Periods are a normal part of women’s life despite many misconceptions about it. For centuries, it was believed that a woman during menstruation is “unclean.” This is total nonsense, but even today this belief is preserved along with many other useless rumors and myths. There is nothing “dirty” and “shameful” in menstruation. And nothing should stop you from leading a full life. In this article, we gathered these seven debunked myths about periods you should know.
1. You can’t get pregnant during periods
The average length of the menstrual cycle is 28 days, but it can vary from 21 to 35 days. In women with a longer cycle, ovulation tends to occur on about the 21st day, and in women with a shorter cycle, for example, on the 7th day. It means that the closer you are to the end of your period, the higher your chances of getting pregnant. In some cases, the menstrual cycle can be unpredictable and ovulation can occur before, during, or after the phase bleeding, especially if you have an irregular cycle.
2. Normal periods last three (four, five) days
It often happens that in young women the cycle can be irregular for several years after the onset of menstruation. It can last 28 days or 45 and menstruation from three days to one and a half weeks. Moreover, there are a lot of factors like stress, birth control, or underlying medical condition that can prolong or shorten your periods. If irregular periods cause concern, you can discuss it with your gynecologist.
3. Periods can’t cause severe pain
All women feel pain during menstruation in different ways. While some women experience mild discomfort, others can suffer from unbearable painful sensations. Pain during periods is called dysmenorrhea. It could be primary or secondary. Primary dysmenorrhea is common cramps during periods. Secondary dysmenorrhea occurs as a result of certain underlying conditions. For example, uterine fibroids can cause painful sensations and usually require special fibroids treatment.
4. You shouldn’t exercise during periods
Exercising provides the muscles with oxygen and makes it easier to cope with PMS and pain in the lower abdominal area. There is no reason to give up running, swimming, or fitness during your periods. Moreover, light exercise such as walking, swimming, Pilates, or yoga can raise your mood due to the natural production of endorphins and relieve cramps.
5. Sex during periods can harm
The reality is that sex during periods can be quite beneficial. Orgasm boosts the production of endorphins that can ease painful cramps. Moreover, sex relaxes and improves mood. If you don’t want to stain your sheets, take a shower right before the intercourse and lay a towel on your bed.
6. PMS is only in your head
Premenstrual syndrome is the body’s response to hormonal changes associated with menstruation. This means that irritability, frequent mood swings, fatigue, and melancholy are normal for this time. During PMS, women can also experience physiological symptoms like headache and abdominal pain. You can ease the manifestations of PMS with the help of a diet (plenty of fresh products, vegetables, and fruits), appropriate rest, and physical activity.
7. You can’t take a bath during periods
A warm bath can actually help you ease painful cramps. Taking a bath during periods is also useful for hygienic reasons. Despite the fact that the blood that comes out during menstruation is sterile, bacteria multiply on the pad, tampon, and hair over time. That’s why it is essential to wash your genital area. If you are worried that blood will get into the water, you can use a tampon during the bath.
Some women are afraid that water may get inside and infect them. This is also a misconception because there is no wound inside you that could be infected. Water can only get to the very beginning of the vaginal canal, but will not go further than the cervix.