It’s that time of the month again when mother nature creeps in and without a doubt comes back with a vengeance. You’re struck down with stomach cramps and your bed is calling your name. You blame it all on ‘the time of the month’ but it could be down to the loss of iron during this time rather than ‘just being a woman.’

Mother Nature calls! Photo Credit: Pixabay

Mother Nature calls! Photo Credit: Pixabay

A new study by ‘Active Iron’ revealed that two thirds of women suffer with ‘heavy’ periods - a leading cause of tiredness and fatigue due to iron loss - but the majority accept that ‘it’s just part of being a woman.’

Out of the 2,000 women who participated - 70% recognised tiredness and fatigue as a symptom caused by the menstrual cycle but only 40% think low iron contributes to tiredness and fatigue. 

More than half (54%) admit they put up with feeling ill during their menstrual cycle because ‘it is just part of being a woman’.

Furthermore, a third (33%) think ‘there is nothing that can be done to make a difference’ when it comes to symptoms resulting from their period.

Commenting on the survey results, GP Dr Stephanie Ooi from My Healthcare Clinic said: “I’m surprised to learn that women are just putting up with symptoms such as tiredness and fatigue every month, especially as over half (51%) admit they have never sought help from a healthcare professional. The average woman will spend a combined total of 10 years menstruating, which means a significant portion of time could be spent feeling less than their best, so this needs to change.”

The survey shows 40% of women have never considered that their menstrual cycle could be causing inadequate iron levels, leaving them feeling tired and fatigued. In fact, periods are the leading cause of iron loss worldwide. Inadequate iron is an issue that 2.1 billion people in the world face. 

Dr Ooi continues: “On average, women will lose around 80ml of blood during their period, which will contain between 220 and 250mg of iron. To put that in context, the equivalent amount would be found in eating 1kg (or over 12 servings) of spinach. Iron loss as a result of periods is common and can lead to feelings of tiredness and fatigue.”

University College Dublin School of Medicine Professor and Pharmacist Mark Ledwidge who helped develop Active Iron said: “This study helped reveal the scale of the gut irritation problem due to oral iron amongst women. As well as gut discomfort, 63% of participants had insufficient iron stores. Gut side effects are the main reason women stop supplementing with iron so it’s welcome news that Active Iron can reduce the gut discomfort while improving compliance, iron stores, haemoglobin levels and energy for these women”.

Active Iron is available at leading pharmacies. For more information, visit

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