Women experience a fluctuation in hormones each month. Those changes can bring about a variety of symptoms. Men often tiptoe around the issue, or worse, say offensive things in relationship to women and their periods.
Don’t be one of those misinformed men! Comforting a woman while she’s on her period is quite similar to comforting anyone in pain or discomfort.
So, the woman you’re dating, crushing on, or pining after has just told you she’s on her period and uncomfortable. Now, how to respond or send a sweet message showing that you care? We’re going to get into some guidelines for just how to text a girl when she’s on her period.
But first, let’s get a crash course on the science behind it all.
Understanding the science
What exactly does it mean when a woman gets her period? Obviously, and often most importantly, it means that she’s not pregnant. But there’s much more to it than that.
The menstruation cycle is the monthly shedding of a woman’s uterine lining. This whole process takes place over a 21-35 day range.
There are five phases that women go through during that time. Depending on the phase, estrogen and progesterone levels rise and drop. These varying hormone levels can cause emotional changes in some women.
Hormone changes and mood
Women experience dropping levels of estrogen and progesterone before their actual period (when they’re bleeding). That’s why women who experience changes in mood often know that their period is about to come.
The drop in these hormones affects chemicals in the brain: serotonin and dopamine. To give some context, you might already know that both those chemicals are often referred to as “happy hormones.” Basically, that means that serotonin and dopamine play a huge part in regulating mood.
Women may also experience physical discomfort such as cramping or bloating. Pain levels will vary; however, the pain can get so bad for some women that it causes nausea or vomiting.
So, in addition to women being in physical discomfort before and during their period, they are also dealing with hormonal changes that affect their mood.
These symptoms are often referred to as PMS (premenstrual syndrome). It’s extremely common, with about 3 out of 4 women experiencing at least some symptoms of PMS.
Throughout history, women have often been isolated or demonized for having their periods. Today, there is still a large stigma that surrounds women during their periods.
Don’t be a man who propagates these offensive beliefs. Women are going through physical and hormonal changes throughout the month, which as science has shown us, can sometimes affect their moods and emotions.
How you talk about women on their periods, both with women and with other men, is important. Treating women as though they are “tainted,” “dramatic,” or worst yet, “crazy” for going through the inevitable menstruation cycle is unacceptable.
What NOT to say
Now that we understand a little bit more about the science and hormonal changes that happen when a woman has her period, we can get into what you absolutely should not say to her during this time.
Some general symptoms of PMS are mood swings, appetite changes, and even crying spells. However, this doesn’t mean that it happens to all women.
Women experience their periods in very different ways. While some women may love you bringing chocolate at that time of the month, others may be annoyed by the assumption that they need it. Likewise, don’t assume that if she’s crying it’s that time of the month either.
Avoid stereotypes surrounding women during their periods. It’s a sure way to piss her off. Don’t assume you know what she’s experiencing or her preferred way of dealing with it. When in doubt, don’t say anything.
DO NOT call her emotional or dramatic
This is a hot-button topic for most women navigating the world today. There are many stereotypes that women are emotionally unstable or dramatic – before, during, or after their periods.
If you don’t believe me, I’ll reference the constant questioning in politics about a woman’s emotional capacity to run for president. Forget about all the positive changes in a woman’s brain brought on by her period, society still tends to focus on the negatives.
Do not comment on her emotional stability. Avoid trigger words like crazy, dramatic, emotional, irrational, etc. Even if you don’t think you’re saying something offensive, but you’re using those words, you probably are. And if not, just the mention is likely to trigger something negative in her.
Anything offensive or insulting
This seems obvious, but I think it needs to be mentioned. Please do not text a girl something rude in reference to her period. Ideally, don’t text her anything offensive or insulting in general. Period.
Even if you are in a heated discussion, let things cool down a bit. Not to say women can’t have serious discussions during their periods. They absolutely can, are, and will continue to every day.
But texting isn’t the best forum to get into heavy topics or discussions. It’s not a great way to have an argument. Messages can be misconstrued and meanings twisted, so just save the serious stuff for in person at a time that is good for you both.
Comments that are sure to offend
If you’re not sure what exactly I’m referring to by not saying offensive stereotypes or being insulting, then I’m going to list some absolutely horrendous but common comments made by men to women during their periods.
“You’re being irrational/dramatic.”
Nothing will piss off a woman more than this statement. Ok, maybe not nothing, but man, do we hate when men say this to us. Please, never say this to a woman, during her period or not. There are a million different ways to handle a discussion without using these words.
“Are you on your period?”
Any version of this question will annoy a woman. Don’t assume by our behavior that it’s “that time of the month.” Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. But, if she wanted to discuss her period with you, then you’d know if she’s on it or not. If she hasn’t specifically told you, leave it alone.
“You look tired. Are you ok?”
If she’s on her period or PMSing, then we know that she may be dealing with fatigue due to hormonal changes. Does this seem like something that needs to be brought to her attention by telling her she doesn’t look great? No. The answer is no. Generally, though, period or not, telling someone they look tired is annoying and offensive.
What to say
Now that we’ve gotten past what not to say, let’s move on to the good stuff: things you can say to comfort a woman you love, like, or appreciate while she’s maybe not feeling her best.
Honestly, it’s not as complicated as society has made it out to be. A woman on her period is just a woman. You should speak to them with the same respect and kindness that you normally do.
It should also be repeated that you should never assume a woman is on her period. Don’t worry about what to say to her while on her period if she hasn’t talked to you about that; however, if she’s shared that with you, then great!
Be compassionate and kind
So a lot of these tips on what to say would be the same for anyone who is experiencing any pain or discomfort. A woman on her period is not an “other.” She’s just a person who is dealing with physical pain and hormonal changes.
How do you treat someone who doesn’t feel great? I’d hope with empathy, compassion, and kindness. Show her that you are there for her.
Let her talk to you if she wants to, but don’t be pushy or needy. She may just want to be left alone. So, respect what she wants.
Ask about her
She’s told you she’s on her period. Ask her how she’s feeling or if she needs anything. If she lets you know what she’s going through, then she probably wants you to be there for her. Don’t guess what she wants or needs, just ask.
You should also just ask about things going on in her life in general. Her world hasn’t stopped because she’s on her period. If you know about things she’s got going on personally or professionally, ask about them. She’ll appreciate that you remembered and want to know about her.
“I’m sorry you don’t feel great.”
When in doubt, keep it simple. If she’s told you that she’s having physical pain or having mood changes due to her period, then saying something like this is a safe bet. It shows you care and are sympathetic.
Do not try to offer advice or suggestions if she’s told you she doesn’t feel well. Why? Because you actually don’t know what she’s going through. Sure, you should know the science behind it, and hopefully, you’ve had conversations with other women or with her on the topic, so it’s not such a foreign thing to you.
But, you never have and will never experience a period. Don’t pretend like you know what it’s like. If she asks for suggestions (which is highly unlikely), and your sister has a cramp remedy that’s always worked for her, offer it up. Otherwise, just let her know you’re there with a simple phrase.
Texting a girl on her period isn’t rocket science
Basically, texting a woman who has her period shouldn’t be much different than texting a woman who doesn’t. Oftentimes, you’ll never know when one or the other is happening.
If a woman has told you she’s on her period, then by all means be there to comfort her. When in doubt, ask what she needs or how she feels. Never assume you know what she’s going through.
Every woman is different and experiences PMS in different ways. What works for one woman may not work for another. There are no cookie-cutter text phrases that are guaranteed to impress. Treat a woman as a human being who isn’t feeling great and has reached out for comfort.
If you’re able to be kind and caring via text, no matter what a woman is going through, it will be greatly appreciated.