Women feel they ‘can’t take time off work’ because of gender-specific health conditions

The UK’s largest online pharmacy Pharmacy2U has found that 50 per cent of UK women feel unable to take time off work due to medical conditions, including endometriosis, menopause, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS), etc. All of these diagnoses have one thing in common – they only target people with a uterus and ovaries. However, a quarter still worry that taking time off to manage these symptoms could jeopardize their jobs.

Melanie King, Pharmacist at Pharmacy2U, said: “There is still a stigma against women’s poor health and, sadly, it’s one that women managing things like menopause will be particularly familiar with. belong.

“The most worrying thing is that women often feel they can’t get off work or don’t believe their symptoms need a break.”

The study explains that women are “hesitant to prioritize” their health, despite being nearly twice as likely to struggle with health problems as men.

The most common reason why they feel this way is due to the feeling that their symptoms are not “important enough”.

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How might the symptoms of these conditions affect daily life and work?

Endometrial optimism

Endometriosis describes a condition where tissue, similar to the lining of your uterus, begins to grow in other parts of your body.

“The most common symptom of endometriosis is pain, usually during or around menstruation, in the lower abdomen and back,” explains King.

“Many sufferers are unable to continue their daily lives.”


Characterized by a drop in estrogen levels, menopause occurs when you stop menstruating.



Polycystic ovary syndrome affects how your ovaries work as well as your menstrual cycle and hormone levels.

When it comes to symptoms, King notes, “Like menopause, not all symptoms of PCOS are physical.

“You may also experience fatigue, mood swings, sleep problems, and depression.

“These can have a big impact on your quality of life, as daily activities can become more difficult.”

When it comes to managing these conditions, it often depends on the exact symptom or complication you’re trying to target. And while pain relievers can provide some help in certain cases, others require a more targeted approach.

What should women do to rest assured?

“As pharmacists, we talk regularly with women living with sex-specific health conditions.

“It’s a very normal part of everyday life and it certainly shouldn’t be a taboo subject. The more openly we talk about this topic, the better our chances are of breaking the stigma. “

However, it can also come down to the workplace. “Leadership comes from the top, and we support companies looking to improve their infrastructure to help any woman in the workforce cope with their health,” she said. surname.

“Many companies are considering leave and other key policies – such as Monzo, who recently created a maternity leave policy for their workforce.”

King added that having role models in the workplace who openly talk about these issues can also help spark discussion and make women feel more secure.

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