via Robin Higgins / Pixabay

Let's face it, a lot of guys are a little out of the loop when it comes to understanding women's bodies.

It seems that either they didn't pay much attention in sex education class or maybe they needed to take it for an entire year just to get the basics down. However, in some cases, men aren't taught about these issues at all.

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Premenstrual food cravings are the punchline of endless jokes. Like most good jokes, they're funny because they're true.

Certain parts of a woman's menstrual cycle do seem to go hand in hand with the desire for chocolate ice cream and potato chips. I hear about this every day from my OBGYN patients.

Researchers have studied food cravings for years; one of the most cited studies dates back to 1953. Scientists – and lots of others – want to know who has food cravings and why, what they crave, when they crave it and how to minimize the cravings. Here's what the research has found.

Craving and eating before a period

Food cravings are just one of the many symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, also known as PMS. PMS is likely caused by hormonal fluctuations and how they affect chemical messengers in the brain called neurotransmitters. Its symptoms are exclusive to the second half of the menstrual cycle. This luteal phase of the cycle starts with the release of the egg at ovulation and ends when a period begins. The symptoms usually resolve around the third or fourth day of menstruation.

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Well Being

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High students returned from spring break this week to a find a new safety precaution in place: mandatory clear backpacks.

To many students, the move — implemented after a shooter killed 17 people on their campus in February — fails to address the real root cause of gun violence: a lack of gun control.

"They’re just an illusion of security," senior Kyra Parrow said, blasting the backpacks.

"My new backpack is almost as transparent as the NRA’s agenda," student Lauren Hogg mocked on Twitter. "I feel sooo safe now."



(Of course, policies like this are nothing new to students in primarily black and brown schools.)

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Periods are a bloody mess, both literally and figuratively.

After all, part of the body is actually shedding itself. It's uncomfortable, sometimes painful, and often annoying. But for women, it's just life; billions of us deal with it on the regular.

And yet, discussing menstruation is still often considered taboo, impolite, or just plain gross. And this lack of open, honest conversation can cost people with periods a lot of money every single day.

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