Menstrual Cycle

Do Occupational Therapist routinely assess clients menstrual cycle, it’s affect on functioning and ability to manage? engagement in occupations?

I listen to a lot of podcasts and and after hearing about an Edinburgh fringe festival show by physio know in comedy circles as Gusset Grippers that focused on pelvic-floor exercise. It gave me an idea for an intervention for one of my client. Latert after listening to an audiobook call ‘Period Power’ by Melissa Hill, I began to thing about unique female occupations.

I remember as a student shadowing a community mental health Occupational Therapist, on a visit. the clients was having difficulty having an intermit relationship with her husband, the OT looked sheepish at this and did not address the Issue.

In Melissa Hill book she opens with


In my profession as a woman’s health specialist I get asked a lot of questions, questions that my clients have had since they were 13 that they still don’t have an answer for in their 30s. Questions that usually begin with why, such as 

Why is my period so painful/short/light/long/heavy?
Why are they so frequent/irregular/rare?
Why have they stopped altogether?
Why do I feel so great one week and so bloody awful the next?
Why is my vagina sore dry/wet/sensitive?
Why does sex hurt sometimes/all the time?
Why don’t I want to have sex?
Why am I so horny?
Why am I so goddamn tired all the time?
Why do I get so bloated that my dress size jumps up two sizes?
Why do I feel anxious/stressed/depressed?
Why am I so full of rage.
The answer to all of these questions is it’s your hormones. ‘

In another chapter she goes on to describe.

Follicular Phase: Menstruation to Ovulation.
Your period and your cycle are a reflection of your overall health and can be affected by little and large life events. Those gallons of wine and platefuls of delicious stinky cheesy cheese you devoured over Christmas, the crazy work project that nearly broke you, the relationship issues that keep you up all night, the death of a loved one, weight gain or loss, travelling, finally quitting smoking, the supplements you been taking, the Yoga class you’ve been going to, the new job that you love, the great sex you’ve been having, – they all have an impact on whether your period is early or late, light or heavy, short or long and painful or pleasurable. 

Period Power – Maisie Gill Greentree 2019

What struck me as I listen to this book was how a lot of what she described were occupations that we engage in, and it got me thinking, Do Occupational Therapists routinely assess clients menstrual cycle, it’s affect on functioning and ability to engage in occupations they need to or want to do.

this is a topic I’m currently trying think about and and explore, maybe one day I might try some research. For now I will post things on this page that I have found, useful.