What is the Difference between the Period and PMS?
The period is the actual time during which one is bleeding. On the other hand, PMS is premenstrual syndrome. The period is what happens every month during a cycle like clockwork.
This might differ for those who do not have regular cycles. Yes, there are people whose period does not come every month.
Premenstrual syndrome spans one or two weeks before the period. During this time, the woman is more prone to being emotional, irritable and might also have some strong cravings.
Sometimes, these cravings will point to certain nutrients that your body needs in preparation for the week-long bleeding.
Sometimes the cravings are for food that isn’t beneficial to the body. Women may not pick out PMS until they actually start their period.
These symptoms, even though they might be present ten out of twelve months, sneak up on you and you might wonder why you are in such low spirits or a bad mood.
Men should not assume that every seemingly erratic mood is as a result of PMS.
What’s With Day One?
There is always a joke about day one. This is the first day of your period. It is the worst when compared to every other day while on your period.
If there is pain and discomfort, it comes with a vengeance. Additionally, the flow on day one is the heaviest as well.
The worst thing about day one is that it catches you off guard no matter how prepared you were. Your body is never fully prepared for discomfort and pain.
It is worst when it happens on a day when you have to go to work or school. In fact, most activities are missed on day one.
There is nothing that you can do about day one and all its woes. The best thing is to keep your head down and ride the wave.
Hopefully, the next day will be much better. If it is possible, it is best to relax on the first day of the period.
Is it really That Painful?
Yes. That is the simple answer. Periods can be excruciatingly painful. Just to clarify, this does not mean that the ‘area’ is in pain.
The pain is felt on the lower abdomen, back and other parts of your body. Not everyone suffers from this pain. The pain is never predictable or uniform.
There are days when you are alright and only face the discomfort of the process. Other months, the pain can paralyze your activities.
This is especially true of lower abdomen and back pain which impedes movement. To simplify things, you can think of it as having a really horrible stomach ache.
Pain is often manageable through over the counter painkillers. However, some people need shots to reduce the pain to manageable levels.
To make it worse, there are people who also suffer from nausea and bouts of diarrhea. This makes it infinitely more uncomfortable especially since you can only alleviate the problem.
How Much Blood?
Some guys wonder how women do not pass out every month. How are you bleeding for days but still go about your business like nothing is happening?
While women lose some blood in this period, it is only about quarter of a cup or around 80ml. This might sound like a pretty small amount but it is not.
Some women bleed more heavily than others because of hormonal differences. Additionally, some days are worse than others and one might end up bleeding through their protection.
This is known as flooding and it explains those stained sheets or the reason behind wearing period pants.
At the end of the day, a period is normal and is the uterus’ way of cleaning itself. The body knows exactly what it is doing and so there is no cause for concern.
The only time that the amount of blood loss is worrying is when you have a really heavy flow on all the days.
How Long Does It Last?
Every woman has a cycle. This cycle also includes the average number of days when they bleed. For most women, the bleeding is between four and eight days.
There are those who take longer but this is not normal and one should see the doctor, especially if the bleeding is heavy as this could easily cause anemia.
The discomfort from the periods might last longer than the duration of bleeding. For some it starts before and ends after the bleeding has stopped.
It is also important to remember that the number of bleeding days is not cast on stone. It can vary from month to month with one or two days at most.
The full cycle lasts between 28 and 31 days. This means that the number of days in the cycle where one is bleeding, recovering and ovulating lasts this long.
This is how women are able to keep track of their periods and when they are supposed to be having the next one.
How Does a Pad or Tampon Feel Like?
To begin with, a pad is placed on your underwear while a tampon is inserted ‘up there.’ A pad feels like you have extra padding or stuffing on your underwear depending on how thick it is.
Pads may or may not have wings and all this is a matter of preference. The thickness of the pad depends on the technology used in its manufacture and the heaviness of one’s flow.
If you have heavier flow, then a thicker pad would work best. However, if you have pads that lock in the liquid, you can still wear a thinner pad as ‘flooding’ is not a risk.
Tampons are not uncomfortable when inserted the right way. You only feel the tampon when inserting it.
Once that is done, you will not be aware of the tampon through the day.
These allow people to engage in normal activities such as swimming and going to the beach.
Is Syncing Real?
Most people believe that girls’ periods sync when they are close or if they live together.
This is not a fact that has been proven through scientific studies although some people swear by it.
While it may happen for some people, it is not guaranteed. For those who do not know what syncing is, it is when girls end up having their periods around the same time as a result of their close relationship.
If you were having your period at the beginning of the month and your friend had theirs at the end of the month, you would eventually be having it at the same time.
There are girls who say that their period cycles synced after living together for a while. Others have not experienced the same.
Since it hasn’t been factually proved or disproved, it is not a question that would yield a definite answer.
Are You Turned On?
During one’s period, a woman feels a lot of discomfort. There is bloating and menstrual cramps among other things.
At the same time, women tend to feel less sexy because of the messiness that comes with the bleeding. This is not fodder for sexual intercourse and thus makes it awkward.
However, women also have some hormones spiking at this time. It makes people have more desire for sexual intercourse despite the fact that one is in a lot of discomfort.
The question then becomes what one should or should not do. At the end of the day, it is up to you and your partner to decide on what you would like to do.
Some people find it unfathomable because of the mess that is involved. Others do not mind at all.
Sexual intercourse also helps the blood come out faster and reduces menstrual cramps so it could actually be advantageous.
Why Do You Wear Loose Clothing?
Men often wonder why women prefer loose clothing during their periods. The answer to this is simple. When you are having a lot of discomfort, you do not want to add to it.
Tight clothing always reduces one’s state of comfort and is therefore avoided for this reason. On the other hand, tight clothing could encourage flooding if you have a pad on.
It is easier to stain and ruin in the process. Would you rather have sweat pants on or ruin your favorite pair of skinny jeans just to look good momentarily?
It is a trade off that is a no-brainer. This can easily help men understand the reasoning behind period pants. These are loose and unattractive.
They are very comfortable and provide the abdominal region with enough room to breathe.
They are also easy to wear during your period since you do not run the risk of losing your favorite underwear because of an accident.
Can I Help?
As a man, you might wonder how you can help your woman during this time. The truth is that, you cannot reduce the pain or the discomfort.
However, you can do small and helpful things to make it more bearable. Have a continuous supply of painkillers and some chocolate.
No one ever got mad at being treated extra nice during their period.
Apart from bringing her nice things that she likes to munch on, you can also be a great human pillow when she wants to cuddle in a weird position to manage the menstrual cramps.
A back massage would be nice as well. The best thing to do is to be nice and understanding.
However, never ask a woman if her anger, annoyance or irritation is because of her periods. This is an epic fail and will only serve to make the situation worse.
It will almost definitely land you in the dog house for sure.