Let’s talk menstruation.
Photo: Joshua Ness
Aunt flo, red tide, that time of month, shark week. There are literally thousands of euphemisms for menstruation so that you don’t have to talk about it, but what happens when we do want to share?
And what happens when you want to share with those closest to you? Sharing is easier than ever with period tracking apps, but how do you know which information to share, and what to keep to yourself?
So…what’s the answer? What’s the right amount of sharing, and how much is too much? What’s the right answer? Wait for it….
Exactly as much as feels right for you.
Our answer isn’t concrete and straightforward, but neither are you. We’re all different, and every relationship is unique.
Beyond practical reasons, there’s no need for your menstruation data to go anywhere beyond you and your tracking app–or whatever you use to keep track of your cycles.
Just like the amount of information you share, how you share is completely up to you, depending on your relationship. If your S.O. is a guy, he could most likely use some extra information. There are definitely some questions that he’s never asked or had answered. The more he knows, the easier it will be to talk about it.
However, if you do choose to share with your sexual partner(s), here are some positives that could come of it.
You can time sex without having to have a new conversation about it every time
Is your partner a fan of period sex? Or does it make them uncomfortable? Talk about it and get on the same page now, so that you don’t have to have this conversation on your way to bed.
It can be easier to make plans
Not a fan of discussing your menstruation woes every single month? With sharing features on apps like Period Track, you can make it easier on yourself and give your partner access to your calendar. Add your partner’s email, they’ll have access to your calendar, and won’t need verbal reminders every single cycle that no, you don’t want to make big plans right before your period is about to start.
You can time sex around your fertility window
Trying to get pregnant? Sharing via an app can keep your partner in the loop about your when you’re most fertile. Talk about which days are best for conceiving, and whether you remind them in a conversation, or point them to your app, you can make sure they’re informed.
Honesty about emotional changes could bring you closer
Repressing mood swings and emotions is no way to deal with PMS. This psychologist suggests that the better your communication about emotional changes during your cycle, the easier it is to avoid hurt feelings or misunderstandings. If you keep those closest to you informed, you could add a level of understanding to your relationship, instead of pushing them away when you’re feeling moody.
Your cycle is your information to wield as you wish. It’s your life. You don’t have to share it with anyone you don’t feel comfortable sharing with.
But…. when you share, you get some great benefits. Increased communication is good in any relationship, and whether you actually talk about it, or use an app to communicate, it can be nice to have someone else informed when you’re PMS-ing or going through your monthly bout of nasty cramps.
Don’t leave it all to your app. The more you talk about your period, the easier it becomes, and it can actually bring you closer to your partner.
Ready to start tracking your cycle?