If you make a habit of staying out of your girlfriend's way when she has her period, you may not be doing your relationship any good. That "time of the month" is a complete mystery to many men, so you're not the only guy who doesn't know how to react.
Know the Facts
You'll never fully understand what your girlfriend goes through when she has her period, because you won't ever go through it yourself. However, you can have a better understanding of her menstrual cycle to be a more sympathetic boyfriend. Each month, your girlfriend's uterus sheds its lining, which causes her to bleed. Most women bleed for around five days, according to Womenshealth.gov. The average menstrual cycle lasts for 28 days, but your girlfriend's cycle may be shorter or longer than this.
You may have noticed that your girlfriend is particularly irritable, anxious or weepy at certain times of the month. Commonly referred to as PMS, premenstrual syndrome is the name for the range of symptoms linked to the menstrual cycle. The most common symptoms are swollen, sensitive breasts, cramping, bloating, headaches, mood swings and fatigue, says Womenshealth.gov. Go easy on your girlfriend during this time. She's not being moody and grumpy because she wants to make your life difficult -- it's likely to be down to her body's changing hormones.
Say the Right Things
PMS can affect a woman's confidence. Bloating may make your girlfriend feel unattractive, and it's your job to remind her how wonderful she is. Reminding her how much you love and desire her may help to boost her self-esteem. Don't tease her about her period -- it may not go down well.
Knight in Shining Armor
Even if you're a little grossed out by the idea of your girlfriend's menstrual cycle, be sensitive to her needs. If she seems a bit cross during this time, know that it is her hormones talking and not the real her. Let her talk to you about how she's feeling if she wants to, which shows her you care. If you're better at dealing with the practical side of things, offer to do the housework or grocery shopping while she puts her feet up. Draw her a hot bath and add relaxing oils to soothe any menstrual aches and pains. Offer to rub her feet or massage her shoulders. Bring her home some of her favorite candy and a magazine, and you'll definitely be in her good books.