taken a day off today because of violent period cramps, like I get every month, but this time it's particularly bad. The worst thing though is thinking what to say to my boss as an excuse, because 'cramps' just sounds so pathetic, and I know I'll be right back to normal tomorrow so I can't pretend it's something too serious.

I've always had EXTREMELY painful cramps for as long as I can remember, to the point where I'm doubled over and wailing, even with medication. I've suffered broken bones that have hurt less than my monthly pains. But to a male boss, and an almost entirely male office, I know I would just sound like such a baby (and they might take on a sexist attitude about it). So what do I do? What do I say? I've pushed myself into going to work during my cramps before and sometimes I'm okay and other times all I can do is curl up and suffer as quietly as possible- and today would've been one of those days.
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emanueladiana
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(Original post by klipsan)
I've taken a day off today because of violent period cramps, like I get every month, but this time it's particularly bad. The worst thing though is thinking what to say to my boss as an excuse, because 'cramps' just sounds so pathetic, and I know I'll be right back to normal tomorrow so I can't pretend it's something too serious.

I've always had EXTREMELY painful cramps for as long as I can remember, to the point where I'm doubled over and wailing, even with medication. I've suffered broken bones that have hurt less than my monthly pains. But to a male boss, and an almost entirely male office, I know I would just sound like such a baby (and they might take on a sexist attitude about it). So what do I do? What do I say? I've pushed myself into going to work during my cramps before and sometimes I'm okay and other times all I can do is curl up and suffer as quietly as possible- and today would've been one of those days.
I feel you! For me it's 50-50 every month, maybe it'll hurt like ****, maybe I won't feel anything at all, but when it hurts, I can't do anything but sit (jk, I can't sit still). I had to excuse myself from school a couple of times, bursted into tears while talking to the teacher. I say you explain your situation, otherwise you'll have to come up with different excuses all the time, and it'll probably be worse because they might start thinking you try to skip work. Be honest and promise to catch up with work, he shouldn't mind it this way, might even appreciate it.
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Kutie Karen
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(Original post by klipsan)
I've taken a day off today because of violent period cramps, like I get every month, but this time it's particularly bad. The worst thing though is thinking what to say to my boss as an excuse, because 'cramps' just sounds so pathetic, and I know I'll be right back to normal tomorrow so I can't pretend it's something too serious.

I've always had EXTREMELY painful cramps for as long as I can remember, to the point where I'm doubled over and wailing, even with medication. I've suffered broken bones that have hurt less than my monthly pains. But to a male boss, and an almost entirely male office, I know I would just sound like such a baby (and they might take on a sexist attitude about it). So what do I do? What do I say? I've pushed myself into going to work during my cramps before and sometimes I'm okay and other times all I can do is curl up and suffer as quietly as possible- and today would've been one of those days.

I really feel for you and know exactly what you mean. Is there a senior female colleague or HR person you can talk to about this? They might be able to explain the situation for you as you can't be the only person they have come across with women's problems.

Do you have flexi time at your work where you can take a day off when you are not well and make the time up when you are much better? This is an ongoing thing and so to try and explain it away each time will become progressively difficult unless they are aware of your situation. Hope you feel well soon.
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Kvothe the Arcane
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You could always say it's of a sensitive nature.
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Dimple1234
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You almost need to medicate early so your period doesn't interrupt daily life. When I'm on, its first thing in the morning two tablets, some juice, I take in lots of fluids and obviously you will be less chatty because you are in pain, but 2 hours the pain goes away and you are fine but make sure to take another 2 tablets before the pain starts again (before it wears off). I've found I need to do this for the first 2 days only, after that I can go through without any medication.
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Etomidate
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(Original post by klipsan)
I've taken a day off today because of violent period cramps, like I get every month, but this time it's particularly bad. The worst thing though is thinking what to say to my boss as an excuse, because 'cramps' just sounds so pathetic, and I know I'll be right back to normal tomorrow so I can't pretend it's something too serious.

I've always had EXTREMELY painful cramps for as long as I can remember, to the point where I'm doubled over and wailing, even with medication. I've suffered broken bones that have hurt less than my monthly pains. But to a male boss, and an almost entirely male office, I know I would just sound like such a baby (and they might take on a sexist attitude about it). So what do I do? What do I say? I've pushed myself into going to work during my cramps before and sometimes I'm okay and other times all I can do is curl up and suffer as quietly as possible- and today would've been one of those days.
Taking sick leave for period pains is entirely reasonable and is one of the most common reasons for doing so, particularly in young women.

The fact that your boss/colleagues are male shouldn't prevent you from being honest. It's certainly not within their rights to question your honesty about how severe it is. But that said, it's still a difficult thing to discuss with your boss, particularly if he is male.

I would strongly advise against lying as this may raise issues later on should missed days continue. Remember that you can self-certify for up to 7 days, after which you will need to supply a fit note from your doctor.

Finally, it may be worth seeing your doctor again. If your periods are troubling you, there may be other options available to get them under control, beyond that of just ibuprofen. These could include oral contraceptive pills, injections or implants. It would also be reassuring to be examined to rule out any underlying cause for your painful periods, just to be on the safe side.
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Tiger Rag
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Been there, done that and yes, it really does it. It, imo, is reasonable to take time off if you really have to.

I would do what the above poster says in rgeards to visiting your doctor.
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Kutie Karen
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How did you get on?
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Redfrost
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Ivehad these, mefanamic acid is great you could ask your gp to prescribe it. At the end of the day pain is pain so of course its a good reason
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StudentGod168
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As well as mefenamic acid, consider the contraceptive combined pill. Repetitive sickness (almost every month), will eventually lead to disciplinary and dismissal, regardless of being genuine or not.
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beckaroo7
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(Original post by klipsan)
I've taken a day off today because of violent period cramps, like I get every month, but this time it's particularly bad. The worst thing though is thinking what to say to my boss as an excuse, because 'cramps' just sounds so pathetic, and I know I'll be right back to normal tomorrow so I can't pretend it's something too serious.

I've always had EXTREMELY painful cramps for as long as I can remember, to the point where I'm doubled over and wailing, even with medication. I've suffered broken bones that have hurt less than my monthly pains. But to a male boss, and an almost entirely male office, I know I would just sound like such a baby (and they might take on a sexist attitude about it). So what do I do? What do I say? I've pushed myself into going to work during my cramps before and sometimes I'm okay and other times all I can do is curl up and suffer as quietly as possible- and today would've been one of those days.
Maybe say that you're not well and you think it's a 24 hour bug? Not the best suggestion to be honest though.

Also if they're so bad they're affecting your life like this have you considered going on the pill? Back in high school I regularly missed a couple days at a time due to cramps and couldn't even walk upright when they were at their worst. After three months of a weak mini pill they were much improved and barely hurt at all. Might be worth considering?
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Samwin
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I am in a similar position to you with periods and working life (had this on work experience, not fun on a farm let me tell you o.O ) I am still struggling, but try asking your doctor about mefenamic acid/codydramol for the pain, and also tranexamic acid as well for reducing heavy bleeding. hope things improve for you soon
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