Menstrual health: 10 common myths busted

Ritu Singh

All women on this planet menstruate, yet no one talks about it. A very normal biological process and a necessary phenomenon in a woman's life often remains a subject of taboo and an ignored issue. Religious and cultural superstitions and the secrecy surrounding a topic that affects half of the world's population is indeed absurd. This is the reason that many myths and misconceptions get associated with it due to lack of information.

Here are the ten most common misconceptions about periods:

1. Your period should come every 28 days

Fact: Menstrual cycles varies from person to person. Cycles can vary between 20 days and 35 days for one period. This variation in cycle doesn't mean you are pregnant, or have an illness, sometimes it's just how it is and so there is nothing wrong with you. There is nothing to panic about if you get a late period.

2. You should not have sex during your periods

Fact: Most people find having sex during periods a rather messy and uncomfortable affair. But on the contrary, sex during this time is amazing as it relieves you of cramps. According to researchers, sex during menstruation is associated with decreased endometriosis, as well as with several other health benefits. So if you let go of cultural taboos, you can actually have a good time.

3. You can't get pregnant during your period

Fact: Yes, you very well can. For women, whose menstrual cycle is less than 28 days, the risk of getting pregnant is higher, because once inside you, sperm can live for 3-5 days.

4. Eating spicy/sour foods worsens menstrual cramps

Fact: There is no connection between eating sour food and menstrual cramps. Spicy food causes heartburn or stomach upset for some people, but does not worsen menstrual cramps.

5. You should not exercise during periods

Fact: Actually, it's quite the opposite. Exercising during periods alleviates cramps because it increases the supply of oxygen to the muscles. Also it is a great way of controlling PMS as it brightens your mood.

6. You should take a lot of rest as you lose a great amount of blood

Fact: The amount of blood you lose looks a lot more than it actually is. There is no need to panic as in reality, you lose about four tablespoons of blood during your periods per day. So, you can continue your daily affairs as it is.

7. PMS is in your mind

Fact: Premenstrual Syndrome is for real and not imagined as 85% of all women experience some sort of symptoms.

8. Menstrual blood is different from regular blood

Fact: Just because this blood flows out from your vagina doesn't mean it is different. Menstrual blood is regular blood and there is nothing unusual about it.

9. You should not bathe or wash your hair during menstruation

Fact: This myth has been around since ages. It was believed that bathing will increase or slow your menstrual flow. But there is nothing like that. While having your periods maintaining hygiene is the most important thing, so you should want to bathe even more to feel fresh and clean.

10. Virgins should not use tampons

Fact: Many people believe that a virgin cannot use tampons, or if a virgin does use a tampon she's no longer a virgin. The fact is using a tampon is not related to virginity at all. A virgin is someone who has not had sexual intercourse therefore, it is not related to tampon use. The hymen of a woman could break even with sports or other activities.

 There is nothing unnatural about your periods, it is not a disability, so there should be nothing stopping you from doing things what you would normally do. Stay informed, stay safe and don't believe the silly lies.