Growing up we probably have seen this being a taboo or awkward topic at our homes. Such things can sometimes make it hard to talk about periods with your partner, but ...

Talking About Periods: Why It’s Important for Couples

menstruation conversation couple, periods

Did you know how much pain a woman goes through during her menstrual cycles or what kind of emotions she faces? Do you know how to communicate the emotions and issues to your partner to foster a better understanding of a couple's relationship? Addressing the challenges and experiences related to menstruation within intimate relationships is crucial for fostering understanding, empathy, and support. In this exclusive interaction Naaz Farheen, Co-Founder & CEO, We The Change, an NGO focused on Menstrual Hygiene and Baely's Consulting Editor Mahima Sharma delve into the significance of open communication between partners, focusing on how both men and women can navigate conversations about menstruation with sensitivity towards building a healthy relationship.

What should every husband/partner know about periods?

Naaz: As a husband or partner, it's important to have an understanding of your partner’s menstrual cycle and the impact it can have on her both hormonally and emotionally. Firstly, remember that hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle are a natural occurrence that can influence a woman's mood, energy levels, and overall well-being. Men may be aware that they may experience physical discomforts, such as cramps or bloating. But most fail to understand how bad the pain can be and may require extra support or understanding during this time. We did an experiment where we asked some men to take on a challenge like no other - experiencing the infamous period cramps firsthand through a cramps stimulation machine!

Emotionally also, your partner may experience a range of feelings beyond the physical pain throughout her menstrual cycle. It's crucial to be patient and empathetic during times when she might feel more irritable, sensitive, or even low in mood. Recognize that these emotional fluctuations are not within her control and refrain from dismissing or trivializing her experiences. Instead, offer a listening ear, provide comfort, and offer practical support where needed.

Educate yourself (details below) about her menstrual cycle, so you can anticipate when she might be going through these fluctuations. This knowledge will help you navigate any potential conflicts or misunderstandings with compassion and understanding. Remember, being an attentive and supportive partner during her menstrual cycle can strengthen your relationship and create a safe space where she feels valued and understood.

How can you as a couple initiate and maintain open conversations about menstruation?

Naaz: See Mahima, in a healthy relationship, open communication is vital, including when it comes to discussing menstruation. To initiate and maintain open conversations about this topic, both partners should approach it with empathy, understanding, and respect. Here are some suggestions from both female and male perspectives on creating a safe space to discuss menstruation:

Let me start by sharing the Female Perspective:

I would assert, ladies please shun the shame! Sharing your experiences openly with your partner can foster understanding and empathy. You can start by expressing how menstruation affects you physically and emotionally. Share your concerns, such as menstrual pain, mood swings, or fatigue, and explain how it impacts your daily life. By being open and vulnerable, you allow your partner to support you better.

For example, you could say, "Honey, during my period, I experience cramps that can be quite painful. It would mean a lot to me if you could understand when I'm not feeling my best and offer some extra support or help around the house."

Coming down to the Male Perspective:

Gentlemen, it's crucial to approach menstruation with sensitivity and an open mind. Create a safe space for discussions by showing genuine interest and asking open-ended questions. By listening attentively and demonstrating empathy, you can deepen your understanding and provide the support your partner needs.

For instance, you might ask, "How can I best support you during your period? Is there anything specific I can do to help alleviate any discomfort or make you feel more comfortable?"

Growing up we probably have seen this being a taboo or awkward topic at our homes. Such things can sometimes make it hard to talk about periods with your partner, but knowing that having an open conversation about periods can help create a more supportive and understanding environment, where both partners can navigate menstruation together, then I would say it’s about time we break this stigma, starting within our own homes first. 

In what ways can husbands create a supportive and understanding environment for their partners? 

