It's OK to talk. Period.
Pain is real and shouldn’t be dismissed.
Women and young girls are waiting an average of 2 years before consulting their GP about difficult or painful periods. Painful, heavy, difficult or irregular periods can be a sign of an undiagnosed medical condition, including endometriosis and women, particularly young women, need to be encouraged to seek help at an early stage.
Average diagnosis times for endometriosis are still at around 7 years, and 50% of women report experiencing their first symptoms in their teenage years (Endometriosis UK Diagnosis Survey).
That’s why we say: It’s OK to talk. Period.
Whilst many women experience some pain or discomfort during their period particularly in the early years, no-one should be experiencing pain that lasts for more than 2-3 days, that affects your everyday activities or that cannot be controlled by normal over-the-counter pain medication. Painful periods, particularly if accompanied by other symptoms may need additional treatment. Our Pain and Symptom Diary can help highlight key areas and identify other symptoms.
Early diagnosis has been shown to improve health outcomes for many conditions. Many women have learned about periods from their mothers, sisters or aunts, but as some conditions (e.g. endometriosis) have a genetic factor, then symptoms can become normalised.
Our "It's OK to talk. Period." campaign aims to encourage women and teenagers to break a taboo and talk about their periods.
How can I help raise awareness?
You can download our "It's OK to talk. Period." poster and share it on social media. You can also download our "It's OK to talk. Period." Facebook Cover Photo and Twitter background to display on your profiles. Just click on the links and once open, right click and select 'save as'.
Our ‘Is it normal?’ leaflets can help to discuss these issues among young girls, teenagers and in school settings. These leaflets aim to make teenagers aware of what is ‘normal’ and what is not when they begin their menstrual cycle. These leaflets are also available for free download and distribution.
Most importantly of all, you can help raise awareness by simply talking. Just talking about what is normal can be helpful.