My HormonologyLet’s face it–even though men have their own hormone cycle and both men and women produce the same hormones in our bodies (albeit in different amounts), our monthly cycle is still a mystery to most males. Which is why when PMS rears its ugly, irritable, vase-throwing head, it confuses many guys.

As a result, some men are cold about it, telling us it’s all in our heads or to simply shake it off, while others are simply scared, preferring to run and hide (like Dan Conner did in this hilarious take on PMS on the TV show Roseanne.)

Luckily, a study published in the American Journal of Men’s Health shows there’s an easy way to help men become more sympathetic when your premenstrual week rolls around: Educate them about it.

As the researchers discovered, when men learned that PMS was simply a biological response to plunging levels of estrogen that triggers a myriad of side effects–including irritability, sadness, achiness, cravings and lack of confidence–they were more understanding when the women in their lives experienced it.

This makes perfect sense since it makes the condition seem less mysterious. Plus, it’s easy to understand.

So, if you’d like a man in your life to show you more care and concern when you reach your premenstrual week, take a moment to explain to him why PMS occurs: It’s because plunging levels of estrogen trigger certain changes in the brain that cause the side effects you’re experiencing.

If he needs further explanation, liken it to a time he tried to quit coffee or cigarettes and how grouchy and blue he became. In a similar way, your brain is responding to getting less estrogen, causing a withdrawal-like state.

I also suggest going one step further: Depending on the relationship you have with the man you’re educating (partner, brother, friend, son, etc.), recommend various ways he can make you feel better during your premenstrual week. Guys love to fix problems–not just hear about them. And PMS seems unfixable to them, which frustrates them. When you suggest a few ways he can help boost your mood during your premenstrual week, it makes him feel like he’s somehow improving the situation, which makes both you and he happier.

And, I’m sure you know of plenty of easy mood-boosters he can try. For instance, my husband, Douglas, knows that hugs make me calmer and happier when my premenstrual week arrives. He also knows surprising me with a cupcake or other treat will perk me right up. And giving me total control over the TV remote during my premenstrual week is just a given.

Want extra help educating a guy? Simply send him this blog post. And be sure to follow up with a list of PMS-busters he could try the next time you enter your premenstrual phase.

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