This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Aly Rusciano. Aly Rusciano is a Creative Writer based outside of Nashville, Tennessee. She has over ten years of experience in creative, academic, and professional writing. Aly’s writing has been nationally recognized in the Sigma Tau Delta Rectangle and featured in Blue Marble Review, The Sunshine Review, PopMatters, and Cathartic Literary Magazine. She graduated from The University of Tennessee at Martin with a BA in English, focusing in Creative Writing and and minoring in Theatre.
There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
This article has been viewed 11,212 times.
Cramps, bloating, and fatigue? Period symptoms are no joke and can seriously impact your attitude and performance in the workplace. So, if you’re not feeling well because of your menstrual cycle, are you able to call in sick? Everyone’s situation is different, so we’ve put together a guide to help you decide what course of action is best for you. Keep reading to learn if you can miss work because of your period and what you can say about it.
Section 1 of 4:Can you miss work because of your period?
1Yes, period pain is a valid reason to miss work. In the United States, you’re entitled to use sick leave for personal medical reasons as you see fit, especially if your health will hinder your work performance; however, paid sick leave is not guaranteed. X Research source You can experience extreme cramps, bloating, fatigue, and body aches when you’re on your period. X Trustworthy Source Cleveland Clinic Educational website from one of the world's leading hospitals Go to source These are all acceptable reasons to miss work.
- Your health is the most important, and if you feel like you won’t be able to do your job, take the day to rest.
2However, some employers may not be okay with it. Some bosses and employers may push back if you miss work because of period pain. Therefore, some women choose to not disclose to their manager that they're missing work because of their period. Do what’s best for your specific situation, and only disclose information about your health if you feel safe to do so within the company.
Section 2 of 4:How much do you need to disclose to your boss?
1What you share with your boss is entirely up to you. Some women feel comfortable sharing why they’re missing work, while others prefer to keep their reasons private. 33,000 cisgender women were asked in a survey if they’ve told their bosses they’ve called out sick because of their period. Only 20% of those women said they had. X Research source Every woman in this survey had a valid reason why to or not, just as you do.
- The most important thing is to do what’s best for you.
- If you’re not comfortable sharing your menstrual cycle symptoms with your boss, that’s okay.
- If you’re super open about your period with your boss, that’s awesome too!
2Documentation may be needed if you’re taking sick leave. Some companies might ask for proof that you saw a doctor or had an appointment during your paid sick leave. X Research source In this case, you may need to share a little more with your employer.
- Remember, you never have to disclose any personal health information under HIPAA law. This includes your doctor’s name, health care plans, diagnoses, or medications. X Trustworthy Source Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Main public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human Services Go to source
- If you see a doctor about severe period symptoms, ask for a doctor’s note at the end of the visit. This won’t disclose your reasons for seeing them but only prove you saw them on a specific date.
Section 3 of 4:What You Can Say
1"I’m not feeling well and need to take the day off." Keep it short and simple for when you just need a day to rest. This message doesn’t disclose why you’re calling in sick but lets your boss know you’re feeling under the weather. X Research source
- "I’d like to take a personal day to focus on my health."
- "I woke up with a migraine and am not feeling well. It’s probably best if I take a sick day to be at my best tomorrow."
2"I woke up with serious cramps and can’t come into the office." A brief explanation could help if you want to work from home. Sometimes, you just need to curl up with a heat pack and work, so let your boss know—if you’re comfortable—that you need to take a WFH day.
- "My doctor advised me to take it easy due to severe period symptoms. Would it be possible to work from home today?"
- "I can’t come into the office due to a menstrual cycle issue. I’m seeing my doctor this morning, but would be happy to work from home for the rest of my shift."
3"I’ve had to schedule a last-minute doctor’s appointment this morning because I'm not feeling well." This message doesn’t require further explanation yet expresses urgency, making it perfect for when disclosing your period isn’t an option.
- "I'm not feeling well and have scheduled an appointment with my doctor. I'll make sure I get to work early tomorrow to catch up on what I've missed."
- "Can’t make today’s meeting. Had to schedule a doctor's appointment since I'm feeling under the weather. I’ll make sure to catch up tomorrow!"
Section 4 of 4:Tips for Calling in Sick on Your Period
1Keep your message brief. You don’t need to disclose any or everything to your boss. A short, sweet, and simple message saying you’ll be out sick can be enough. Let them know you’re feeling under the weather in one or two sentences. X Research source
2Add an apology to your message. This will assure your boss that you’re being sincere and truly are sick. If missing work is the last thing you want to do, express it. Try writing something like: X Research source
- "I'm really sorry for the inconvenience."
- "I'm sorry for missing the meeting today, but I’m prepared to make up for it when I'm back."
3Be prepared to offer solutions. You may miss some work when you’re out, so plan to make up for it. Let your boss know that you can make up the missed hours or have a plan with another coworker to swap shifts. This will show efficiency and dependability. X Research source
- Set up an email auto-reply stating that you’re out of the office but will be returning shortly.
- Offer to make up the hours you’ve missed while on your period later in the week or pick up an extra shift.
- ↑ https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/leave-administration/fact-sheets/sick-leave-general-information/
- ↑ https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/10132-normal-menstruation
- ↑ https://www.today.com/health/menstrual-pain-linked-days-lost-productivity-women-having-periods-t157332
- ↑ https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/leave-administration/fact-sheets/personal-sick-leave/
- ↑ https://www.cdc.gov/phlp/publications/topic/hipaa.html
- ↑ https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/how-to-call-in-sick-message-examples-and-tips
- ↑ https://www.topcv.com/career-advice/how-to-call-in-sick-at-work
- ↑ https://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/11/05/health.call.in.sick/
- ↑ https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/how-to-call-out-of-work