THE PUNCH Newspaper- Tunde Ajaja

Mr. Fidelis and his wife, Sandra, had just finished their monthly exercise; jogging round their estate, that morning when they retired to the comfort of their home.

And being a weekend, they engaged in jocular chit-chat in their balcony, where they spent the better part of the morning.

But, as Fidelis would later tell our correspondent, their casual conversation soon snowballed into an erotic one, and one could surmise that perhaps that drift was reinforced by the fact that exercise has been found to trigger the release of sexual hormones.

He said as he started feeling ‘funny’, he had an instant urge to make love to his wife, and that thankfully she cooperated. “We both managed to make our way into the sitting room,” he added.

However, Fidelis said just as he wanted to take it a ‘step’ further, his wife quickly stopped him and told him she had started her period.

“I was deflated and angry,” he quipped. “I didn’t even know why I was angry, but at that moment I was very sad. I left her and headed for the bedroom to have my bath. I later apologised to her because I also didn’t know why I was angry. I guess I was really in the mood and I really wanted it.”

It is entirely understandable that a man tends to feel disappointed when his sexual expectation is dashed, especially given the fantasies that flood his mind before the act itself.

Arguably, Fidelis would have had his way and would not feel disappointed in any way if he had known his wife’s menstrual cycle, but to most men, a woman’s menstrual cycle is not their business, not for any reason.

Meanwhile, according to experts, a man should know his wife’s menstrual cycle. Citing some benefits, they said it tends to have positive impact on the relationship. Some of the benefits include:

A symbol of love: This might appear insignificant to some men, especially when they see menstruation as a ritual for every mature woman. But findings have shown that women tend to feel loved and appreciated when their spouses pay attention to everything about them, even when their situation is deemed normal. Perhaps women who need more of such care are those who are prone to dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation), usually characterised by pain in the pelvis or lower abdomen. Such women even resort to crying and are unable to engage in any activity. Thus, knowing when her cycle is close and showing her care, understanding and expressing love for her would make her feel loved.

It helps to manage sexual expectation: Another benefit of a man knowing his wife’s cycle is that it helps him to manage his sexual expectation from the woman at that period. From findings, even though they tend to have increased sexual urge due to some hormones secreted by their system, some women detest sex at such times, not even because of the pain, although that can be enormous, but some avoid it because the bleeding could make the act look untidy and irritating. Equally, it has been gathered that when their sexual expectation is not met, men tend to feel disappointed, especially given the fact that most men don’t want to have sex with a woman menstruating. Thus, one way to avoid this is to know the wife’s cycle. A consultant endocrinologist, Dr. Michael Olamoyegun, said, “Most men don’t like having sex when their wife is having her period. You can imagine a man coming home and he already prepared that he would want to have sex with his wife, only to get home and discover that the wife is having her period, which is not a bad thing. But that would create some disappointment in the man. But when he knows her cycle, there would be no expectation.” By the way, it should also be noted that penile intercourse is not the only route to sexual satisfaction. Studies have shown that kissing, stimulating a man’s glans and the stimulation of a woman’s nipples and even earlobes are shortcuts to sexual satisfaction.

It helps with family planning: For men who are indisposed to family planning, knowing the woman’s menstrual cycle is a way to have safe sex as much as they want. It also helps couples that are not inclined to use condom to have unhindered sex.

Helps to prevent unwanted pregnancy: It is not unusual for married couples to be confronted with the pregnancy they were not prepared for, however, it becomes easier when a man knows the wife’s menstrual cycle. It is also particularly helpful in cases when both of them have not agreed on having another child, especially when the man does not want another child but the woman wants. Knowing the cycle would help him not to fall prey.

Helps women hoping for pregnancy: There is a certain window around ovulation that couples expecting pregnancy are advised to have sex, and it applies to couples that desire a particular gender; male or female. Olamoyegun said, “If you, as a man, are able to track the menstrual cycle of your wife, you also know the time when both of you should meet, especially if the woman is not the type to talk about or initiate sex. Even if you plan to travel, you can plan your trip in a way that you would be available, especially if you are really in need of a child.”

Helps to cope with mood swing: One of the things that come with a woman’s menstrual cycle is mood swing, which is said to be more during the last phase of the cycle. The mood imbalance is often accompanied by irritability, bad temper or touchiness. Thus, a man who does not know it is that time of the month tends to find the woman’s actions and inactions annoying, which would not be helpful to the relationship. Olamoyegun said, “If a man has not understudied his wife to know how she behaves at such times, he might not know. And given the fact that he does not know, he might take up argument and quarrels with her, instead of showing her the care she needs at that time.”

Helps to understand her body language: According to Olamoyegun, the sexual urge of some women reach the peak during their period, thus a man who does not know the wife’s cycle tends to be unaware of the wife’s sexual needs, especially when she’s not the type that is vocal when she wants sex. He added, “Some display some behaviours at such times, but if the man is not aware of her menstrual cycle and he is also not aware of such behaviours or signals, it might be difficult to know what the woman wants and ultimately be unable to meet her needs at such times.”

When asked whether it is actually safe to have sex with a woman that is menstruating, given that some men and women alike abhor it, Olamoyegun said people’s reluctance are due to different reasons.

He explained that for some, they are simply not comfortable with penetrating a woman when she’s bleeding and that is why they don’t do it. “To such persons, it looks messy, and really it’s a bit messy because you could have splashes of blood. That is why most men don’t engage in it,” he added.

Furthermore, he said some abstain for cultural reasons, because they see it as a taboo to have sex during menstruation. “In addition, some religions frown at it, which deter people of such faith from engaging in it,” he added.

Beyond these, he said some people feel it could predispose women to infection and that it could exacerbate pain, especially women who have dysmenorrhea (painful periods). “These are some of the reasons people feel it is not good, but some do it and they don’t have any issue with it,” he added.

Meanwhile, there is a belief in some quarters that eating sweet food towards the menstrual cycle could bring about or aggravate pain when the period starts, but Olamoyegun said dysmenorrhea is not associated with eating a particular food. He said, rather, it is more of “genetic predisposition.”

“Women who have it tend to have daughters who would also have it. For some, the pain precedes the period, and once the menstruation starts, the pain would subside. It’s not like that for some. Some even say having hot shower is better; it works for some and it doesn’t work for some. So, it varies.”

He therefore advised women, especially those who experience pain before the period starts, to take analgesic and then avoid things that can aggravate the pain, maybe stress or trekking long distance.


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