Men, Listen Up: 15 Period Facts Women Wish You Knew

Written By Elizabeth Ervin

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Periods are the worst! They come with headaches, bloating, cramping, fatigue, and a multitude of other annoying symptoms. A recent conversation in an online forum of women discusses what they want men to know about their periods. Here are their top confessions.

1. Periods Are Exhausting

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Exhaustion knows no bounds. One woman explained, “Sometimes the sheer exhaustion from a period feels like the literal life is being sucked out of you.” Others agreed, “Yes, it’s awful, and being exhausted makes coping with the pain much more difficult!”

2. Periods Come With Horrible Bowel Issues

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“You can get horrible bowel issues with your period,” one noted. Many women referred to this as period purge or period poops. Finally, one summed it up as “hours of very uncomfortable ‘boulder sitting right on your guts’ constipation followed by a sudden shift to twenty minutes of ‘hot lava murder me now’ diarrhea.”

3. Every Period Is Different

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Every period is different. One woman informed men, “Everyone deals with it differently. For example, not all want ice cream. And it can change cycle by cycle.”

Others agreed before one added, “Some months the PMS starts like a week prior with cramps and thigh pain and irritation levels being elevated. In other months it just comes, and I don’t have any symptoms. I don’t know why it changes every month.”

4. Periods Can Be Debilitating

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“That even if they don’t hurt, they can be debilitating. I used to get anemia every month, along with a headache. I’m glad I’m old,” confessed one.

A second shared, “My daughter had periods that were so heavy and lasted so long she needed blood transfusions. Unfortunately, her GYN wouldn’t do a hysterectomy because she was in her early 20s.” She further explained after three transfusions, another doctor approved the procedure.”

5. It’s Not a Tampon Commercial

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Many women in the thread voted, “It is nothing like the tampon ads at all.” One joked, “Y’all don’t do cartwheels through fields of daisies in your white leggings while smiling ear to ear? Just me? Okay.” A second added, “Now, come on, we ALL love roller skating and horseback riding in white jeans. It gets rid of the cramps!”

6. The Size is for Flow

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One woman stated, “I cannot believe I have to say this, but the size of a tampon or sanitary pad isn’t dependent on the size of a woman’s anatomy but on the heaviness of the period flow.”

7. Periods Last More Than a Few Minutes

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“Periods last more than a few minutes,” one replied. “They stay four to seven days nonstop. Some days are heavier than others. Cramps are from the sloughing of the uterine wall and hurt a lot for some people. Not all of us get PMS.”

8. Period Products Are Expensive

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“Period products are expensive, and we go through a lot of them,” shared another. “I recently saw a video of a woman asking random guys on the street how many tampons they thought a woman used during one cycle on average, and the answers went from one to seven.” So naturally, women in the thread laughed at this admission.

9. Periods Come With Terrible Cramping

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One woman shared, “Some of us have cramps, some don’t, and some have debilitating ones because of a condition like endometriosis. So we aren’t faking the pain.”

Another explained, “I have endometriosis, and I get cramps everywhere. I get cramps in the uterus, anus, rectum, back, hips, and sometimes even down my thighs. It’s awful. Thankfully birth control prevents most of this.”

10. Periods Have a List of Side Effects

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“Periods have many more side effects than lower abdomen pains,” one shared. “For example, headaches, nausea, joint pain, muscle aches, diarrhea (or constipation), breast tenderness, and fatigue.”

11. Periods Come With Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS)

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“Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) can be awful for some and even worse than the actual period itself,” one noted. “Days before a period, you can feel exhaustion, cramps, bloating, acne, food cravings, mood swings, and more.

Also, if you have PMS for a week, then a period for a week, there are only two weeks out of the month when you are not in terrible pain. So that’s HALF OF YOUR EXISTENCE dealing with period-related pain and side effects.”

12. Periods Don’t Get Any Easier

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“It doesn’t get any easier. We don’t get used to it. The pain is intense, but we have to pretend it’s not and get on with it,” one explained. A second confessed, “My periods are getting worse as I get older. Significantly worse.

More bleeding, more clots, worse cramps, cramps now start before my period and end after, and my period is a full day longer than it used to be. It suuuucksssss. I can’t wait until I’m old enough to be done with it!”

13. Buying Feminine Products Is Not a Big Deal

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Many women in the thread agreed, “Buying pads and tampons for your significant other, daughter, or sister is not a big deal.” Another suggested, “Guys: Right now before she asks you to, take a picture of her box of products and keep it easily findable on your phone. That way, when you’re called upon, you will know EXACTLY what kind to get.”

14. This Is a Whole Life Changed Forever

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“We have periods, except for pregnancy and breastfeeding, for around 40 years!! Every month for 40 years! Your life is never the same from the first period in your early teens.

You have to check a calendar, plan what you can wear when you can swim, wear skimpy clothes, do sport, and have adult relations, not to mention the pain, nausea, and fear of leaks.

Boys go through puberty and have some embarrassing moments. This is a whole life changed forever. Then menopause comes, and the blessed relief is profound.”

15. More Emotions Does Not Equal Less Reason

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Finally, women want men to know, “Just because someone is more emotional on their period doesn’t make them less rational or logical. It just means they’re more likely to cry or be angry. That doesn’t mean that those feelings are from an irrational place. They are just more pronounced.”

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This article was produced and syndicated by Sober Healing.

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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and spirituality.