A young woman suffering from period cramps

As the world mark Menstrual Hygiene today, it is important to note that men and boys have active roles to play in this empowerment.

It is estimated that 52 percent of the female population in the world are at reproductive age but many men in this modern age are uncomfortable talking about periods and premenstrual symptoms.

Dismissing taboos around menstruation and being able to talk openly about health issues leads to better understanding, better health and stronger relationships with the women in your life.

Men can be champions who stretch the status quo of myths, misconceptions and cultural beliefs that promote shame, fear, indignity and discomfort for women and girls during menstruation.

Below are five ways men can actively support women in their lives during the menses.

Do not make fun at her cramping experience

They say laughter is a good medicine and it is okay trying to make her laugh, but do not make fun about ‘being that time of the month again.’ This is not being supportive rather it is judging, shaming and being insensitive to her feelings. Don’t joke on her being moody. It is a delicate period and you don’t want her disconnecting from you.

 { Read: Former Citizen TV anchor petitions MPs to improve menstrual health policy }

Know the type of towel she uses

Forget the men looking weirdly at you in the supermarket when picking towels. On the other hand, ladies will love you. Every woman prefers a certain type of towels for many healthy reasons. Knowing the type she prefers to use and bringing them to her is a gesture that will be greatly appreciated. Be more informed and ask her questions on why she likes certain kind over the others.

Know her cycle

This is very important as it determines a lot of factors in a relationship. Ask her about the timing of her cycle to understand when she is ovulating or bleeding. By knowing her cycle, you can be more aware and sensitive to her changing moods and physical discomfort. Mark your calendar so as to stay in the know. She will feel your presence in her monthly struggles and develop deeper trust.

Help her with daily chores 

Menstrual pains and physical discomfort are inevitable for every women. This period is excruciating and some women get worse that they can’t perform their responsibilities as they normally do. A man can help a woman create a cozy environment for her, cook her comfort food, do the dishes and pick up the groceries.

Don’t run away from her emotions

Many women like more space with menstruating but its best to take cues from her. Don’t just run off to the bar with the guys believing that’s best. If she wants you to leave, she will most likely ask for space. She may act like she doesn’t want you there, but remember she may actually desire some tender loving and caring. Your full presence is the best medicine with some chocolates.

{ See also: The most common health issues specific to Women }


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