Myths About Menstruation

Old wive’s tales about menstruation have been in existence about as long as periods themselves. Since the “monthly friend” is usually discussed among moms and daughters or between teenage girls, sometimes fiction can get mixed in with the facts. So it’s worthwhile to review some common myths about menstruation.

Myth: Menstrual blood is different from regular blood.

Menstrual blood is regular blood. It simply flows from the vagina. There’s nothing unusual or wrong with it, and it has no odor. Pads and Tampon only cause an odor when bacteria builds. So changing them regularly keeps you smelling fresh. Extra cleansing or deodorants aren’t needed.

Myth: Hot water increases period flow.

Typically, the only thing that will change your flow is your own body. However, a warm bath or shower or a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel can help with cramps.

Myth – It’s not healthy to have sex while on your period.

Some women may feel it’s “icky” having sexual intercourse during menstruation, but it’s perfectly healthy. Plus, it’s been shown orgasms can sometimes relieve cramping.

Myth: You can shorten or delay a period by….___.

There’s nothing you can do to change your body’s natural cycle that won’t also jeopardize your health. Some things can mess with your cycle, including too much stress, intense exercise, or illness. Consult your doctor if you stop having periods altogether.

Myth: Menstrual cycles are 28 days, with ovulation on the 14th day of a cycle.

That’s just an average. A cycle can vary, and many women have irregular periods. The first day of your period is considered the first day of your cycle, and the number of days you menstruate is not an indicator of fertility. Basal body temperature indicates ovulation. Prior to ovulation, when estrogen is dominant, your body temperature is marginally cooler than after ovulation, when progesterone is in charge. These changes are very subtle. The temperature sensitive Lady-Comp can monitor these subtle differences.

You shouldn’t exercise or do strenuous activities during your period.

You can do anything during your period that you can do when you’re not menstruating. Regular exercise can help to reduce the severity of menstruation cramps, PMS, and PMDD. And yes, you can swim during menstruation, provided you wear a tampon. (That includes the ocean. There’s never been a documented case of a shark attacking a swimmer just because they were menstruating.)

Myth – You should not eat certain foods during your period.

Fact is, you can eat what you like. A healthy diet and getting plenty of regular physical activity can sometimes ease PMS. It also improves your overall physical and emotional health, as well as reduces your risk of many diseases including heart diseases and cancer.

4 thoughts on “Myths About Menstruation

  1. I totally dissagree in some of these points and hope that by my comment you will investigate more before giving some sort of truth (or change the language more to the sort of “it seems like”-ish one).

    I agree on the fact that menstruation blod isn’t dirty. It is clean and by changing from pads and tampons to one of the menstruation cups (divacup, mooncup etc), one will find out.

    Reading ancient tantric scripts and having fifteen years og experience on my own body as well as observing many women from my yogic environment the past fifteen years, I can say that iit isen’t my truth, what you write about sex, excercise, food and shortening the period.
    I agree that making love during the pegiod is perfectly fine. In fact it is the best time of the month in my personal opinion. I am much more sensitive, everything is tickelish and different kinds of orgasms comes quickly to me. BUT on the first day of my period (here I do not mean if it comes in the evening with a tiny bit of redly thing, but the first day of real blod), I believe in the tantric teachings saying that one should avoid doing too much excertcise including sex. And also try not to eat too much especially protein-rich food one should avoid on that day or even better:fasting). This way the period in generel will be shorter and less pain. I am not talking about fasting all of the period, just the one day, or just eating less.

    Having a shorter period can be a good thing and does not always have to do with the eating-disorder Anorexia, extreme sports, diseaces and so on.

    A last thing is, that one can alsso ahorten thge perio d by eating things with less iron in it (avoid things which are red such as beetroot, berries, meat etc) but after the period is the very good to eat a lot of these things cause loosing blod makes you need more iron in the body.

    Best to all of you,

    Hannah (Denmark).

  2. I am a13 year old Myanmar girl.This article helps me to understand more about my periods.Thanks a lot.:-)
    Can I ask one more thing plz?My grandma said if you wash your hair during periods,it can disturb your cycle.It’s that a myth?
    Thank you

  3. Thank you for this nice article. There’s one I would like to know about. From childhood mom and aunts have been telling me and my sis that never ever eat meat (red or white) during menstruation. If possible avoid non-veg all together or it will worsen the cramps. So out of sheer nervousness we survive those scary days on soups and salads. Is there any basis to this advice?
    Thank You:)

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