Only those who menstruate can understand the pain but here are some women trying to explain the reality of something they go through every month.
Menstruation might be a common and natural bodily function for women but it is still considered a taboo topic of discussion. Each month when women go through their periods which can last from three days to a whole week, it's safe to say they experience a lot of physical and mental discomfort. So, when u/5pinktoes left a question on Reddit about what would women like men to know about having periods, the comment section was flooded with ladies from different age groups. They shared their terrible experiences with menstruation and explained why men need to be more understanding and empathetic about this.
I think one of the things that people who don’t menstruate might not consider right away is how exhausted it can make you feel. It wipes you out. I wake up tired and get more tired throughout the day until I finally go to bed and have insomnia from the pain and discomfort of the other symptoms, and it just repeats like that until it’s finally over. u/lizardmom8
Imagine getting sick and feeling hot and achy and gross and wanting to call out but not being able to afford it. Imagine how miserable you’d be. Now imagine getting sick like that once per month for something like 50 years. Just try to give us some sympathy and flexibility. No need to treat me as fragile or a monster, just a person having a rough time. u/zisnotabird
Just been diagnosed with premenstrual dysphoric disorder. A few days to a week every month I'm suicidal, think everyone I know is lying to me, question my boyfriend's love and think he's using me, generally feel worthless and I don't have any business being alive. And I have the ability to tell myself, "I know what this is, it's hormones, it will pass" but still can't stop thinking the thoughts and they feel so real. It's a ride I can't get off. I started an action plan with my doctor in November and did some mental health assessments on a normal day versus a PMD day. We've already discussed endgame if everything fails will be hysterectomy and she's cool with it. u/Background_Ad5873
I have one good week a month. When I ovulate my ovaries cause pain. Then sometimes my vagina feels like I’m sitting on rocks. My eczema flairs, my balance is off, and my skin feels like when I have the flu. The week before my period I sweat when I sleep so much that my hair gets soaked. I could cry at anything (and I’m not a crybaby). I get insomnia. All leading to bleeding like a stuck pig. Men, please be kind to us. More than likely you aren’t seeing us on the one good week we get. u/MissPeppingtosh
The sneezing and coughing during periods are honestly heart-stopping! You just have to take a second and mentally assess the damage and you get that whole cold body feeling. Thank god for menstrual cups, ever since I started using one this worry hasn't been an issue. u/RubY-F0x
Forget periods, ovulating can be the most painful experience ever for some women. I wound up in the hospital ready to get my appendix taken out but surprise, it was my ovary. I still get pain from cysts (eggs getting stuck in my fallopian tube I guess) every once in a while, but now it’s just like bad cramps day and then my period starts and get actual bad cramps. u/FairgroundNiteLights
It’s completely life-draining. The second day is the worst for me. Any plans? Might as well cancel them. I can’t eat cause I’ll just throw it up. I don’t eat and I still throw up. It causes full body shakes and you feel like you’re gonna pass out once that pain hits. Pain relievers take too damn long to kick in and you can’t eat it unless you had food prior (or else you’ll throw up). Guess that depends on body proportions. I’m pretty petite. u/marshmello_bunnyyy
I feel like a “normal” human for half the month, and for the other half, I get to enter my “bad” half. Fun. Especially the last week before the bleed. All the negative emotions were amplified. My brain starts catastrophizing. I can cry for reasons I wouldn’t the first half of the month. Then agonizing cramps paralyze me in my tracks for more months than others. This makes being on vacation or doing anything during this time way less enjoyable for myself and whoever I may be with as a byproduct. I hate it and wish I were a dude just to have a sense of steadiness on a month-to-month basis. u/FirmPeaches
Imagine being told at a young age that you will experience varying degrees of discomfort and inconvenience once monthly for the rest of your life. The only ways out are both awful and unpleasant in their ways, pregnancy being a complete rearranging of all your body systems, some of which never return to your previous normal and menopause is a years-long process of your hormones resettling into new orientations but taking the rest of your body on the ride. But you shouldn't talk about any of that, it makes people uncomfortable, so ideally don't suffer about it and if you must, suffer silently so no one is bothered by you. -u/InimitableMe
That Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) comes before the period. The altered moods that come from PMS are in the week before your period. It pisses me off when guys say "You're upset because you're on your period" when the PMS was a whole week earlier. Normally I'm pissed off when I'm on my period because I'm in pain and bleeding all over the office chair but still have to pretend to work normally. It's not that my emotions are unreasonable, it's just that I'm dealing with a lot at that moment. u/SquareIllustrator909