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Glasgow Live

Spain to offer three days menstrual leave per month for those suffering during periods

Under a new plan by the Spanish Government, people will be allowed to take 'menstrual leave' as part of a government plan to bolster menstrual health.

The law will allow those affected to take three days off work per month in a bid to help them cope better.

The measures are set to be passed by the Spanish government next week and according to The Telegraph, the draft reform, revealed by the Cadena Ser radio station, will make Spain the first Western country to offer the right to menstrual leave, under which women would be guaranteed time off during their periods.

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Spain will follow suit with other countries such as Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Zambia all granting menstrual leave.

According to the Spanish Gynaecology and Obstetrics Society, around one-third of people who menstruate suffer from severe pain known as dysmenorrhea, with that proportion rising if pre-menstrual pain is also counted.

The John Hopkins Medical website lists symptoms of Dysmenorrhoea which include:

  • Cramping in the lower abdomen

  • Pain in the lower abdomen

  • Low back pain

  • Pain radiating down the legs

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Fatigue

  • Weakness

  • Fainting

  • Headaches

Medical experts however warn that if symptoms are severe and stop you from daily activities, you should seek help from your GP and mention conditions such as endometriosis, adenomyosis as well as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

Speaking about the much welcomed change, Angela Rodríguez, the secretary of state for equality, told El Periodico newspaper: ""If someone has an illness with such symptoms a temporary disability is granted, so the same should happen with menstruation – allowing a woman with a very painful period to stay at home."

Rodríguez added: "It is important to clarify what a painful period is - we are not talking about a slight discomfort, but about serious symptoms such as diarrhoea, severe headaches, fever."

The reform, set to be passed on Tuesday (May 17) also includes other measure such as the removal of VAT from sanitary pads and tampons, requiring schools to stock pads, and providing free period products for women in marginalised social circumstances.

The Telegraph also reports that the same package includes granting leave for abortion, ending the parental permission requirement for abortions for those aged 16 and 17 as well as guaranteeing access to abortion in public hospitals.