You have probably seen her happy one second and cranky the next, at least 132 times, in the same day. Yes, it is that time of the month again. She is going through PMS (Pre Menstrual Stress) -- or as it is for many men, Please Make Sense. Don't Panic. Help is here.
WHY SHE GETS 'THAT WAY'
PMS is a medical condition and not a fragment of your or your partners' imagination. Although there is no scientific evidence, the mood swings are sometimes attributed to hormonal changes during this time of the month. Medication such as B-complex tablets may help reduce the symptoms of PMS but will not completely rid of it.
PMS makes a woman foul tempered and extremely irritable. The last thing she needs to hear is what a great day you had. Be patient and tolerant with her. Relax; she is not going to be like this forever. It is just that things are happening to her body which she can hardly control.
Yes, cramps can be so crippling that they affect a woman's day-to-day routine. A lot of women pop pills such as aspirin to ease the pain. But sometimes, even that doesn't help. Try giving her a massage or a hot-water bag.
From cherubic angel to psychopathic hell-raiser, women tend to fluctuate between a wide range of emotions. Don't overreact to her mood swings, which are taking place due to hormonal changes.
Pimples and acne make an unwelcome appearance a few days before a period. Don't over do it by telling her she looks beautiful. But don't ridicule her either. Give her a gentle rub if she asks for it. You could even help her select anti-pimple creams!
Don't make it worse
To keep a track on when she is about to make the transition into the Jekyll and Hyde personality, make your own menstrual calendar which gives you her period dates.
There are also a few things which you can do to actually help!
One of the many things that can aggravate PMS symptoms, you would want to keep stress as far away from your partner as possible. Suggest rescheduling stressful events for after her period. Offer to cook dinner and do household chores.
She may crave for food but if you think she is going to be all sugar and sweetness just because you indulged in her cravings, you are bitterly mistaken. High-fat food can aggravate PMS symptoms so instead why don't you help her go on a hi-fibre diet and lots of fruits which will help maintain normal estrogen levels? Also, no morning bed coffee.
Doctors recommend both yoga and cardio-vascular exercises to relieve the symptoms. You could exercise along with your partner on a regular basis and keep her motivated to continue while we are PMSing.
Your partner needs to get proper sleep a few days before her period sets in. This helps reduce the crankiness factor considerably. So keep the setting ready!
Be a sweetheart
All said and done, the nicest thing you can do for your partner is to just be there for her -- listen to her rave and rant or sit in a corner and sulk for that matter. Don't delude yourself into believing that you can fix it. You can't. Makes sense now?
(With inputs from Dr Varkha Chulani, clinical psychologist and Dr Sudha Tandon, gynaecologist)