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Special Issue "Reproductive Health and Work"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Claire Hardy
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Health Research, Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4YW, UK
Interests: reproductive health and the work context; occupational health and wellbeing; employee psychological resilience; mixed methodology; workplace interventions; occupational/organisational psychology
Prof. Amanda Griffiths
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Occupational Health Psychology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Univeristy of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK
Interests: older women’s mental health and wellbeing; menopause and work; working age dementia; development and wellbeing of health professionals who care for people with dementia

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There is increasing interest in the topic of reproductive health and work. Reproductive health includes a variety of topics such as pregnancy, fertility, sexually transmitted diseases, endometriosis, premenstrual syndrome, the menopause and andropause. Both men and women have unique experiences, and some of their symptoms may cause difficulties at work. These may also affect others who work alongside or manage people with difficulties related to reproductive health. Management, both at an individual and organisational level, can be an important step forward. Difficulties associated with reproductive health may otherwise impact various aspects of working life: productivity, sickness absence, presenteeism, or in the longer term, careers and contributions to the economic outputs of society.

There is a growing body of evidence highlighting these experiences and their consequences, and there is recognition of the need both to raise awareness of reproductive health at work and to support employees with difficulties. However, this topic has often been regarded as ‘taboo’, and employees can suffer in silence. This means that they do not ask for or receive the support they need from their employers. More research is being done in this field, and this Special Issue calls for papers that address any aspect of reproductive health in the context of working life.

Articles may be on empirical research, or they may be literature reviews or conceptual papers. They may emerge from many disciplines and concern clinical issues, attitudes, behaviour, as well as management and policy-level considerations. The Special Issue is particularly interested in including papers concerning populations that have traditionally been underreported in research studies (for example, but not confined to, BAME populations and people with disabilities). We wish to see papers that draw practical implications for workplaces, practitioners and policy makers, as well as highlight directions for future research.

Dr. Claire Hardy
Prof. Amanda Griffiths
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • reproductive health
  • work
  • employment
  • careers
  • occupational health
  • organisational policy

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Blood Work: Managing Menstruation, Menopause and Gynaecological Health Conditions in the Workplace
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1951; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18041951 - 17 Feb 2021
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The menstrual cycle remains neglected in explorations of public health, and entirely remiss in occupational health literature, despite being a problematic source of gendered inequalities at work. This paper proposes the new concept of blood work to explain the relationship between menstruation (and [...] Read more.
The menstrual cycle remains neglected in explorations of public health, and entirely remiss in occupational health literature, despite being a problematic source of gendered inequalities at work. This paper proposes the new concept of blood work to explain the relationship between menstruation (and associated gynaecological health conditions) and employment for women and trans/non-binary people. We build on and extend health and organisational literature on managing bodies at work by arguing that those who experience menstruation face additional work or labour in the management of their own bodies through the menstrual cycle. We discuss how this additional labour replicates problematic elements that are identifiable in public health initiatives, in that it is individualised, requiring individual women and trans/non-binary people to navigate unsupportive workplaces. We present findings from an analysis of qualitative survey data that were completed by 627 participants working in higher education, revealing that employees’ blood work comprises distinct difficulties that are related to the management of painful, leaking bodies, access to facilities, stigma, and balancing workload. We suggest developing supportive workplaces and public health policies, which refocus the responsibility for accessible, equal workplaces that accommodate menstruating employees, and those with gynaecological health conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reproductive Health and Work)
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