Myths associated with menstruation have been in existence for as long as women have existed. Every community, culture, race or religious belief has their own myths about menstrual cycle. Some of the myths are very common in most people, but as the name suggests, they are just myths and not facts, hence one should not be concerned. Here are some of the myths and facts about menstruation.
It is unhealthy to have sex during periods
Whereas some women and men feel uncomfortable on having sex during menstruation, it is perfectly okay, and may also help lessen menstrual cramps. Sex during menstruation has been associated with reduced endometriosis (tissues lining inside of the uterus grow outside the uterus instead) and other health benefits including preventing breast cancer, regulating the menstrual cycle, managing pain, reduced heart disease, and improved quality of life. Though the health benefits associated with sexual intercourse have not been fully explored, there is no valid reason why you should not have sex during menstruation, so if you want to have sex during this time, go ahead!
You can’t get pregnant if you have sex when on periods
Don’t count on it for safety! Unless you are on pills, an internal device or any other form of contraceptive such as a condom, there are no guaranteed safe days. Sometimes you can menstruate without ovulation and ovulation can occur without a period. It is possible for you to release an egg during your menstruation which can make you pregnant if you have unprotected intercourse.
You should not exercise of do strenuous jobs during your periods
Menstruation is a normal process in a woman’s body. Periods is not a form of disability and should not prevent anyone from carrying on with their routine activities. There was a time that it was treated as an ‘ailment’ and menstruating women stayed home resting and did not even socialize. With the help of sophisticated tampons and pads, a woman can live a normal life throughout their periods.
One cannot go swimming while menstruating
Maybe this myth came to be in the days when there were no internal devices such as the tampons or it could be due to fear of developing cramps while swimming or that one could contaminate the swimming pool with menstrual blood. Regardless of the basis of this myth, there is no reason why one should not swim during periods as long as they have their tampons well fitted. Besides, swimming is a good form of exercise that help ease cramps and low morale that comes with menstruation in some women.
Skipping a period means one is unhealthy
Healthy women usually miss a month or two of their periods. This is because hormones do not fluctuate much in some women. However, premenopausal women are recommended to have at least a period in three months to ensure that the uterus is shedding its lining. Some contraceptives also stop menstruation and that is nothing to worry about.
A normal Menstrual Cycle is 28 days
Actually normal menstrual cycle occurs between 21-35 days in healthy women adults and 21-45 in young teens.
If one is still having their periods, they are not menopausal
Normally a woman will have her periods during premenopausal period (onset of menopause) which can last to seven or ten years and often starts when a woman is in her mid 40’s. Bleeding is just a symptom of hormonal changes and one may experience other menopausal symptoms such as vaginal dryness, hot flashes but still have their periods.
Irregular periods are a sign of infertility
Some women believe that having irregular periods shorter ones or longer ones is a sign of infertility. As noted earlier, periods range from 21-35 days for adult women and 21-45 for young teens. Hence any irregularity in periods does not imply infertility.
For sure, there are numerous myths surrounding menstrual cycle. Menstruation is a normal process in the woman’s body and may be affected by various factors including contraceptives, health problems and even age, as in menopause. The myths discussed here and many others that have not been mentioned are baseless and it is good for a woman with doubts to consult a gynecologist or a reproductive health care expert for advice.