If you are in a relationship with someone who menstruates, you probably know how their cycle can take a toll on them. Here we will talk about a few things you can do to help your partner cope with their period.
As the research in the menstrual health space has progressed, we have seen research papers and articles coming out about how the phenomenon is not only physically but mentally draining as well.
PMS and periods have drawn awareness as more and more people have shared their experiences about how their cycles give them a hard time. Now that we know what the issue here is, folks having partners who menstruate ask one question- “What can I do to help?”
Things you can do to Help Your Partner Cope with their period
The numerous posts on social media might have made it look like a tough question to answer, especially for cis/het men, but truth is, with a little communication and will to help around, the goal isn’t that hard to achieve.
Here are some steps you can take to comfort your partner during “that time of the month”
Let them have their rest
The menstrual phase of the cycle can make your partner feel the need to rest a little more after the hormone levels hit a low.
The phase before the menstrual phase is called the luteal phase (usually 14 days long) and that is when the hormones like estrogen and progesterone rise along with prostaglandin PGF2α rise and presumably cause what is known as PMS- Pre Menstrual Syndrome.
Even though PMS can be different for everyone, symptoms include- headache, back pain, abdominal cramps, nausea, rise in basal body temperature, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, sleeplessness, and mood swings. Now wearing THAT off definitely requires some sleep.
Keep in mind that some people may experience some PMS symptoms throughout their period as well.
The luteal phase is followed by the menstrual phase which is when the bleeding happens. Therefore, “that time of the month” is a time when your partner may get some rest after the hormonal hurricane has left.
Try helping out with some of the work. If you live together and have divided chores, doing a little extra for a few days might be a big help to your partner and you get to show them how much you actually care.
As hard as it may seem, have patience! Bleeding 3–7 days every month can easily make almost anyone lose their patience. Your partner might feel irritable at this point and telling them to “calm down” may not be the best idea right now.
Try not to argue much as the result of the conversation might not be very fruitful. However, do note that having a period does NOT give them a right to be physically abusive.
A little kiss on the forehead, a warm hug from the back, or gentle back rubs never hurt anybody. Little gestures of physical affection are almost always welcome!
Have a long cuddling session while binging on your favorite shows or movies. Spend quality time with them as much as you can. If your partner suffers from cramps, offer to give them a message.
Stock up on supplies
Depending upon your partner’s needs, you can stock up on supplies before their cycle is due.
Ask them what kind of menstrual hygiene products they use- pads, tampons, or period panties and of course, keeping in mind that everyone prefers a different brand and a particular variant, it is best to ask your partner which one they prefer.
Other things you can stock up on are- ibuprofen, paracetamol, the food they like, and a heat pack(s) depending on their needs. This will benefit both you and your partner as both of you will save some trips to the store.
Have some action under the sheets
If you feel comfortable with having sex during their period, this might be a good time to ask them if they are up for it as well!
Of course, you don’t have to if you are not comfortable with them bleeding, and similarly, avoid convincing them to do so if they aren’t comfortable.
Since there is more lubrication present and there is increased sensitivity on the breasts, this might be a good time to have vaginal sex if your partner is into it.
In the end, it all comes down to one thing- effective communication. Learn about your partner’s likes and dislikes and ask questions openly.
The odds are they will be more than happy to answer even the silliest of questions. Don’t feel embarrassed if you do not have much idea about the process.
You can also download the period tracker app they are using in order to keep a track of their cycles. If your partner allows, you can also connect with their profile and keep a track of their symptoms as they chart their cycle.
When in a relationship, the little efforts you make can make a big difference. All these efforts make your partner feel special and can make them love you even more.
In our article, How to maintain a healthy relationship with your lover, we have discussed all those little things you can do to make your partner feel special and maintain a healthy relationship with these little efforts.
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