We've all heard of Man Flu, but is anyone familiar with Woman Flu?

The Woman Flu invading the MM office

It’s 9:30 in the morning and I’m at my desk, typing away, when my co-worker quickly gets up from her desk and sprints into the kitchen.

The kitchen is only down the hall, so I can hear what she’s doing in there. She’s coughing. But she’s running the water over her cough, so you can’t hear her spluttering away, probably all over the kitchen countertops.

She returns to her desk with a glass of water, evidently planning to use it as her alibi. I eye her off suspiciously.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Terry White Chemists. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.

“I’m just sipping this lemon, honey tea because it tastes delicious, not at all because I’m sick”

“How is that cold of yours doing?” I ask her. “You only had one day off last week, didn’t you?”

“Oh, it was nothing,” she tells me, sipping her water and clearing her throat. She sounds cold-y. Very cold-y. “My daughter had it for a few days and I just got the tail end of it… I feel perfect now! Even if I don’t sound so perfect!”

Yeah. And I’m freakin’ Beyonce.

Less than five minutes later, she’s off coughing again – this time, in the hallway, so our boss definitely won’t hear her and send her home.

Welcome to the world of Woman Flu. Yeah, according to Urban Dictionary (the be-all and end-all for information of any relevance), it’s a real thing. And it’s the exact opposite of man flu.

Instead of lying around and bitching and moaning about every symptom from a stuffy nose to a sore throat, you won’t hear a peep out of a woman with woman flu. That’s because the worst thing about woman flu is that women just pretend it’s not happening to them. They ignore all symptoms and carry on with their lives as though there are no giant snot bits threatening to burst out of their nose with every breath or laugh.

At Mamamia, we have an enormous Woman Flu problem. So much so that we’ve coined a term for it. Instead of people pulling sickies? They pull ‘wellies’. They hide their coughs and their sneezes and their fevers, and they waltz on into the office, probably even clutching baked goods as a distraction mechanism.


We’re not sure why this Woman Flu problem runs so rampant in our office. (Probably because we have far too much fun and watch heaps of daytime TV anyway, so nobody ever wants to stay home. Boring.)

..we suspect Woman Flu also runs through many other offices.

But we suspect that Woman Flu also runs through many other offices. Women aren’t keen to draw attention to themselves most of the time, and they’re also busy. They don’t like to have their lives disrupted. So they pop a few chewable Vitamin C and carry on as if there’s nothing wrong with them at all.

Of course, consequences are disastrous, especially in the MM office, where we all work in very close proximity to each other. If one person succumbs to the dreaded flu, at least six people will have it the next week. And the week after? The husbands and children and associated significant others of those people will also have it. And by the time everyone gets over it, a different bug spreads, and the entire painful process repeats itself.

No matter how many threatening emails our bosses send around, warning people to STAY THE HELL AWAY IF YOU ARE SICK – the women return. They return, clutching tissues, claiming that they had a remarkably short illness. Or that they’re not contagious anymore. Or that their doctor said that it’s FINE to be around people, really.

And then they go out and cough in the kitchen or the bathroom or the hallway or the balcony, hoping that the rest of us won’t notice.

Well. This year, I’m going in prepared. I’m stocking up on the Vitamin C and the lemons and the honey. I’m keeping up the exercise and the good sleep and the healthy thoughts.

And most importantly? I’m getting myself a flu vaccination. They’re cheap as chips and might just save me several weeks of having to pull wellies at work. Worth it.

The flu can cause many weeks of illness and recovery which will create interference in your everyday life. It is possible to infect those around you before your symptoms even show. If you can’t afford to get the flu this year, an affordable $25 flu vaccination is still your best defence. Book a quick and convenient appointment at your local Terry White Chemists store at