Sick leave for painful periods: is it possible?

Menstruation is still a taboo subject in the professional worldand as a result, many women feel obliged to come to work painful, heavy or even haemorrhagic periods.. However, it's difficult to work under these conditions, especially if you're experiencing other menstrual-related symptoms: fatigue, headaches, stomach aches, etc. Can I go and see my doctor to get time off work? How do you manage your period on company premises? Let's find out together!

Can I miss work because of my period?

Yes ! The painful periods (dysmenorrhea) or heavy menstrual flow don't always allow you to be at your healthiest, and may require a few days off work. However, you can't decide yourself to miss work overnight. You must see your GP or gynecologist to obtain a medical to obtain a sick leave.

This document certifies to your employer that you are are unable to work. To compensate for the loss of salary, stopping work during your period entitles you to payment of daily benefits (IJ) from the national health insurance fund. These benefits represent 50% of your daily wage. Please note waiting period of 3 days applies from the first day of absence, unless your employer covers the costs of your absence from work. For example, if you are off work for 5 days, you will only receive 2 days' compensation.

How do I obtain sick leave for painful periods?

To obtain sick leave for painful periods, you'll need to see a doctor. Your doctor will decide whether you need to take a sick leave, depending on your state of health. Here are the steps you need to take to medical certificate.

Consult a general practitioner or specialist

The first step is to consult a doctor for a check-up. We recommend that you go to a general practitioner. Less expensive and quicker to get an appointmentIt's the best way to diagnose your state of health, and if you go to see your general practitioner ! At the end of the consultation, the doctor will issue you with a sick leave certificate attesting to your inability to work.

However, if your symptoms are chronic or very intense, he or she will refer you to a specialist for further specialist to carry out more in-depth examinations and discover the cause of your dysmenorrhea. Painful or heavy periods can be the sign of several pathologies: the'endometriosis, l'adenomyosisuterine fibroids, uterine endometrial polyps, etc. Only a gynecologist can make this diagnosis!

Notifying your employer and social security of your leave

To make the most of your days off, thework stoppage related to your period must be sent to your caisse primaire d'assurance maladie and your employer. The sick leave form consists of three parts, and you have two options:

  • You receive only section 3 your doctor will forward it to the health insurance company. All you have to do is send the document to your employer;
  • You receive all three sections It's up to you to forward each section to the right person. The 1st should be sent to your health insurance fund (caisse primaire d'assurance maladie), the 2nd to the administrative services of your CPAM and the 3rd to your employer.

You must send these documents maximum 48 hours after your visit to the doctor. For your information, the document sent to your employer contains no medical data. So you don't have to justify why you're absent if you don't want to be!

How do you manage menstrual problems at work?

Menstruation often arrives when you least expect it, unless you're thinking ahead and use a menstrual calendar application. In any case, if you can't get time off work, you'll need to manage your menstrual disorders and associated symptoms during working hours.

Painful periods

Painful periods are not pleasant when you have to concentrate on a task or perform manual actions. The aim is to reduce the pain as much as possible to make it bearable. You can, for example

  • Take ibuprofen This non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) is particularly recommended for menstrual pain. Ibuprofen acts directly on the prostaglandinsa molecule that causes pain. Be careful to respect the daily dosage and not to use this medication for more than three days in a row. Alternatively, taking an antispasmodic can help reduce the pain of menstrual cramps ;
  • Using a hot-water bottle by applying a hot-water bottle to your lower abdomenimprove blood circulation, relax muscles and reduce menstrual reduce period pains. If you don't have one, you can make your own dry period hot-water bottle at home ;
  • Fresh air and walking Sitting in a chair all day doesn't help soothe painful periods! As soon as you feel the pain returning, take a brief take a short break and go for a walk to ease the discomfort..

Heavy periods or bleeding

The heavy periods require regular changes of sanitary protectionespecially if you wear sanitary towels or tampons. Don't be embarrassed to take several breaks during the day to put on new protection, as soon as you feel that the one you're wearing is no longer absorbing anything. To remedy this problem, consider an external external sanitary protection such as menstrual panties ! If you buy a model adapted to your flow, one menstrual panty is enough per day.

To reduce the abundance of your periods, you can also ask your doctor for advice on hormonal contraception such as the contraceptive pill, the contraceptive implant or the hormonal IUD. This is an option if you prefer not to wear sanitary protection during your period, or if you suffer from bleeding periods.

Should I tell my employer about chronic dysmenorrhea?

Do you regularly suffer from painful periods? If so, we recommend that you your employer or someone you trust in your company (manager, director, human resources manager, etc.). This way, you can ask to have your workstation accommodation of your workstation ! Here are a few possible solutions you can consider with your company:

  • Telecommuting Telecommuting: at home, you can take breaks when your period becomes too painful, without fear of your colleagues' gaze. This will make it easier for you to manage your day, and reduce the stress associated with travelling;
  • Lighten or adjust your workload during your period It's best to avoid all uncomfortable situations where it's difficult to manage painful periods: business travel, long meetings, etc. Discuss it with your company to find arrangements, and focus on tasks and missions that will allow you to take breaks if necessary!

What about menstrual leave?

In France, the Labor Code does not oblige companies to offer employees menstrual leave.. As a reminder, menstrual leave allows women to take time off work during their period, without having to justify it! Currently in Europe, only Spain has proposed a bill for 2022 to grant three days' leave for women suffering from painful periods, with a possible extension of two days on presentation of a medical certificate.

Some French companies, however, have chosen to introduce menstrual leave for the benefit of their female employees. So don't hesitate to your superiors to find out whether to find out whether such a scheme exists, or why not propose it!

FAQ on sick leave for painful periods

How do I justify absence due to painful periods?

You need to consult a general practitioner or a gynecologist to obtain a sick leave, which you should send to your employer within 48 hours. If your company offers menstrual leave, you can be absent without medical justification, but check with your human resources manager first.

How can I relieve period pains at work?

To effectively relieve period pain during working hours, here's what you can do: take ibuprofen or an antispasmodic (do not mix without medical advice), drink ginger or chamomile tea, use a hot water bottle and take a break as soon as necessary.

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