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12 Things Guys Will Never Understand About Periods

Um, do you feel it all day?

1. Is there a moment when it first starts up and your vagina is all, "Well, it's period time and you can't do shit about it," and you're just like, "OK, here we go?" Is it immediately obvious? Does it creep up on you slowly? Or do you have no idea until the next time you go to the bathroom? We have no idea just how subtle or unsubtle periods are. Frankly, a lot of guys probably just assume it's like peeing blood, at least in terms of the feeling it gives you. We're probably wrong. Is there a consistent feeling throughout, or do you just ignore it?

2. Are period stomach cramps any different from other kinds of stomach cramps? Can you get both kinds at the same time? Again, we have a really poor frame of reference here outside of really, really having to poop. To review: We pretty much understand the sensation of a period as feeling like you have to poop, but then peeing blood. That sounds like a terrifying nightmare.

3. How do you know if you have the right tampon? Is the search ever over? There are so many tampons. Do you know how big or small your vagina is, roughly, or is it a lot of trial and error?

4. How and why do menstrual cups exist? This seems to go against every natural law I know. There's no way it catches everything. I would watch an hour-long documentary on menstrual cup logistics. Then I'd spend another hour just staring out the window, probably.

5. How do you know when it's over? Is there a moment when you know, "Yep. It's all out. Time to not worry?" Because it seems like periods can trick you and stop and then start up again.

6. Do you ever have a moment when you're like, "It's weird I'm putting a bunch of absorbent cotton up inside me?" I wonder if part of you still thinks it's weird. Or do you just catch yourself every so often thinking about it in the same way we think about lots of stuff that we take for granted? 

7. Is there standard tampon maintenance, like proper upkeep and care for your vagina? Is there a recommended set time to swap them out, like a 5,000-mile oil change? I'm sorry if now you're picturing an auto mechanic describing smart tampon usage. 

8. Is there a special signal for when a woman excuses herself to go to the bathroom to do period stuff? Is there some kind of look you give each other? Or do you rush off in a certain way (or is that only for diarrhea)? Maybe different women have different tells.

9. Does it ruin your clothes every month? Or is it pretty easy to get out? I imagine you'd be careful not to wear nice things when you're on your period, or at least be careful to wear old panties or something. But I have to imagine it happens sometimes. There should be some kind of insurance for that.

10. How often are you faking cramps to get out of something? You've lied about them, right? To get out of gym class or work or a terrible date or something? It seems like a free ticket, especially if you're talking to a dude.

​11. PMS is basically like aliens: We can't prove it exists but we have our theories. The only thing we've (hopefully) learned at this point is that it's OK for you to blame something you do on PMS. It is never OK for us to blame you being mad on PMS.

12. Syncing up with someone seems like it's basically a blood oath (PUN NOT INTENDED, I SWEAR). ​Guys don't sync up on anything unless you count all having to pee really bad and waiting in line for the bathroom at a sports stadium. And that's such a fleeting moment. Do you feel closer with a roommate you've synced with? Is there an unspoken bond? Can they call you any time of night for a favor? That has to be kind of cool.


This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.


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