Menstruation 101 : A guide for ignorant men

 I am fucking irritated and annoyed. If you are a woman on your period you might be able to empathize with me. But quite a bit of my irritation is not due to my menses but due to the lack of simple/ basic information regarding menstruation amongst men. For my peers who have spent about 25 odd years in this world, co-existing with women, most if not all men seem to have shockingly limited knowledge of menstruation. I can understand blaming our education system for not teaching this enough and our society for not talking about this enough, but I cannot absolve men of all blame when it comes to their minuscule knowledge. 

So for all the men out there, here are some facts that you need to understand and a few pointers on behaving with women when they are on their period. We will start with the first section.

What are periods? Some facts and no figures (don't worry)

Basics first, so every 25-40 days (yes this range is different for every woman), our body releases an ovum and prepares for pregnancy, and when the ovum doesn't get fertilized, it along with the other "preparations" which includes the likes of the thickening of our uteri, are dispelled from the body in what is called "menstruation" or "periods" or more colloquially known as "being down"

  • This happens every 25 - 40 days, varying for every woman
  • Lasts for about 3-8 days, again varying for every woman
  • Last for about an average of 40 years in a woman's life. Starting at the helm of the teens and going well into the late 50s
  • Women experience a plethora of symptoms both before and during our periods. It is hard for me to list everything down here so here is a helpful link
  • Being an ignorant idiot can be extremely harmful to you
  • There are several hygiene products that women use during this time ranging from sanitary pads to tampons to menstrual cups
  • Our tolerance levels might go down, so please don't push it 
What you as a man shouldn't do

I don't have enough patience at least now to give you a lesson on the behavioral dos, so here are a few quick don'ts
  • We are uncomfortable. Of course, we are. You even have to ask? Have blood and mucus coming out of you for an average of 5 days a month and you would be too
  • We have been living with this for much longer than it took for you to google "Menstruation", so no we do not need your help or sympathies. Just act like a decent mature human being and we're good
  • Yes, we do have mood swings and could be low on patience but under no circumstances are you to assume that whenever a woman is irritated she is on her period. It is not the period you imbecile, it is you. Fix it
  • Give us our space. Well, this applies to life in general as well
  • Lastly, don't push it
Well, this is all I can think of as of now. Will update this in case anything else comes to mind. But keep this in mind and you should be okay.

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Disclaimer: I am not saying all men are ignorant or imbeciles. I have some extremely understanding men in my life. I am not even saying most men are ignorant. All I am saying is that some of them are, and this is for them. So please don't take it personally and don't take offence. 

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