Understanding menstruation

Understanding menstruation – it could save your relationship. | 3 min read

Menstruation doesn’t only affect the woman experiencing it; it may also impact their partners. Menstruation symptoms such as anxiety and irritability may interrupt relationships, especially when there are overwhelming demands from a partner; the person experiencing it may find it more challenging to work through or tolerate negative emotions.

Communication is critical during a woman’s menstruation cycle, and its absence within a couple’s relationship may lead to a higher likelihood of Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) distress. PMS refers to the physical and psychological symptoms that a woman may experience before their menstrual period. These can include bloating, headaches, mood changes, and more. However, these symptoms of PMS typically disappear once menstruation begins.

What is menstruation? 

Menstruation is the monthly shedding of the lining of the uterus. Menstruation is also known as the menstrual period, menstrual cycle, or period. Menstruation is partly blood and tissue from the inside of the uterus that flows through the cervix and out of the body through the vagina. Hormones drive menstruation, as they are chemical messengers in the body. The pituitary gland (in the brain) and the ovaries (part of the reproductive system) make and release certain hormones at certain times during the menstrual cycle. 

Some people experience symptoms of menstruation, and others don’t. The intensity of these symptoms can also vary. The most common symptom is cramping. 

What are the symptoms of getting a menstrual period? 

  • Mood changes. Feeling irritable, anxious, sad, or having crying spells, are common in the days leading up to a period.
  • Trouble sleeping. PMS symptoms such as bloating, breast tenderness, and pelvic or muscle pain might keep a woman awake. Feeling depressed, angry, anxious, or irritable can quickly disrupt a good night’s rest.
  • Hormonal changes can cause headaches and back pain before the menstrual period.
  • Food cravings. Many people with PMS experience increased appetite and cravings for sweet or fatty foods or carbohydrate-rich meals. Changes in estrogen and progesterone hormones likely influence cravings just before a period.
  •  Bloating. Bloating is a common early symptom of menstruation that many women experiences. It may feel like they’ve gained weight, or their abdomen or other body parts are tight or swollen. Bloating generally occurs well before their period starts and will disappear once they’ve been menstruating for a few days.
  • Breast tenderness. Breast changes are a common symptom of PMS. The changes can include pain, tenderness, swelling, heaviness, sensitivity, and bumpy breast tissue.
  • Acne. Just before a woman’s period starts, estrogen and progesterone levels drop. This can trigger the sebaceous glands to secrete more sebum, an oily substance that lubricates the skin. Too much can result in clogged pores and breakouts. Hormones can also increase skin inflammation and the production of acne-causing bacteria.

During this period, a partner can support the person experiencing PMS by giving them emotional and physical space when needed. Additionally, using patience and acceptance during this time is a helpful way to deal with your partner.

How to support a partner during a menstrual cycle?

  • Don’t make your partner feel like she’s using PMS as an excuse.
  • Ask her if she needs anything.
  • Give her space when she needs it.
  • Understand when her emotions are haywire.
  • Pamper her.
  • Don’t joke about dealing with PMS.
  • Keep track of her cycle.
  • Learn more about PMS.
  • Hear her out.

When to take your partner for a doctor’s consultation?

Consult an Intercare doctor if your partner’s symptoms disrupt her personal or professional life or get in the way of her daily activities.


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