BUSTED: 7 Period Myths Debunked
Image courtesy of theodysseyonline.com
Period myths, we’ve heard them all. From getting attacked by sharks to passing out from blood loss, having a period means you’ll be privy to many an old wives’ tale. Debunking folklores surrounding menstruation is a key part in the larger conversation of normalizing periods. It’s difficult to sieve out the facts amongst the (ancient) fiction, that’s why we’ve done the hard work for you.
Here’s 7 of the most popular period myths laid out bare:
Myth 1: You shouldn’t wash your hair during your period
This one should be pretty easy to suss out, but just incase, let us clear it up: this is definitely fiction. Probably passed down from your Grandma’s Grandma, this old wives tale holds no truth. There’s no need for you to switch up your hygiene habits during your period, in fact taking a hot shower or bath might even help alleviate your cramps. Basically, you’ve got the perfect excuse to lie in the bath all day.
Myth 2: You lose a lot of blood during your period
This is a total fib. Menstrual blood actually looks a lot more than it is, in reality you only lose about 2-3 tablespoons during each cycle, and even those who experience heavy periods (aka menorrhagia) will only release an average of 4 tablespoons of blood. So unless you’re suffering an irregularly heavy period, there’s no need to worry about being weak or passing out when that time of the month comes around (If you do feel faint, dizzy or bleed for more than seven days be sure to check in with your doctor, to be safe).
Myth 3: PMS is all in your head
As women who’ve dealt with the crippling pain of PMS cramps first hand, we take great pride in debunking this myth. While some (guys) might think we use PMS as an excuse to eat ice-cream and cry on the sofa watching ‘The Notebook’ all day, science has our back and has proven that PMS is legit. Our hormone levels are constantly changing during our periods, specifically estrogen and progesterone, which has a direct effect on our brains and our bodies. This can cause cramping, fatigue, irritability, hunger cravings and a whole load of other less-than-pleasant symptoms. So pass us the Ben & Jerry’s.
Myth 4: You can lose a tampon inside your vagina
So you heard the horror story about your friends’ big sister in third grade, and it’s stuck with you ever since. While it’s totally possible to forget your tampon is up there for way too long (we’ve all been there), it’s physically impossible to lose one. Your cervix lies at the base of your uterus and acts as a gateway to stop (almost) anything going passed, meaning there is literally nowhere for your “lost” tampon to go, other than the way it went in.
If you put a tampon in and can’t find it, you may need to insert your fingers into your vagina and search for the string. While this may feel embarrassing or uncomfortable, it’s not the end of the world—and you certainly aren’t the first woman it has happened to. ::raises hand::
Myth 5: Exercising during your cycle is bad for you
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the truth here is quite the opposite. Exercise is one of the best things to do to help ease cramps. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not talking triathlons, but easy-breezy classes like pilates and yoga can help relieve some symptoms and boost your mood at the same time. Why not check out our leak-proof yoga pants for your next cycle; they’re the perfect workout partner!
Myth 6: You can’t get pregnant while you’re on your period
This is one myth surrounded by a lot of confusion. Your uterus is shedding its inner lining, meaning “no bun in the oven!” right? WRONG. You CAN get pregnant during your period, so please, spread the news! Sperm can live for up to five days inside you, while ovulation can occur anytime during, or after, the bleeding phase. Add to the mix that the egg you release can survive for anything between 12 and 24 hours, and there’s a definite chance of baby-making during your cycle. If you’re not ready for a delivery from a stork anytime soon, you’ll still need to use contraception during your period.
Myth 7: Period blood is different from regular blood
Menstrual blood and blood from any other part of your body is all the same. There’s nothing unusual or abnormal about menstrual blood, and other than getting mixed up with some uterus lining along the way, it’s no different to what you would see if you grazed your knee.