An end to workplace taboos surrounding women’s health conditions

Under-recognised chronic gynaecological health conditions are holding-back women’s productivity and could be damaging their career and earning potential. A new report launched by the Work Foundation highlights that women’s health conditions, such as endometriosis or infertility, having a long-term condition during pregnancy, and the experience of the menopause, are still considered taboo and are under-recognised in the workplace.

Endometriosis, a chronic condition that affects one in ten women of reproductive age in the UK, is the second most common gynaecological condition. It occurs when cells similar to those lining the uterus grow elsewhere in the body and can cause symptoms such as excessively painful periods, chronic pelvis pain and fatigue. There is no cure and symptoms get worse with age.
The symptoms can also lead to poor mental health.

The report build upon a study conducted across ten countries that found women with endometriosis experience reduced work performance, losing on average almost 11 hours of work each week. This was mainly due to reduced effectiveness in work.

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