Joii's latest research, conducted in the UK and Ireland in February 2023, gave us some new insight into just how much menstrual health symptoms impact the daily lives of women and those who menstruate. Worryingly, the data revealed people are missing as much as 36 days’ worth of social events, education, exercise and work every year due to symptoms such as pain, fatigue and mental health impacts
For those with severely debilitating periods, and for the one in ten sufferers of endometriosis, the figure was revealed to be much higher. 20 percent of those surveyed in the UK who live with endometriosis are losing up to 60 days a year and those in Ireland are missing out on even more at up to 84 days each year.
The data revealed just how much people are having to sacrifice because of their menstrual health. Many in the UK had cancelled a date (35 per cent), skipped out on work drinks (34 per cent) or cancelled a weekend away (28 per cent) because of their period.
Alongside social plans, worrying numbers of people are missing out on education and work because of their period, the data was particularly concerning in Ireland where 59 per cent confirmed they had been unable to attend classes due to menstrual health symptoms and 52 per cent had been forced to call in sick to work.
Whilst the figures were concerning, they sadly weren’t all that surprising. We have spoken to so many people who live with debilitating menstrual health symptoms and plenty of others who have milder symptoms but ones that still impact their daily lives.
“It’s a scenario I’m all too familiar with” states Joii founder Justyna Strzeszynska.
Causes of menstrual symptoms unknown
In many cases, the real cause for debilitating periods was unknown. The UK research also showed how little we know about the symptoms of various menstrual health conditions, highlighting the lack of education offered in schools and understanding in society in general. Nearly a third of those surveyed stated they did not know the symptoms of endometriosis, 35% couldn’t pinpoint the symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), whilst 34% didn’t know what to look out for with fibroids.
Alongside the symptoms impacting the daily lives of those surveyed, heavy and painful periods also created additional worry amongst sufferers. 44 per cent of Irish respondents cited leaking as a reason for cancelling plans, with 41 per cent admitting to feeling self-conscious in their clothes and 29 per cent deliberately opting for dark or baggy clothing.
Suffering in silence
Despite the monthly suffering of women and those who menstruate, and the knock-on-effect on their overall social lives and productivity, many have never sought medical advice with 40 per cent of those surveyed in the UK admitting they wouldn’t know when they needed to visit a doctor about their period.
The Joii app, launching later this year, will offer a comprehensive symptom tracking tool for those living with endometriosis, and will give them new insight into their flow to enable them to understand their body better. The app will also offer period tracking for anyone looking to gain more information about their cycle and will evolve to cover more menstrual health conditions. The app will be available on iOS and Android.
*Research conducted by Censuswide in February 2023 on 1,000 women in the UK and 500 women in ROI.