Menstruation information: What women want men to know about their periods

Kristen Ed, Columnist

I, like more than half of the students in attendance at Eastern, am genetically wired to have a monthly event characterized by bleeding, abdominal bloating and (most of the time) emotional sensitivity.

If it was unclear that I was talking about periods, welcome to Life Lessons with Kristen, episode one.

That was a joke. I am sure you know what I meant.

I have had the ability to produce and carry children for many years now. And I am glad that I have that ability.

But as men and women are both aware, there are some negative side effects to female fertility.

This is addressed to the men though. I should clarify that I am not trying to diss you for not having periods. I am actually trying to help you, because you know at least one woman who encounters the monthly “struggle,” and she probably wants you to understand it better.

For starters, every woman’s symptoms, along with the severity, are different. Still, various symptoms are worse some months than they are in others. I could have an irritable mood and fatigue one month, and I could have a big appetite and painful cramps the next month.

On the subject of cramps, I am sure I speak on behalf of a lot of grateful girlfriends when I say I just want to be held when I am in pain. And I do not want to go out and do things if I do not have to.

I know women who have skipped class because of cramps, and I can testify that they are sometimes so awful that I cannot concentrate or do anything.

The worst thing is when I have to get something done when my lower abdomen feels like it is going to explode. A couple weeks ago, I wrote three-page paper during the worst of my cramps. I honestly hardly knew what I was saying as I was typing it because I could not think, no matter what remedies I tried to relieve the pain.

Long story short, please be patient with we females if we wince trying to comprehend what you are saying through the pain. We appreciate it, and we will better express that appreciation in the emotional “I love you so much” phase of PMS.

I would also like to reassure you that PMS is not an excuse to be mad, I promise.

For some reason, an ex-boyfriend of mine once told me, “I wish guys also had an excuse to get mad once a month,” as if I asked for the smallest things to set me off just to get the chance to argue with the person I love most.

Fighting with our significant others is not fun, but if we seem to pick a fight out of thin air, I can tell you that there is a real problem we have noticed. It is just that we have only just now, amid our premenstrual passion, been driven to mention that problem.

We legitimately cannot help the intense mood swings we experience before we start menstruating. (Yes, I said before, because PMS symptoms primarily show up before the bleeding, but they often show up during it as well.)

Even though there is no way to empathize with a female during her period, sympathy goes a long way.

No matter your relationship to her, if you show a woman patience, love and support during her period, she will be incredibly thankful.

Kristen Ed is a junior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].