5 period myths busted
Even though they’ve been around since the beginning of humankind, there's still so much confusion around our menstrual cycles. Perhaps due to the fact that for most of our bloody history periods have been shrouded in shame and secrecy (and still are in many places). But we’re here to wave the #periodproud flag and get everyone talking about it. So don’t worry, we’ve got your back with these common myths, explained and debunked.
1. You can get pregnant during your period
A common question that comes around time and time again. Put simply - yes, you can get pregnant if you have sex during your period. It’s not likely if you have a ‘normal’ 28 day cycle (with the first day of your period being day one), because you’re due to ovulate around day 14. But, hey, how many of us are ‘normal’, right? When it comes to everyone’s cycles, there really is no average. So many different factors can influence the length of your cycle and when you’re fertile. Also, those little love-tadpoles can live inside of you for up to five days. So, to sum up: if you feel like getting jiggy and you’re not 100% clued up about your cycle, wear a condom.
2) Tampons can get lost inside of you
For some reason, this myth is still flying around. No - it’s physiologically impossible for a tampon or menstrual cup to keep going up and get lost inside of you. At the top of your vagina is a cervix. This has an opening so small only fluid can pass through it (blood, sperm and cervical fluid) and it only expands when you give birth. It’d be like getting your headphones lost inside your brain through your ear canal - there’s just no room!
3) You can’t swim when you have your period
There have been lots of myths around whether it is safe to swim when you're on your period. The extreme end of the scale being: swimming in the ocean while on your period = shark attack. Um, no. We’d like to put a stop to that one right there. There have been ZERO reports of people getting attacked by sharks because they were menstruating.
You can also swim when you are bleeding. Gentle exercise will help if you have any menstrual cramps. The blood flow may lessen in the water because of less gravity, but it will not stop the flow completely. So just be sure to use a tampon or menstrual cup. Some brands, such as Modibodi, also make period-proof swimwear! Get the goggles ready!
4) You lose a lot of blood on your period
It may look like a lot sometimes, but we only lose, on average, 2-3 tablespoons of blood each month. Even if you are prone to heavy periods this will only be a tablespoon or so more. However, if you are feeling really tired and drained during and immediately after your period, to be on the safe side, you may want to get your iron levels checked out by your doctor.
5) PMS is all in your head
PMS stands for premenstrual syndrome and is a naturally occurring monthly change in our bodies - not a mindset. Sometimes we can feel really low before our periods. This varies from person to person and may include feeling irrationally angry, upset, clumsy, forgetful, tearful, sad, unconfident, empty, anxious or depressed. Just before your period, your sex hormone levels drop dramatically causing these emotional symptoms, but also physical symptoms like tiredness, bloating, cramps and headaches. It’s not an excuse, and it’s not made up. There is help out there if you feel like you are not coping, including websites such as menstrual-matters.com - a platform with lots of resources to help you get to grips with your cycle.
Where did we get our stats and facts from?