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The “evolution” of menstruation

In February 2023 the Spanish Parliament approved paid menstrual leave that allows women to call in sick in case of severe menstrual complaints.

Is this a shout for celebration, should we question why women have these symptoms or should we embrace both?

Apart from Spain there are a few other countries that had already put menstrual leave on the political agenda and/or have succeeded in obtaining this special leave for women.

Whilst the opinions, also strongly (!) among women, are diverse, let’s outline some advantages and disadvantages of this type of leave:


· It shines a light on healthcare and the welcomed need to differentiate between male and female physiology when it comes to health in general and hormonal health.

· While many women experience miserable PMS, miserable periods, peri-menopause or menopause, many women are becoming aware that having these symptoms isn’t normal and in fact, not needed. It will take time for women to reduce or get rid of struggles within their natural cycle. So, having support as approved paid menstrual leave will lead to more awareness of menstrual health and will give women the opportunity to build in some rest and extra care.

· Menstruation will no longer be a taboo.


· Menstrual leave might reinforce negative gender stereotyping which could lead to discrimination by employers against women.

· It could stigmatise women in the workplace and favour the recruitment of men.

· Women need to have a doctor’s note and every month notify their boss about their period problems.

Despite the advantages and disadvantages of this type of law, it needs to be said that not so long-ago PMS, miserable periods or difficulties in menopause did not exist; let alone, the word peri-menopause. What could be the reason?

Let’s think of disconnection from nature, technology & eyes fixed on screens, industrial food, chemicals around us and inside our food, stress (also a relatively new word), endocrine disruptors, lack of sleep etc.

It’s important to start addressing the root cause(s) of women’s health issues during both their menstrual time starting as a teenager (sometimes already pre-teens) as well as the transition to and the experience of menopause.

And there is one biological term that comprises that: the infradian rhythm.

Infradian rhythm

Both men and women have a circadian rhythm, however women also have an infradian rhythm, or better ‘a second clock’. People with a female physiology should naturally experience a 28-day cycle that regulates the menstrual cycle. The infradian rhythm affects six different systems in the body that undergo changes within those 28 days:

· Brain

· Metabolism

· Immune system

· Microbiome

· Stress response system

· Reproductive system

More specifically, women move through four specific phases within these (roughly) 28 days.

And the more women learn about and feel these specific phases, the better they know what’s happening during each phase, how that impacts them within all their systems, emotions, thinking and moving. This is a start of cyclical living. (Look out for my next blogs that will go deeper into the infradian rhythm).

Let’s talk more about menstruation and hormonal health in politics, healthcare, on the street, at home, with your friends and let the natural purpose of menstruation prevail so that menstrual symptoms will only belong to the latter part of the 20th century and the first part of the 21st century. Women can and should start enjoying/enjoy their menstruation and their beauty as a woman.

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