Men find facts of female menstruation too painful

MOST British men would go to the doctor once a month if they had painful periods. Twenty per cent would have a lie-down instead.

The higher up the social scale the more likely men were to take some sort of action, according to a survey of 4,000 British men and women and their attitudes and experiences of menstruation.

In contrast, although 91 per cent of women said they had problems with their periods, a third do nothing at all about them.

Family doctors and researchers in the Primary Care in Gynaecology Group, who commissioned the NOP survey, said that women were suffering needlessly since GPs could now do more to help with drugs or advice.

Curiously, a third of men questioned thought that women should not have periods at all. But more odd was the finding that 39 per cent of women did not think they should have periods either.

To what extent these curious views were based on the taboos that surround female menstruation and to what extent they were simply a desire to avoid problems and pain is unclear.

But the signs are not good. In the same survey only 37 per cent of men said they did not like to see their partners in pain. At best we can hope that the other 63 per cent did not notice. Only 70 per cent of men thought that women partners should tell them about their period problems.

What was clear from the survey was that if men had periods the symptoms of pain or vomiting would have 80 per cent of them at the doctor's surgery - 60 per cent of them every month. Most men, however, did not rate irritability or tiredness as symptoms that needed a clinical opinion.

Yesterday doctors in the primary care group, which exists to promote better care of women who have problem periods, said there was very little data available on menstruation difficulties which are a modern Western condition. Contemporary woman has 300 to 400 periods in her life.

'In the past women were pregnant or lactating and may only have had four or five periods before they died. We have only really been able to control our fertility since the Pill, in the 1960s,' one of the group, Dr Sally Hope, a GP from Woodstock, Oxfordshire, said.

A separate report from the group showed the extent to which menstruation still attracts myths. 'Some girls, albeit a minority believe you shouldn't wash your hair and you shouldn't take part in sports. Some even think that bath or shampoo or a walk in the rain may 'back-up' the menstrual flow and lead to a stroke or insanity.'

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist / Physio / Osteopath

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for o...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Sales Executive - Contract Hire

£35000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leader provides c...

Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin