Myth or Fact: Period Edition


Some seriously unthinkable things have been attributed to menstrual blood throughout diverse cultures for centuries! From it being unclean and therefore women can’t stay in the house with their husband’s and children in the Middle East, having it spoiling milk, and making bread not rise in Europe, to it containing magic properties that could hex your man into going flaccid if he would ever try being intimate with another when a drop of your menstrual blood is slipped into his soup in Latin America! Hard to believe that all this comes from our monthly bleeding, right?! 

Women’s periods have been veiled in mysteries and misconceptions for centuries and what better day to shed light on some myths and facts plus raise our awareness about our own menstrual cycles than Menstrual Hygiene Day (MHD)

“Period blood is clean”


The most important thing we need to get out of the way is period blood is clean and it does not make us filthy. It is the result of a completely natural biological process where we shed our endometrial lining because pregnancy has not occurred. It can be annoying yes. We might not like the hassle of changing and using menstrual hygiene products but there is nothing unsafe or toxic about it. It just requires extra hygienic care from our side not because the blood is grimy but because any area that is warm and moist is a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi which in their turn could lead to health problems! 

“Showering or bathing during your menses is harmful and could cause the blood clotting inside you, bringing negative effects to your health!”


Healthcare professionals actually promote taking a shower or bath during your period. It will decrease the growth of unwanted bacteria and fungi. Also, it can ease the cramps that often accompany your menses. 

“It is unsafe to skip a period!” 


Although it might seem unnatural to skip a period through birth control pills, a hormonal IUD or hormone patches it is against common believes not dangerous. When you are pregnant or lactating, your period stops naturally due to a lack of ovulation caused by certain hormones. This is exactly what happens when you skip a period with contraceptives. The bleeding that occurs when you stop the contraceptive pills is not a period it is a withdrawal bleeding due to a sudden drop of hormones. However, always see your doctor before using such contraceptives so you can decide together which is the best option for you and for how long you would like to stop menstruating. If you halt your menses for a prolonged time, you could experience mild spotting! Allowing yourself to have a withdrawal bleeding every 3-4 cycles usually stops the in between spotting. 

“Not all cycles last 28 days!” 


The second part of your cycle, which is from ovulating to you getting your menses, is a stable 14 days but the first part from you getting your period to the point of ovulation can vary making it very normal for cycles to last anywhere from 21-35 days. If the duration of your cycle falls outside of this range, it is advisable to visit your gynecologist.

“Stress or illness can affect your period!”


Stress or illness can affect your hormonal balance thus messing with the duration of your cycle. 

“I gain weight when I have my period!”


The rise of estrogen just before menstruating causes water retention and the hormone progesterone causes the relaxation of smooth muscle cells in your intestines making you feel bloated, sometimes increasing your waist size. 

“Tampons are unsafe!”


Tampons like every other form of menstrual hygiene products can have negative side effects when not replaced every 4-6 hours and if used correctly are completely safe. 

“Tampons cannot be used by girls or women that have not had sex before because it would break the hymen.” 


The hymen is a stretchy rim of tissue around the opening of your vagina not a seal that closes it! It is extremely unlikely that something as small as a tampon would tear that no longer making you a virgin (only sex does that)! It is a personal choice for women and girls to use them or choose for alternative hygiene products.

“Drinking hot drinks when menstruating could lead to infertility!”


Having a hot steaming cup of tea, coffee or an herbal drink is absolutely fine and, in some women, it improves the menstrual cramps. However, caffeine containing drinks are diuretics so with bleeding and drinking too many of these drinks you might get de-hydrated. Remember to always drink 2-3 liters of water a day and make sure to always be more on the side of three liters when menstruating.

“Abnormal bleeding can be an indicator for other health problems!”


When you experience vaginal bleeding that is out of the ordinary always see your gynecologist it could be an indicator of hormonal imbalance, polyps, myomas, peri-or menopause or even cancer. 

I am positive there are more facts and myths we could shed light on and in the future we might do just that but to not turn this article into a book I selected the most frequently asked questions at the clinic. On Menstrual Hygiene Day (MHD) the most important message I would like to convey is ladies we make out 50% of the world’s population and we all at some point in our lives menstruate! It is bizarre that talking about our cycles still makes us uncomfortable! Break the taboos and misconceptions, ask your questions, and set yourself free from the stigma!

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