The craziest thing about periods is that even after going through them for years, you almost never get used to them. Different women experience different symptoms ranging from menstrual cramps, nausea, headaches, vomiting, breakouts, constipation, mood swings, diarrhoea, and much more. The list is endless, and for most women, periods are a terrible experience.
Over the years, there have been myths circulating about periods – their effects and how they affect women. This misconstrued information has gained popularity and in some places become gospel truth. Here are 5 myths about menstruation:
1. Period blood is dirty
There are people who hold the opinion that period blood is dirty. Because of this, they say that a woman who is on her menses is unclean and unworthy of certain experiences. This is, in fact, untrue. Period blood is not dirty. It is simply a combination of blood, uterine tissue, mucus lining, and bacteria that flows from the uterus through the cervix and out of the body via the vagina. In actual sense, menstrual blood is just like other blood from our body and is not dirty blood.
2. Every woman gets PMS
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a condition where a woman’s emotions, physical health, and behaviour is affected during certain days of the menstrual cycle. One common symptom is moodiness. The myth that goes is that every woman gets PMS. Whenever women are reactive about something, they’re asked if it’s ‘that time of the month’.
The truth of the matter is that not every woman gets PMS. In fact, only about one in four women experience PMS, with some having only minor symptoms. While many women notice physical symptoms in the week leading up to their period, mood changes are less common.
3. Periods are shameful
Many of us have been raised to believe that periods are shameful. As a result of this, we spend so much time hiding period products like pads, especially away from men. This stems from the belief that our periods are disgraceful and embarrassing when to be honest, menstruation is just another physiological experience.
Period shaming has resulted in low-self esteem, period poverty, and many other issues. If we stop thinking that periods are gross, shameful, and dirty, then perhaps it wouldn’t be a humanitarian crisis. There is nothing shameful about periods.
4. You can’t get pregnant if you have sex during your periods
You have probably heard this myth – that period sex is safe sex. This is, in fact, untrue. In fact, period sex has numerous benefits, including increased lubrication, decreased intensity of cramps, and improved mood. An article in Medical News Today states that having unprotected vaginal sex during your period could mean that the sperm gets to linger for just long enough to coincide with ovulation and fertilize an egg, resulting in pregnancy.
Additionally, if you have sex during menstruation without using a condom, the risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or a yeast infection increases, because of the hormonal changes that occur.
5. Exercising while on your period is dangerous
Another myth goes around that any form of exercise during menstruation is damaging to the uterus and can cause infertility. Because of this, many women abandon their fitness during that time of the month. This myth is actually false.
Contrary to it, physical activity can actually relieve cramps, boost mood, and reduce fatigue. According to Healthline, there’s no scientific reason you should skip out on your workouts during your period. In fact, there’s evidence that exercise can be helpful during this time.
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