How can I help my girlfriend during her periods?

periods

Most men are utterly clueless when it comes to periods. Ask them what periods are and if they have sponged off information on the female reproductive cycle from their high school textbooks during their school years, they surely have an answer about ovaries, uterus, and bleeding. But ask them more about WHAT ARE PERIODS and boom they have mumble mumble answers about mood swings, pain and more mumbles!

Well, the blame is not entirely on men because at the end of the day, not many of them are familiar with the lived realities of having a period. In most households, even to this day, when women have their periods, it’s a hush-hush matter. Sons and brothers all come to know about periods only when suddenly on certain days of the month women in the family -mom or sister- have nothing to do with religious rituals or visits to worship sites. And that’s all there is to it!

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Enter college/university years and post-university work years and men are simply in “what just happened” mode when their girlfriends are on periods! A quick search on the net gives information after information on periods – the biology, the psychology and even the shamanic angle! It’s like you fell into a rabbit hole! And all you wanted was some information to help your girlfriend during her periods. 

In this article, we have put together some helpful tips. Mind you, these are not the textbook rules and you need to best decide what applies to you and your girlfriend. 

Mood swings:

It is highly unhelpful (even though you might think otherwise) to ask your girlfriend “are you PMS ing? Is that why you are having this silly argument/ fight with me?”. Premenstrual Syndrome is not a light matter. Some women have uneventful periods but for many women, the days before their periods, as well as days of periods, are a tough time because of the hormonal changes that the body goes through. Mood swings are a part and parcel of such days and many women have specifics that they alone are familiar with, such as tenderness of breasts, bloated tummy etc. What you can do is be immensely patient with her and not get triggered when she loses her cool with you. Try not to aggravate the matter even though you know she has been unfair and unkind in her remarks about some stuff. She will eventually come around later when she feels better. 

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Pain:

We can’t stress enough how pain is the worst thing about periods for many-many-many women. It is like the uterus just decided to punch everything around it like a kickboxer! For some women, the pain is so severe that they shrink into a tight ball and just want to sleep, but the sleep too is acting like “hey, not interested, can’t come now.” If your girl takes medications to help her manage the pain, offer her to get the tablets and a glass of water. A hot water pouch/bag is a great aid in soothing the pain. Make sure you have one with you and have it ready when you see she is in pain. 

Headache:

It is not just enough that the uterus does dharna before and during periods but the whole body wants to do the war cry! Such is the way Nature has wired the female body for periods. Headaches are just the beginning of many other aches and pains in the body. It is like a tennis match happening between two sides of the forehead and there is no referee to stop the match! Ask your girl whether she would like a good head massage, not the oil-walee-champi for hair! If you don’t know how to do a good massage, learn it from the numerous Youtube videos on how to give a solid-soothing head massage. For some women getting a foot massage helps them to be relaxed. Offer her a foot massage too. And stock your cabinet with the creams and lotions needed for the foot massage. A good peppermint cream for a foot massage is such a good mood lifter too! Make your picks on the highly recommended foot massage creams and lotions after a quick search in the net.

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Sanitary hygiene products:

Speaking of stocking up, if you don’t live with your girlfriend but she occasionally drops in and you spend quality time together during weekends etc, then it is always best that you have a stock of sanitary supplies in your place too. Yup, you heard that right. It is not a matter of awkwardness to have such supplies in your place and hey it is not being weird either to have such supplies. It is in fact very caring and thoughtful. If you don’t know which ones to buy, talk to your girl and buy the one she usually buys. Yes, you heard that right too! Well, not all sanitary hygiene products are the same! Women have their preferences about brands and product types. And even though you might think it is extremely uncomfortable to ask her about all these, trust us, she will be very happy when she knows why you are asking the question. And the best part is, when the period happens randomly when she is at your place (yes, sometimes periods come like that without a prior warning, even though the body is wired to have it like a periodic clock!), you have all the supplies she needs!

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Touch, sex:

It can be very confusing for you sometimes when your girl is on her periods. Sometimes she wants to be cuddled and some other times she is like “go away, give me some space”. And occasionally she is in “let’s make out” mode. Well, the important thing you can do is: NOT ASSUME. Always communicate with her about what she wants. If she wants to be left alone, then leave her alone. If she tells you that she wants to cuddle with you, then you can cuddle with her. And hey for many women having sex while they are on periods has worked wonders for them: it helps to soothe out the pain and eases the tensed muscles. If she wants to have sex and you are okay with that, then go for it! If you are worried about staining the sheets, just put an old-but hygienic towel on the bed and have good sex. It is not going to be like a torrential downpour of blood, just a few drops here and there, that’s all!

Chocolates and home remedies:

Chocolates are like a wonder drug for women. But not all chocolates work their magic during periods. The ones with high levels of sugar and less cocoa are really not the ones you should be getting for your girl when she is on periods. Go for the dark chocolates, the higher the cocoa content, the better. Having chocolates before or during periods has been proven to help reduce the pain and stabilize the mood. And hey, then there are the always-reliable home remedies! Options are numerous: hot milk with turmeric, herbal tea with ginger, cumin water and so on and so forth. Well, not all home remedies work on everyone. To know what best works for your girl, just talk to her! Once you know her period management home remedies, then you must be prepared with everything you need to whip up her magic potion. 

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