Code Red: 8 Things Guys Should Do When Their Girlfriend Is On Her Period

Dear boys,

Yes, it’s that time of the month again. And yes, all the ladies in your life are bound to be a little ornery, tired, grouchy, annoyed, basically “insert an adjective of your choosing here”. Justifiably. This is something you will never understand, lucky you. Yeah, all of us ladies are a little resentful of that. It will always slightly bug us that you don’t have to deal with this pain and inconvenience of getting your period. Take a moment to be grateful for that.


It is painful, whether you get cramps or back aches or headaches, or the worst – pains down there. It disrupts our focus when you are in that much pain, and for some girls, it’s so bad they can’t even move. Even the simple act of sleeping becomes difficult. But we can’t call in sick because that’s “not a legitimate excuse.” Which logistically is right, we can’t call in sick a week out of every month in the year. But nonetheless, it’s still f*cking painful.

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Not only are there all these physically draining effects, but getting your period can drastically mess with your emotions too. Everything and anything can make you sad, angry, or just randomly burst into tears. Everything is just a bit out of whack. I find that I’m just about always hungry with the strangest of cravings and the urge to shove any food in front of me into my mouth.

When a girl gets her period it literally affects everything in her life, so in my opinion, we have every right to be a little ornery. Or a lot. As annoying as it is to have to deal with it, it is even more annoying to have to pay for tampons and pads. These things might as well be made of gold for the price tag on them (um, hello America, this is necessary so can we get on making these things free to women please, ain’t nobody got money for that). It has become clear to me throughout college and high school that guys don’t exactly know how to handle this. There are certain things you can say and do, and things definitely to avoid:

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1. Don’t judge us when we can’t stop eating, or when we have weird cravings. It just happens. When a girl is on her period, she burns more calories thus making her hungrier.

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2. Do offer chocolate; 9 times out of 10 that helps. (Side note: even if we aren’t on our periods, it still helps. Wine too. Wine is always a good choice.)

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3. Don’t compare this to a kick in the balls. It is nothing like that. You can avoid getting kicked, we can’t avoid that. That is also a short-term, temporary pain. Getting your period lasts a week…if you’re lucky.

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4. Do potentially have tampons available. I know this is a stretch, but I swear any girl would think incredibly highly of you if you have a backup supply at your house when crisis hits. It is always a moment of panic when you realize you got your period and you have nothing on you. This would be a very kind gesture. We (the female species as a whole) would greatly appreciate it. And if this is too much for you, at least be willing to buy some at some point in your life. Don’t shy away at the register when your girlfriend asks you to pick up a box when you run to the store. I promise the cashier will know they aren’t for you.

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5. Don’t ask us if it is that time of the month just because we are a little irritable that day. Just don’t. If we are we will get pissed, if we aren’t we will also get pissed. It’s a lose-lose situation.

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6. Do your research: thinking it normally lasts 3 days, HA. I have heard so many falsities said by men about all aspects of getting your period. One time my friend asked me if I wanted Tums when I had cramps…it was a sweet gesture that I appreciated, but, that’s not how that works at all. Please, look into the simple things. I’m not asking that you are able to identify specialized and detailed diagrams of the uterus, but have a general idea of how things work. Here’s a start: it’s the uterus cleaning itself out. Open up another tab on your computer right now and type in basic information about menstruation. That’s right, use the big people word for it. I believe in you.

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7. Don’t get pissed if we get blood somewhere. Sometimes sh*t just happens and we can’t control it. It’s gross, we all know it is, but try not to make that big of deal of it. We aren’t just gonna leave it there, we will clean it up and take care of it, but please don’t get mad because chances are, we’re embarrassed enough as it is.


8. Do talk to your girlfriends about this kind of stuff. We are willing to answer questions.

Finally, can we make it less of an issue when we talk about periods? Why is it so hush-hush? Why is it so embarrassing to talk about? I’m on my period, I need tampons, I bleed, I’m in pain. But this is normal. Let’s make it normal. K, thanks. 

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You say we complain a lot, but think about it from our perspective. This is something we have to live with forever. We can’t ever get rid of it no matter what we do, and for a total of three months of the year, we will be on our periods. We aren’t over exaggerating, I promise. So fellas, please take all of this into consideration before you make a snarky comment about your girl being on her period.


Girls everywhere

Featured Image via Kotex.


  1. I have a friend who compared it to getting kicked in the balls once infront of his gf. Needless to say an argument followed, a rather loud one at that, and I came up with the solution that she got to kick him in the balls three random times a day until it had passed. She smiled and he looked like “Common bro, not cool”. She later has thanked me and says it has helped her through the times of a code red while my friend says he´ll never speak ill of it again.


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