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Bloody Anxious: 80% Suffer Anxiety At Work Because Of Their Period

A recent survey of New Zealanders and Australians has found that more than half of Kiwis with a menstrual period have called in sick to work as a result of their symptoms. And of those, a whopping 2/3 in New Zealand, and 3/4 in Australia, have lied to their manager about the reason for their absence.

The research was conducted in February, by Hello Period - the New Zealand-based world leader in sustainable period products - and surveyed 500 people in New Zealand and a further 500 in Australia who have a menstrual cycle. It discovered that a huge number (80%) of respondents feel anxious about having their period at work and 44% said they would feel uncomfortable discussing periods with colleagues. Most respondents said they would be more inclined to apply for a job if the company had a positive period policy in place.

“If employees are anxious about getting their period at work or coping with heavy bleeding, cramps, fatigue or headaches, they’re not going to be on their A-game,” says Hello Period co-founder and CEO Robyn McLean. ”It’s totally in any employer’s best interests to look into how they can help alleviate that anxiety and show they understand the challenges that periods can present.”

Robyn says the statistics are “alarming” and she hopes more employers will look at how they can open a dialogue and better support their staff with periods.

“Given that approximately half the population menstruates for about one week in every month, these findings highlight some significant impacts on the mental and physical health of our community,” says Robyn.

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To help combat the stigmatisation of periods and the worrying levels of anxiety in the workplace around them, Hello Period has launched its Bloody Good Workplace programme - an initiative designed to help employers and their staff access high quality, sustainable period products. Hello Period’s research findings suggest that this programme is a welcome step forward for employees whose organisations get on board, with nearly 75% surveyed saying they would like their workplace to provide period care.

Importantly, for workers, employers and the future of the planet, Hello Period’s products are sustainable. Waste from disposable, single-use period products, such as tampons and pads, is a huge issue for the environment and Hello Period is the only company in the world providing a one-stop shop sustainable period care solution by offering washable period underwear, reusable pads, menstrual cups and its hugely popular menstrual disc.

When Robyn and her childhood best friend Mary Bond - a nurse - founded the business back in 2017, they were frustrated by the lack of quality options for people with periods, the stigma that existed around menstruation, the lack of innovation in the industry and the devastating amount of waste it was producing. Despite the scale of the work still to be done, the pair has seen huge changes in the six years since launch and are justifiably proud that their award-winning business has been responsible for the diversion of more than half a billion single use products from landfill to date.

“Quality reusable period care is the way of the future” says Robyn. “Our products are better for people and the planet. We started our Bloody Good Workplace programme to make it easy for employers to support their staff in a meaningful way, with quality products that last years - not hours. There are some workplaces who offer tampons and single-use pads and, while the intention is good, they are not solving the ongoing problem of the environmental impact. If a workplace provides a Hello Disc to an employee it not only lasts five years and holds five times more than tampons or pads, it diverts over 2000 single use products from going into landfill.”

Hello Period engaged Pureprofile to conduct this survey between 16 and 21 February 2024. Survey participants all identified as female between the ages of 20 and 55 years old. There is a margin of error of 4.3%

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