One trade union says conversations have to be had with employers around period and menopause-friendly policies.
It comes as a Fórsa survey found just 1% of employees have the protection of a menstrual health policy in their workplace.
While a motion, calling on employers to do more to address stigma and other issues around menstrual health, is being adopted at Fórsa's national conference in Killarney.
Over 70% of respondents say they had taken time off work because of their periods - while six-in-10 felt able to tell their line manager the real reason for their absence.
And over 96% of the 1,800 respondents favoured the introduction of a menstrual-friendly policy in their workplace.
Fórsa equality officer Ashley Connolly told Newstalk Breakfast we can learn lessons from the pandemic.
"What we're about is flexible working, and the pandemic has shown us that this can be done.
"We're talking about flexible working for when people need to be at home when they're suffering severely.
"We're also talking about improved training and an open conversation, within employments, to address the stigma that has hung over this issue for decades.
"But another thing we would like to see is just practical improvements like toilet facilities, like temperature control in certain rooms - and also even down to office fabrics.
"This is something I can say that isn't widely discussed within employment, there is a level of embarrassment about it.
"We want to start having open conversations with employers that make the working place for women much more healthier and much more comfortable".
Asked if Ireland should follow Spain's example and introduce menstrual leave, she says that is why the issue needs to be debated.
"There's a difference of views among trade unions and HR experts across the globe.
"I will say that we would be happy to look at it - but our first priority is really about making the workplace a safer and more welcoming environment for women".
Asked if she thought this could potentially hurt women in their career, she says: "I think society has moved on a lot... and I think that I do not believe that this would be a liability to women in their careers and into their future".