What To Do When Your Girlfriend Has Her Period?
At some point if you’re dating a female partner, she will get her period. The average period itself lasts for 5 days. If she has a regular cycle, this will happen every month. If her cycle is irregular, she might not get her period as often, such as every two or three months.
When your partner gets her period, it means she is not pregnant. But, it also means she could get painful cramps, painful boobs, diarrhea, acne and mood swings, and feel bloated. Not fun! Some girls get very light periods. Some girls get very crampy, painful periods. Periods can also be affected by her birth control; if she has a Copper IUD, her periods could have more bleeding and be crampier, whereas if she uses an implant, a Hormonal IUD, her bleeding and cramping could be less intense or nonexistent.
Your job is to figure out: What are my partner’s periods like? And how can I make her feel better?
Bleeding during a period is normal. The best kind of male partner is respectful, mature, and supportive, no matter what. The more you can treat her how she wants to be treated, the better partner you’ll be.
“Ask her what she needs!”
Step 1: Learn Her Cycle
First, you need to understand what is “normal” for your girlfriend in terms of her period. Each girl’s period is unique to her, and you need to know what to expect. If she uses a period tracking app like Flo or Clue, she can get a notification of when her next period should be, and you can ask her to share that with you so you know when to expect it.
You can also ask her:
- Do you get your period every month? How long does it last?
- Do you get painful cramps for a couple of days? Do you take painkillers?
- Do you get anxiety, mood swings, acne, or tender boobs too?
- Do you get any mood swings the week before your period (PMS)?
- What types of pads or tampons do you use?
“With a period tracking app, you’ll pick up on subtle mood changes before we do and instead of walking on eggshells and trying to figure out what happened, you can just check the app and be like “Okay, her period is about to start.””
Once you can predict when her next period will be, plan in advance how you’re going to help her if she is sad or in pain. Many girls also experience PMS (premenstrual syndrome), which is when they get period symptoms, such as mood swings, acne, bloating or irritability, the week before their period starts.
According to Wikipedia’s article on the Menstrual Cycle, “up to 80% of women report having some symptoms during the one to two weeks prior to menstruation. Common symptoms include acne, tender breasts, bloating, feeling tired, irritability and mood changes. These symptoms interfere with normal life and therefore qualify as premenstrual syndrome in 20 to 30% of women. In 3 to 8%, they are severe”.
So, challenge yourself by learning the ins and out of your girlfriend’s period over time. In essence, become the master of it and be there to help her with anything she needs.
Step 2: Find Opportunities to Help Her
Cramps: What is it like?
Some girls get no cramps at all, and their period is just like any other normal day. Others get cramps that are very painful below the belly button and lower back pain, and even pain around the ovaries (in the lower belly) because of cramps in the uterus.
“My dad described bad period cramps to my brother: it’s like having your testicles violently gripped and then twisted and crushed with no relief for days on end 😱.”
“There were times I would lay in the fetal position on my bathroom floor in pain.”
How can you help?
Carrying extra ibuprofen pills in your wallet, bag or keeping extra pills in your house can be very helpful. The onset of period cramps can be very painful for a lot of people, and catching them early, and taking painkillers such as Advil before the cramps have fully started is great for preventing about an hour of unnecessary pain. If your partner is having bad period cramps, you can try a couple things and make sure they are feeling, comfortable, supported and loved. This could include:
- Make sure they have taken medication to address their period pain
- Find a comfortable place for them to sit or lie down
- Help them relax by making her some tea, giving her a lower back rub or lighting some candles
- Offer to give them a cuddle, foot massage, prepare them a hot water bottle, fetch ice cream or one of their favorite foods or figure out if there’s anything else they’re craving
- See if your girlfriend wants to set aside a time to watch their favorite movie
“Get a heating pad and a thick throw blanket and her favorite snacks.”
“Don’t compare one person’s pain to another! Just because your ex could still go hiking, could exercise and didn’t complain about cramps doesn’t mean your next partner will be the same. She may have cramps so bad she can’t stand up.”
“You can also try some other natural wellness remedies, like making her turmeric and ginger tea or juice blends to relieve symptoms and make her feel well cared-for.”
Bleeding: What is it like?
Females bleed for 2-7 days of her period, with more severe symptoms like bleeding in the first and second days. The blood can be anywhere from bright red to dark brown in color, and every period she will lose about 3-5 tablespoons of blood. On heavier period days, she might need to change her tampon or pad every couple hours during the day. At night, she’ll also be bleeding, which can be inconvenient. Remember, bleeding isn’t optional. Girls have to get pregnant or be on certain types of birth control to stop their periods!
How can you help?
- Buy extra tampons or pads of the kind she likes and uses. Keep some in your bag, locker or at your house so that they can be available when your girlfriend needs them
- If you’re going on vacation, make sure you bring some spare tampons and pads
- Understand that accidents happen. If your partner stains their underwear, or your sheets, or towels, be understanding. You can wash period blood out of most things with soap and cold water
“Don’t act like bleeding is shameful and gross.”
“My ex refused to keep a trash can with a lid in the bathroom because he didn’t understand that I needed to dispose of my period products. Happy to say he’s an ex.”
Mood Swings: What is it like?
Mood swings mostly happen the week before (PMS) and during a girl’s periods.
“I get very emotional during my period and can cry my eyes out for no reason 😂.”
“Typically, a week before my period, I eat every fucking thing I see. I want it all. Sex, food, sleep.”
“Periods for some are like an inner mental battle. We get angry and happy and sad and depressed and hungry in the span of 5 minutes. It’s easy to get agitated and frustrated by the sound of you breathing, so we may need time or space.”
How can you help?
- Check in and ask her how she is feeling.
- Don’t take it personally. If your partner is in a bad mood during their period, that is normal. Be patient, and trust that this too shall pass. Obviously, this is not an excuse for them to treat you badly. But if you find your partner being shorter with their words or more irritable, give them some grace and let it go. There are a lot of hormonal changes happening in their body that are out of their control
- If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it!
“My boyfriend has never ever, not once made a joke or comment that my mood or an emotion was related to my period. No one should do that to a woman. It’s beyond disrespectful, even if a woman is experiencing PMS.”
“Also, dark chocolate. Provide us with all the chocolate.”
How does your partner feel about having sex on her period? If you don’t know, you should ask her. Whatever her response, your biggest priority is to make sure she is feeling okay. Respect what she says, and obviously never make her feel guilty if she doesn’t want to have sex. It’s her time of the month.
“Not all girls enjoy period sex. It’s a preference, like most things. Some enjoy it, some simply don’t.”
Good luck. Keep learning, and soon you can learn to master your girlfriend’s period. You can do this 💪🏽