Silliest Myths About Menstruation and the Facts That Bust Them

Myths and Facts About Menstruation
Menstruation anyway makes women go all cranky, and if you add to this, the circulation of myths, everything gets more complicated. So, we have enlisted the top myths and facts about menstruation.
HerHaleness Staff
Last Updated: Mar 6, 2018
Females in elephants, humpback whales, and humans are the only mammals who undergo menopause.
A woman's body goes through many changes as she grows, and menstruation, perhaps, is the most important phase in a woman's life. There are many aspects and questions that most women have about menstruation, and there also are certain myths that keep doing the rounds.
Well, we cannot blame women, as these misconceptions have been evolving ever since the human race existed. There are old misconceptions that are passed on from generations. We know of so many old wives tales, and these also have many myths about women and menstruation. Why did they arise? The primary reason for misconceptions is that most women and men too are uncomfortable talking or discussing menstruation. And why do they feel awkward? Well, in many parts of the globe, periods are still considered to be disgusting and a subject of taboo.
History has witnessed this taboo in various parts of the world. During ancient times, in Christianity, a menstruating woman was refused communion. Another record states that women who complained of pain and cramps during periods were sent to psychiatrists, as complaining about menstruation was considered rejection of one's feminism. These were ancient beliefs, however, there still are many misconceptions revolving around women and their menstrual cycle. The following enlists them.
Menstruation Myths and Their Facts
So women, we have evolved in generations, but so have the myths, some of which are scientific, while others are absolutely funny and fresh out of old wives tales. Here is a list of the myths along with the facts that bust them.
Myth:
A menstrual cycle should be of 28 days.
Fact:
A menstrual cycle can vary with every woman. 28 days is just considered the average time.
Myth:
There are no chances of pregnancy during menstruation. A woman cannot get pregnant if intercourse happens during her period.
Fact:
A sperm can stay alive in a female uterus for up to 5 days. Also, if your periods are irregular, ovulation can happen anytime.
Myth:
Pregnancy cannot happen before a woman gets her first period or first regular cycle.
Fact:
Ovulation can happen even before you get your first period, and hence, if fertilization occurs, there are chances of pregnancy.
Myth:
A woman should avoid exercise or strenuous activity during her periods, as it increases the pain and flow.
Fact:
It is perfectly normal if you exercise or indulge in other activities during your periods. Stretching and other physical movements may ease the cramping and keep one energized. Women do not suffer weakness during periods, unless there is an underlying cause like anemia.
Myth:
You should not wash your hair during your periods.
Fact:
Absolute myth! It is very important to maintain hygiene during menstruation. Washing your hair is not going to make you feel any worse, instead, only fresh and better.
Myth:
Never go for a swim when menstruating.
Fact:
Swimming is just another exercise, and it is not harmful or does not disrupt the menstrual flow.
Myth:
Using a tampon during periods breaks the hymen, and one loses virginity.
Fact:
There are many reasons why the hymen could break, which includes sports and other activities. Wearing a tampon is not going to end your virginity. A virgin is defined as someone who has not indulged in sexual intercourse. There is a difference between using a tampon and having sex!
Myth:
Hot water increases the flow of menstruation.
Fact:
Hot water will only make you feel better and warm, and relieve you from cramps. Hot water will not increase or decrease your flow, that is something only your body can do.
Myth:
Irregular periods hint at underlying reproductive issues.
Fact:
There are many factors that affect the cycle, like exercise, stress, illness, and overall physical health. The above said may stand true, but not always. Most girls take time to develop a regular menstrual cycle. It is always better to get your case checked by a medical expert, before drawing any conclusions.
Myth:
Certain foods will help shorten the menstrual cycle, or help delay the period.
Fact:
Eating certain food or any other substance is not going to affect your menstrual cycle. Leave it to your body clock to decide and follow its own way.
Myth:
Having a period is always painful. All women suffer from cramps and pain during menstruation.
Fact:
Menstruation pain and discomfort will vary from woman to woman. Some women can easily enjoy daily activities, and experience very little or no pain. Other women may face discomfort and intense pain.
Myth:
Blood discharged during menstruation is different than regular blood. It is unclean and toxic.
Fact:
Blood discharged during periods is regular blood in the body. It is also not toxic or impure.
Myth:
Shorter periods indicate infertility.
Fact:
As discussed, the duration of periods will vary for each woman. The shortest period can be for 2 days, but it does not mean that the woman is infertile. The duration of menstruation has nothing to do with infertility.
Myth:
Blood discharged during periods smells bad.
Fact:
As discussed earlier, menstruation blood is no different than regular blood. It does not have any bad smell. Only when this blood gets exposed to air and bacteria or menstruation products, it may acquire a certain odor.
Myth:
During menstruation, women should avoid drinking cold beverages. They should also avoid walking around barefoot, as the cold can make the cramps worse.
Fact:
You can absolutely run around in cold feet, and sip on a cold beverage. It is totally fine to do so. Cramps usually come from the uterus, so your diet isn't going to make them any worse.
Myth:
Women must avoid dairy products and certain foods during their periods.
Fact:
Your body is going to thank you with that extra serving of milk and other healthy foods during menstruation. There is no list of foods that are not allowed during menstruation. Make sure you eat right, and eat healthy.
Myth:
Women should not have sex during periods.
Fact:
Well, there is no such rule. It is completely a matter of choice. If both partners are comfortable with the idea, there is no harm whatsoever.
Myth:
PMS is a symptom of menstruation.
Fact:
It is true that women go through mood swings during menstruation, but not in case of all women. So, every woman with a bad mood does not mean she is PMSing. Women are capable enough to get cranky during their normal days too!
Myth:
Menstruation causes extreme blood loss.
Fact:
It may be a hyped myth, but the fact is, an average woman loses 8 - 10 teaspoons of blood in one cycle. The amount may vary. Only in rare cases there may be excess loss of blood.
Myth:
Nutrition does not affect periods.
Fact:
It does. Nutrition is directly related to a woman's hormonal cycle. If your body is getting enough nutrition, the balance is right, and so will be your periods.
Funny Myths and Their Facts
Whilst we have covered most of the scientific myths, let us have a look at some hilarious and superstitious myths surrounding menstruation.
Myth:
If you swim in the sea during your periods, you will be attacked by sharks!
Fact:
No. This is just an urban myth, and does not stand true. Come on.
Myth:
One must not get dental fillings done during menstruation.
Fact:
Seriously, I have no clue why someone would even bring up something like that. Myth. Complete myth.
Myth:
A woman must not touch certain foods like pickles during menstruation.
Fact:
This is a superstition that has originated in India, where it is believed that a woman is impure, and if she touches the bottle of pickles, they will rot!
These were the most common myths surrounding menstruation. We wonder where some of these creative ones have come from! It is always advised to take proper medical help in case of any confusion with your period. Do not fall for these myths and make menstruation a nightmare of your life. Follow a healthy lifestyle, eat right, leave the rest to nature and your body cycle.
Just letting go...
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