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A woman’s period and preceding days of hormonal madness better known as premenstrual syndrome or PMS is a nightmare for most men. For one, it can be baffling to watch your perfectly sane significant other (or mother, sister, friend, girlfriend) into an emotional wreck vying for your throat. And second, you have no way of knowing what it feels like to go through a hormonal upheaval that one has absolutely no control over every 28 days.
So yes, we’d like to give the men out there some benefit of the doubt. Having said that, understanding what a woman goes through as her body prepares for menstruation can help you develop some perspective on the situation and make life easier for you and the women around you.
Here is a crisp guide on dealing with PMS, exclusively for men:
Period And PMS Are Not The Same: Hallelujah! Yes, these are actually two different things. PMS refers to the mood swings, cramping, and strange cravings women experience just days before their period. These symptoms may or may not persist during the actual period.
Jokes Are Not Welcome: Just the way you wouldn’t appreciate a joke if someone hit you the balls, we don’t appreciate jokes about our period. It is painful and icky. Just be glad you don’t have to deal with it and zip your lips.
Neither Are Questions: Yes, female anatomy can be a matter of great curiosity, and we are mostly happy to offer explanations except when we are PMS-ing.
Breasts Can Be Off Limits: Guys, please take note if it is your significant other whose PMS you are concerned about. It is not just our abdomen and back, our breasts can get sore too. Don’t be taken aback if you are not allowed to fondle about her breasts when she is nearing her period. It is not hormonal. It is actually physically hurtful.
Don’t Blame It On PMS: You know PMS is to blame for her irritability. She knows it too. But if you want to save yourself from the wrath of a hormonal woman in little or no control over her reactions, do not say it out loud.
Check Your Reactions: She is likely to freak out, yell, pick up fights, bicker at small things, and basically, make mountains out of molehills for these couple of days. But you are in the right head space. Keep your temper and reactions under check to avoid big fall outs.
Food Cravings Are Real: No, she is not using her period as an excuse to load up on junk food, sweets, caffeine and what not. Food cravings during PMS is a legit thing. Be nice, and stock the fridge with a tub of her favorite ice-cream or dessert or pick up a pizza for dinner on your way back home.
A Back Rub is Always Welcome: The physical discomfort is just as much to blame for those spells of irritability as the fluctuating hormones. Volunteering to give her a good back rub at the end of the day can very well turn out to be just the trick you need to stay on her good side during those nasty days.
Period High is Real: Just like a woman can feel emotionally low and lethargic during or before her period, it is possible to experience an inexplicable surge of energy too. You may find her mood unusually upbeat and her energy levels through the roof. Well, what can I say, bask in the happiness while it lasts.
The Rules Can Change: Oh, I hate to break it to you – PMS manifests itself in different ways and no two women have it same, and also, symptoms of PMS can be radically different from month to month for the same person. That’s to say, no rules are sacrosanct. What works today, may backfire the next time, and a woman has no way to predict how she is going to feel when she is PMS-ing. So keep at it, you’ll derive your list of hits and misses over time.