There’s always been this taboo concept that women and girls shouldn’t talk to boys about gross things like periods or PMS. Well no more of that. There’s nothing gross about periods or PMS - it’s part of a woman’s anatomy and there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
The fact is a lot of boys want to know how to approach PMS with their girlfriends, girl-friends, or even sisters but don’t know how to do it or what to talk about. There’s a lot of fear of offending, being uncomfortable or just not knowing where to start. Women are barely taught about their bodies and given access to PMS education, so for men it’s something they don’t have to deal with, so why bother teaching them? Maybe if they started understanding they might know how to approach more situations, have a little more sympathy for us during our Time of Month, and feel confident having open and honest conversations about periods.
UTI’s, yeast infections, period leakage, period sex, missed periods, discharge - these are all things that women have to deal with that we feel embarrassed talking about with our partner(s). There shouldn’t be shame or stigma - but how do we talk about it? The truth is men shouldn’t be able to make decisions about our bodies, but it would probably help if they understood them.
The first step to changing what might be an uncomfortable conversation is establishing trust. It’s a big challenge to change EVERY boy’s mind about why periods aren’t taboo and can be overwhelming, so start by talking to your friends and partners. You’ll probably find that there are actually a lot more men curious about how to approach conversations, have questions to ask, or want to know where they can educate themselves. Sure there’s Google, but how much of that information is accessible or correct? How do we know what they find matches with what we feel and want to be able to talk to them about? Whatever you choose, you should feel empowered to bring up these topics without discouragement or shame.
Periods - this one they should be able to be comfortable with. Every woman they’ve ever known has probably had a period. A lot of them don’t know what to do when this happens - do they help, stay away, get you medicine, cookies or ice cream from the store? Communicate about it. Open up the floor for questions and be honest about what you need during this time. The more education and trust we can build, the faster we can get over the “women are emotional and irrational during their time of month” comments. I can’t promise it will always go smoothly, but periods shouldn’t be a “women’s issue” it should be an open and honest conversation.
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Opinions, content, and any information expressed in this article are intended to be general in nature and do not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek medical advice from your professional healthcare provider.