PMS. Premenstrual Syndrome. Also known as the series of symptoms that can turn even the most gentle lady into a snappy, irritable monster, PMS is often more dreaded by women and those around them than their period itself!
Cramps, often debilitating ones, an upset stomach, bloating, sore breasts, aching legs and backs and mood swings that cover a spectrum of emotions wider than the Grand Canyon in a matter of seconds are some common symptoms experienced by menstruating women all around the world. Let’s face it, PMS and the menstrual cycle is hardly the nicest time of the month for any woman, and add the complete lack of sensitivity of our male partners, friends or co-workers to the mix, and it’s not hard to imagine that we might quite easily fly off the handle.
How about we make things a little easier by shedding some light on just how those men (or non-menstruating women) around us should behave during these particularly sensitive times? Here are a few things that all partners of menstruating women should know about their partner’s period that will make PMS week a much more pleasant experience for everyone involved.
First up, understand that we are not in control of ANYTHING. Our hormones are all over the place and we are basically a bundle of nervous and sensitive energy balanced on a tight-rope. The slightest gust of wind will send us hurtling over the edge and YOU, our beloved partners are right in the path of destruction. Most of what we say is a very primal reaction to what is going on inside our bodies, and it’s likely we mean absolutely none of the harsh, snappy comments that we make. It would be great if our partners would understand this and just listen while we rant one minute and burst into inexplicable tears the next. Lashing back or being defensive will probably only send us off on another, even longer hormone fueled tirade.
Most of us will hate ourselves during that time of the month. The bloating, acne and fatigue coupled with low levels of estrogen destroy our already fragile confidence and so, even the most seemingly innocent comment or joke will have us convinced that you can’t stand to look at or touch us, making us into ugly, unattractive and undesirable ogres in our eyes.
Period sex is NOT taboo. In fact most women will agree that an orgasm can actually help ease the pain and discomfort of cramps because of the release of endorphins. Also, it will show us that you still love us and want us even though we might not feel our sexiest best.
PMS and its related symptoms, and the discomfort associated with the menstrual cycle are a very real thing for most women, and we do not use it simply as an excuse for irritable behaviour or the desire to avoid situations or events. By being more understanding, asking us what we need, being there for us emotionally, getting us a hot water bottle or rubbing our feet when we’re in pain, letting us be needy when we need to but giving us our space when we ask for it our partners will be able to show us that they understand what we are experiencing and that they care for us no matter what.