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18th Aug 2021

Two thirds of Irish women experience fatigue due to iron loss from heavy periods

Sarah McKenna Barry

The majority of women believe menstrual side effects are “just part of being a woman”.

New research has revealed that 64% of Irish women experience very heavy periods which makes them more likely to suffer from tiredness and fatigue.

The study, which was carried out by Active Iron, an Irish brand, found that the majority of women (82%) have simply accepted these “disruptive” symptoms as being part of the menstrual cycle, while over half of them (64%) believed that their symptoms are “just part of being a woman”.

A further 31% felt that “there is nothing that can be done to make a difference” when it comes to menstrual symptoms.

The company, which sells oral iron capsules, surveyed 2,400 women to gauge the common side effects of the menstrual cycle.

The data determined that the number one symptom of periods were stomach cramps and pain, which were experienced by 74% of those surveyed.

Cramps were followed by the number two complaint, fatigue, which 65% of women said that they experienced.

Stomach bloating was the third most common complaint, with 61% of participants claiming to experience it, while 58% of women said that they suffer from mood swings.

Additionally, 48% of women experience back aches, 44% report breast pain and 43% suffer from skin outbreaks.

The company outlined that while 71% of women report tiredness and fatigue during their menstrual cycle, less than a third of them knew that inadequate iron levels can be a contributing factor to these symptoms.

Moreover, 46% of those surveyed didn’t know that periods can lead to low iron levels.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Blackrock Medical Centre’s Dr Aoibhe O’Driscoll said: “I’m surprised to learn that so many Irish women are just putting up with symptoms of inadequate iron. The most common symptoms of inadequate iron levels are low energy and extreme fatigue.

“I have seen first-hand in my practice, treating inadequate iron levels has resolved the symptoms. The average woman will spend an equivalent of almost 10 years of her life menstruating, which is a significant time spent feeling less than her best.  This really needs to change.”