Spain to Pass Law Allowing Menstrual Leave

Spain has become the first European country to pass a law allowing menstrual leave. If needed, the leave will allow employees to take three to five paid days from work during their menstrual cycles.

A menstrual cramp often referred to as a period cramp, is a serious pain in the lower abdomen that can negatively affect an individual during their menstrual periods. Although everyone encounters different pain levels, menstrual cramps can be painful for some. On March 2, in addition to menstrual leave, Spain's legislation expanded abortion and transgender rights for teens.

Spain's equality minister Irene Montero says the decision is crucial for providing women with necessary care. Out of 185 votes in the parliament, 154 favored approving the law. Spain will follow other countries with the menstrual leave law, including South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. In South Korea, Article 73 of the labor law allows women to take a monthly physiologic leave for their menstrual cramps, where they can take one day off per month.

How can menstrual cramps impact someone?

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, around 50% of menstruating women undergo monthly cramps. Although the pain can be mild for some, others experience excruciating pain that can hinder them from performing normal activities. Menstrual cramps can bring many physical symptoms, including dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.

There are two types of menstrual cramps: primary and secondary. Primary menstrual cramps are the pain that arrives before or during menstruation and gradually declines after a couple of days. Secondary is brought by an underlying health condition — most commonly endometriosis — in the reproductive organs.

Menstrual cramps can usually be handled with NSAIDs, or pain relievers. You can also try exercising, using a heating pad, relaxing, or resting to minimize the symptoms.

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