I wish my mum had told me about periods
I didn’t grow up with sisters so I had no one to explain to me about girls’ periods, mood swings, hormones or anything of that nature. In fact, I don’t even remember my mother talking about such things.
I wish someone had told me about the side effects from periods because, after 15 years of living with my partner, I finally get it.
If I had known female hormones are super powerful and can fluctuate and crash during the entire 28 monthly cycle, then I might have had some chance navigating turbulent storms.
This particular weather system I refer to is the messaging I receive that, at times, conflicts with what I thought was going on in our relationship.
I don’t mean to sound disrespectful, but I simply did not understand how one minute my partner was on cloud nine and the next day (with no apparent life situation disaster) she was devastated and crying over issues that didn’t warrant (in my opinion) that amount of grief. I just didn’t get it.
My experience has left me thinking that maybe there’s a great opportunity for mothers to help teach their sons a few more things about women.
Warning – further reading may get a little bit uncomfortable but, trust me, we males need to know these things.
For example, please explain to them:
- What exactly is a period? I mean, really share the details with your sons. Help them discover why it is so important a female’s uterine lining falls away every month. Not interested? They should be.
- What role do hormones play during a woman’s cycle and why don’t they affect boys/men as much?
Here’s a brief summary of what I have discovered.
What is a period?
A period, or menstruation, is the shedding of the endometrium – that’s the uterine lining. Menstruation is also known as menses. All female humans, as well as some other female mammals, have regular periods during their reproductive age. Menstruation (bleeding from the vagina) is found mainly among humans and similar animals, such as primates (who knew right?).
What is their impact?
In a recent article I read in the Medical Daily, a woman’s menstrual cycle affects her brain in a number of ways – for better or for worse. Oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone fluctuate during a woman’s menstrual cycle. If you’re still reading, you’ll be interested to know the hippocampus, hypothalamus and the amygdala tend to be affected the most by the oestrogen-progesterone surges and drops. These surges can significantly influence a woman’s mood, self-esteem and how she connects with others. Understanding these fluctuations and their effect on the brain can help doctors and women better comprehend why they feel the way they do during their menstrual cycle.
So here’s what I think. It’s time for a much wider conversation about how powerful these female hormones really are and how best we, as men, can support our partners during their cycle.
And mums, don’t forget to have this chat with your sons – they will truly thank you when they are older.