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8 things women wish men knew about periods
new girl - photo by McKenna Park
Wed like to have a chat about that feminine experience many men shy away from at the slightest mention periods. We dont want to stay silent about what we go through every month. Since half the people you live on this world with experience it, (including your wife, girlfriend, sisters, mom and daughters), we thought a little menstruation education couldnt hurt. In fact, hopefully it can make both of our lives better during that time of the month.

1. We dont want you to act uncomfortable

Theres a stigma in society about periods the less theyre publicly discussed, the better. Doing anything else just makes others uncomfortable. But feeling like we have to keep something so natural a secret makes us feel ashamed; no woman likes sneaking around just to slip a tampon in our pocket on the way to the bathroom. Or lying about having a headache when it's really cramps. If more men didnt react so uncomfortably, women wouldnt need to feel like having a period is something to be ashamed of.

2. We hope you at least know the basic mechanics

Our bodies do differ, which might make us uncomfortable with the opposite sexs basic anatomy. For you to feel more comfortable about periods, its helpful to know how menstruation works.

3. Women have different period experiences

Some womens shark week lasts three days while other women have their periods for seven days (or more). Cramp severity and emotional changes also vary from woman to woman. Some girls bleed very heavily while others can get away with panty liners the whole week. Women don't want men to assume they know what our personal period is like based on someone else's experience. Understand that it's unique to each person.

4. Periods can cause us severe pain

While this isnt the case for all women, severe cramping is a common effect of menstruation, and boy, can it bring us to our knees (or the fetal position). Women sometimes describe cramps as feeling similar to labor contractions. Sometimes, the pain can be so severe it makes functioning in normal day-to-day activities extremely difficult. Bringing us a heating pad or hot water bottle, or doing something to distract us from the pain are highly welcomed ways you can help.

5. We absolutely hate being (mockingly) asked: "is it that time of the month?

Please never do this. Its not funny, its demeaning. Period jokes only shame women for something they can't stop from happening.

6. Periods change us physically and emotionally

Theres so much more to periods than tampons and cramps. Women commonly experience increased acne, bloating, mood swings, back pain, tender skin, headaches and migraines leading up to and during menstruation.

Diana Schwarzbein, MD, explains how (during a woman's period), There are going to be corresponding fluctuations in other hormones that are definitely going to affect emotions, processes of thought, and physical well-being. We'd love for you to be understanding and patient as we go through several changes.

7. It just makes us feel even worse when you complain about our periods

We know were no walk in the park while were experiencing the effects of a period. We may be a bit more snappy with you than normal or spend our time lying down when theres work to be done, but please dont complain about us while were going through this extra stress and pain itll only make things worse for both of us.

8. Were so grateful when you show us extra compassion that week

The best thing you can do is show the women in your life a bit more love while were going through our period. Pick up a treat on your way home (that clich about girls craving chocolate on their period does have some truth behind it). Show us extra patience while our mood fluctuates. You can even offer to go on quick tampon run so we can avoid driving to the store with painful cramps. In return, well be more grateful than you know because you helped make the roughest part of the month more bearable.
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