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10 Period Myths We Need to Clear up Now

At any time of the year, one quarter of all fertile women on the planet have their period. Still, there is great confusion about how this affects women's lives.

Old myths and rumors still exists in many cultures, maintaining menstruation as taboo. Transparency is our best weapon against this. So, let's kill the myths one-by-one with some facts.

Myth 1. I can't exercise when I have my period

On the contrary, training relieves muscle soreness and separates endorphins that help ease your menstrual pain. It´s perfectly ok to relax if you´re suffering, but a walk, yoga or other light activities will make you feel better - so you may want to push yourself a little! You have probably heard of female athletes who «lost» their period due to too much exercise, but for most of us this is nothing to worry about. You would have to obtain a fairly extreme level of training to risk losing your period and, should it happen, just take it easy, get enough food and it will come back.



Myth 2. I can't swim when I have my period

There is no reason not to swim when you have your period. A tampon will absorb water, so you may want to replace it after swimming. Otherwise, just jump in!



 

Myth 3. Tampons are dangerous

As long as you change tampon every five hours, and maintain a good hand hygiene when applying them, you have nothing to worry about ladies. The vagina is self-cleaning and has a natural bacterial flora in perfect balance. Our outflow is an important way for the vagina to cleanse itself. When keeping a tampon for too long however, this might be disturbed causing bacteria to grow. In the worst cases, bacteria can produce a toxin that makes you sick. This is very rare however and nothing to worry about - as long as you make sure to change tampons now and then.



 

Myth 4. Tampons can disappear in the vagina

Well now. In the worst case, you may have trouble getting it out, but the tampon cannot possibly pass the cervix that sits at the top of the vagina. So, don't worry. If you have trouble getting it out - insert two fingers and look for the thread. It may be a little unpleasant, but you're not the first woman to do it!



 

Myth 5. I can't get pregnant when I have my period

Yes, you can. Your menstrual cycle is unpredictable, and ovulation may occur before, during and after the bleeding phase. Also, remember that even if you do not ovulate when you have a period, sperm can live in the vagina for up to FIVE DAYS – and you can be fertilized. So, if you don’t want to get pregnant, birth control is necessary also during your period.



 

Myth 6. Sex during menstruation is unhygienic and disgusting

Let's get one thing clear, there is nothing "dirty" with menstruation. Your period blood is odorless and helps clean the vagina. So, whether it is unpleasant, or that the blood itself is perceived as disgusting, is a subjective matter between you and your partner. If you are comfortable, go for it – or take advantage of the shower!



 

Myth 7. PMS is just in your head

Although some (men) may claim that PMS is a self-fulfilling prophecy, this is not something we women make up to justify mood swings, "cravings" or stomach ache. PMS is real stuff. Throughout your menstrual cycle, the levels of estrogen and progesterone change, causing us to feel more irritability, tiredness, stomach ache and other unpleasant things. According to a study by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 85% of all American women suffer from at least one PMS symptom each month. So, show some respect please.



 

Myth 8. You lose a lot of blood during your period

Nothing to fear here. An average woman loses between 2 and 3 tablespoons of blood throughout her period. Of course, there are certain exceptions, and if you experience abnormal bleeding and feel weak, you may want to see a doctor to check if everything is as it should be. However, during a normal menstruation cycle, this is nothing to worry about.



 

Myth 9. Skipping a period is dangerous

Nope. If you start on birth-control pills you can simply skip your menstrual cycle. No health consequences have been found for being hormone-free over time. In fact, by skipping the bleeding, one can reduce the risk of accidents and thus avoid involuntary pregnancy. Win, win!



 

Myth 10. If you don't get your period, you are pregnant

Although a typical sign of pregnancy is that you do not get your period, there may clearly be other things that prevent you from bleeding. Stress, disease and weight changes can affect your menstrual cycle. And if you go on birth control, like birth control pills, amenorrhea (no bleeding) is quite common. Many people do not get information about this in advance and are therefore afraid that the amenorrhea is due to them becoming pregnant. However, irregular bleeding is perfectly normal for those on birth control. If you are worried (or excited), you can always take a pregnancy test and easily find out.