Friday, December 9

Almost half of women take medication for period pain and only 16% have ever asked for sick leave


The period hurts almost all women. There are 71.2% of those between 15 and 49 years of age who answer yes when asked, as the Spanish Contraception Society (SEC) has done. The organization has presented this Thursday the results of its annual survey on contraception, which this time has also questioned the 1,800 women who make up the sample on menstruation. Not all of them, however, feel the same pain: almost half, 45%, require the use of analgesic medication and 33% have at some time felt the need to request sick leave or not go to their daily activity for this reason, but only half of these, 16.8%, have done so.

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It is one of the most outstanding conclusions of the survey, which for the first time has raised the issue after the reform of the Abortion Law included a special discharge for painful rules. The rule is already being processed in Congress, but at the time the measure caused a huge stir and was highly debated within the Government. Just this Thursday the Executive announced another measure that has to do with menstruation: the reduction from 10 to 4% of VAT on products for the period, to which condoms and contraceptives are also added.

The SEC spokeswoman, Paloma Lobo, considers that this “served to make visible” a “very silenced and taboo” subject, before which she has highlighted the importance of “investigating” and shedding light on menstruation. “When you study gynecology, the period, which has half the population, you see that it is very underrepresented,” she added.

Among the results obtained, there is a large number of women who claim to have difficulties in leading their normal lives as a result of the pain and/or bleeding of their periods, specifically, 37.6%, while two out of ten use contraceptives as treatment of associated symptoms.

All percentages rise in the case of young women. For example, six out of ten girls between the ages of 20 and 24 require pain medication and half have felt the need to skip work, class or daily activity at some point. Among those under 25 years of age, 30% have ended up not going on occasion.

Today it is possible for women to take time off work due to the severe pain they may experience, but this is very rare. The intention of the Government with the regulation of a special temporary incapacity is that they be incapacities paid 100% by Social Security from the first day. According to the survey, more than half of the women consider that currently not going to work due to menstrual cramps “can have negative labor consequences”.

The condom, the most used contraceptive

The contraception survey, which only asks women, this year draws a picture that follows the trends of previous surveys. The average age of beginning sexual relations is 18.3 years, an age that has been advanced over the generations: in this way, those under 20 begin sexual relations on average at 16.2 years , while those older than 49 did so at 19.7. In total, 86.8% of women under that age have had sexual intercourse on some occasion.

Regarding the use of the contraceptive method, half declared that they “never” maintain them “without some contraceptive method”; 20.2% indicate that they do not do it “almost never” and almost one in four, 24.5%, acknowledge that they have unprotected sexual relations “quite frequently”.

As has happened in previous balances, the condom continues to be the most used contraceptive method, which 35.7% of women acknowledge using. It is followed by the pill (17%) and far behind the others: the hormonal IUD (3.8%), the copper IUD (2.9%), the vaginal ring (1.9%) or the implant (1, 7%). 22.4% of women state that they do not use any.

A fact that “conditions the risk of an unwanted pregnancy”, says the Spanish Society of Contraception, which divides the figure: 27.5% do not use any method because they do not have sexual relations, 35.9% say they do not specify it because different conditions (menopause, infertility or desire for pregnancy) while the remaining 34.3% would be the proportion of women who are at risk of unwanted pregnancy.

Regarding the use of condoms, the medical society warns that it is considered a “low-efficacy” method due “on many occasions to problems of use.” In fact, a third of the women who use it admit to doing so “inconsistently” and among the reasons they highlight that “they were unforeseen relationships and it was not available” (26%), “loss of sensitivity” (19.2%) , “interrupts the relationship” (12%), “the price” (12.3%) or that the man with whom they had sexual relations did not want to use it (12.3%).



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