Why Your Partner Should Know Your Menstrual Cycle, From A Therapist
Of all the ways to improve your relationship, factoring in your and/or your partner's menstrual cycle probably isn't high on the list.
But according to experts, cycle tracking is actually one simple and effective way for the two of you to be more intimately connected and understanding. Here's why.
The case for telling your partner about your cycle.
For those of us who bleed, you likely already know how your cycle can impact everything from your mood to your sex drive to your energy levels. But when was the last time you explained to your partner what was happening in your body?
According to licensed sex therapist De-Andrea Blaylock-Solar, MSW, LCSW-S, CST, if you don't already talk to your partner about your cycle, you might want to start.
"Knowing your own cycle, and then to be able to share that with your partner, is so beneficial for a lot of different reasons," she says. Your partner can not only understand your experience better, she explains, but they can also support you in whichever phase of your cycle you're in.
For instance, Blaylock-Solar says that when she experiences cramps, her husband is more attentive. Or consider the differences in how you feel during ovulation versus the luteal phase right before your period. When you're ovulating, you're going to have more energy (and a higher sex drive), and during the luteal phase, you could experience PMS symptoms like headaches, anxiety, and moodiness.
"Our bodies are very similar to the natural environment, and learning to honor our own powerful internal cyclical nature is a gift," certified women's hormonal health coach Nicole Jardim previously wrote for mbg. "If the people we share our lives with are ignorant of these changes, we'll never be able to take the best care of ourselves or our partners."
How to open up the conversation.
First things first: If you aren't already tracking your cycle, you should. When you start paying more attention to how your cycle is impacting you, you'll find it can explain a lot—and then you can explain what you figure out to your partner.
Feeling like you want to rip your partner's head off three days before your period? Par for the course, perhaps—but they may not understand it's not personal if they're unaware you're PMSing. The same thing goes for when you're ovulating and feeling sexier than usual—your partner can benefit from knowing you'll likely be game for some frisky fun at this time (versus later in your cycle when you might be feeling the opposite of game).
"If your partner is coming on to you and you're not in the mood because you're gonna get your period any second, you can just say, 'Hey, I'm getting my period,' and then they'll be like, 'Right, of course,'" Blaylock-Solar says.
Then, assuming your cycle is regular, your partner knowing where you are within your cycle can help them predict when you might want more space, when you'll have more energy, and of course, when you're fertile.
"It might seem strange to involve your partner in such an intimate part of your life, but doing so allows you to maximize your relationship, too," psychology expert Erin Rachel Doppelt, M.A., previously wrote for mbg, adding, "It's a way of allowing your partner to understand you—your body, your mood shifts, your priorities, and your spiritual energy—all the more fully so that you can create an even deeper and more meaningful connection."
The bottom line is, clueing your partner in to where you are in your cycle is a simple way to help them understand what you're going through and, further, know what to expect and how best to support you.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.