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What Do Men Know About PMS? Except To Duck?

By       Message Martha Rosenberg     Permalink
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When the pill debuted in the 1960's, feminist critics said it produced 51 changes in women's bodies--only one of which was cessation of ovulation.

Why should women risk cancer and stroke while men get off Scott free, they asked?

The same might be said of PMS.

Women experience a host of physiological and mental changes--only one of which is dissolution of the corpus luteum. And men get off Scott free.

Sure, periods have their good side--a gateway to womanhood for young girls, proof that you didn't get pregnant when you didn't want to and, later in life, proof that the other M is still around the corner.

But how about the down side?

Raise your hand if you have two sets of clothes, not counting the ones you wear when you're washing everything else.

Normal clothes from Macy's, H&M and Forever 21? And waist, thigh, hip and butt disguising long sweaters and tunics?  Also known as drapes.
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Then there's legs.

Except for Paula Radcliffe and Amy Winehouse, legs get PMS, too, because wherever there's a fat cell there's a cell that can--and will--double in size.

Who says leggings are one-size-fits-all?

Despite the health implication of PMS--flare ups of otherwise dormant sinus infections, sensitive teeth, orthopedic pain, headaches, and complexion problems (viz: the "antiglow" of low estrogen, pregnancy's evil twin)--most medical advice is written by men.

Worried about water bloat and weight gain, they write?  Nibble on carrots and other low calorie snacks-see: oxymorons--as if carbo snarfing were not the brain's marching orders during PMS.  Try watching football without beer, guys. Puh-lease.
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Pants won't zip?  Hit the treadmill say male writers, as if your workout clothes fit.  As if you want to see yourself in the fitness center's wall of mirrors.  As if you want to watch lifting dramas of 'roid rats in wife-beater T-shirts.

Then there are the beloved contradictions of the PMS brain.

Your brain is so fogged, so flatlined you think someone moved the letters on your keyboard and changed your password--but that doesn't mean you can actually sleep.

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Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative public health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)

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