Naaz: While every woman's experience is unique, here are a few key insights that can help you navigate it with empathy and care:

  • Practice Empathy and Compassion during Hormonal Fluctuations: The menstrual cycle involves hormonal shifts that can impact a woman's emotions, energy levels, and physical well-being. Also, understand that the extent of these fluctuations is not the same for all and can vary from person to person. Be patient and understanding if your partner experiences mood swings, fatigue, or other emotional changes during this time. Offer comfort, support in household work, and a listening ear when she needs it most.
  • Communication is Key: Open and honest communication is vital in any relationship, including discussing topics related to menstruation. Encourage your partner to share her needs, concerns, and any specific ways you can offer support during this time. By understanding her unique experience, you can better navigate potential challenges together.
  • Practical Support: Simple gestures can go a long way in showing your care and understanding. Offer to help with household chores, provide a hot water bottle for pain relief, or surprise her with her favourite snacks or comfort foods. Small acts of kindness can make a significant difference in easing her discomfort and making her feel valued.
  • Educate Yourself: While it's not necessary to delve into intricate details, educating yourself about the menstrual cycle can help you better comprehend what your partner goes through. This knowledge can deepen your empathy and allow you to anticipate her needs, creating a more supportive environment.

What steps can the husband/ partner take to self-educate themselves about menstrual health and hygiene?

There are numerous publications and articles that are available online e.g

What is the menstrual cycle?

What is a period? Menstruation 101

Workshops and seminars on menstrual health are also great options to learn about the menstrual cycle, menstrual hygiene, and how to support your partner when they are menstruating. Educational workshops and seminars are provided by numerous organisations and health facilities.

A deeper knowledge of what your partner undergoes can also be obtained by asking them about their menstrual cycle experiences.

Also, a lot of men sometimes feel weird about having to buy menstrual products like pads, tampons, menstrual cups, and period panties from a pharmacy. Educating yourself about these products can also prove helpful especially when your partner needs help in an emergency situation. Remember periods are a natural phenomenon and there is no reason to feel weird about buying them. 

Hormonal changes during menstruation can affect libido and intimacy. How can a couple navigate it?

Naaz: See Mahima, it all boils down to interpersonal communication. The wife to have open and honest communication with her husband about how hormonal changes during menstruation can affect her libido and intimacy. The wife should express her feelings and needs, and the husband should listen actively without judgment. Beyond this, they need to get involved with each other in some important ways that I would like to list out..

  • Educate your partner - The wife can educate her husband about the menstrual cycle and the hormonal changes that occur during this time. This can help the husband understand why his wife may or may not be in the mood for sex and what he can do to support her during this time. 
  • Plan intimate activities - The husband can plan intimate activities that are not necessarily sexual. This can include cuddling, massages, or watching a movie together. These activities can help the wife feel close and connected to her husband without the pressure of having sex. The love language of intimacy beyond sex is essential. 
  • Be patient and understanding - It's essential for the husband as well as the wife to be patient and understanding during this time. He should avoid making the wife feel guilty or pressured about not wanting to have sex. Instead, he should be supportive and understanding of her needs. On the other hand, the wife also needs to understand that the partner will take some time to understand her emotions as he may not have learnt about the same from his mother, sisters, etc. So both need to give each other time to absorb each other's emotions. 
  • Offer affection and support - The husband can offer his wife affection and support during this time. This can include hugs, kisses, and words of affirmation. These gestures can help the wife feel loved and supported, which can ultimately lead to a more fulfilling sexual relationship in the long run.

Readers also asked 

1. Is it safe to have sex during periods?

Naaz: Yes it is, provided they take protective measures. Since there are still chances to get pregnant during periods. It also protects from STIs. But then it could be painful for her so please avoid it unless you have her consent.

2. How can I keep track of her menstrual cycles so that I am more mindful?

Naaz: Consider using period-tracking apps or common Google calendar alerts to keep track of your wife's menstrual cycles. This will help you anticipate and be more mindful of her emotional and physical well-being during those times, ensuring better communication and support in your relationship.


The opinions expressed within this interview are the personal opinions of the protagonist/protagonists. The facts & statistics, the work profile details of the protagonist/ protagonists do not reflect the views of Baely or the Journalist. Neither Baely nor the Journalist hold any responsibility or liability for the same.

About the Interviewer
About the Author
Mahima Sharma
Mahima Sharma is a Senior Journalist based in Delhi NCR. She has been in the field of TV, Print & Online Journalism since 2005 and previously an additional three years in allied media.
Read More


Other Posts

Download App

Want to save an article that you loved, download the app to get started.
Download App