Information for educators

Over half the population can expect to have periods during their lifetimes. Many of those will suffer from severe period pain that can have a significant impact on their life.

The NHS defines severe period pain as pain that is always there, so bad it’s hard to think or talk, sleep, move, and attend to daily activities, yet most school staff in Wales feel they have insufficient training for menstrual-related topics.

Severe period pain can sometimes be due to an underlying condition, including  endometriosis. Although symptoms can extend beyond the menstrual cycle and include a wide range of symptoms not all connected to periods or period pain endometriosis is often considered a ‘menstrual health condition’ and it affects at least one in ten girls, women, and people assigned female at birth.

In 2018, the All-Wales Endometriosis Task & Finish Group recommended that both teaching staff and school nurses should be trained in symptom recognition and signposting.  

In response to this recommendation, researchers have since developed a learning module for School Nurses and staff interacting with young people potentially affected by severe period pain called the SPPINN (Severe Period Pain is Not Normal) Training Course, funded by Wales Innovation for All.  

Initial evaluation of this brief intervention found that it could well prepare educators and school nurses to support learners with severe period pain and possible endometriosis.