Healthy Living

7 Myths About Menstruation Debunked

Older family members tend to pass down myths about menstruation to the young. They range from reasonable ones to very bizarre beliefs like drinking cow’s milk and not touching a pickle jar. Here are seven facts that debunk the most common myths about women’s menstrual cycle.

Infertility during period

There’s a myth about menstruation that claims women are infertile while they are bleeding. The average length of a menstrual cycle starts from the first day a girl gets her period and lasts for the next 27 days or until the first day of the next period. Other females’ cycles reach up to about 35 days. More likely, a woman who undergoes a normal cycle is several days away from ovulation — the period where she becomes fertile. This decreases her chances of getting pregnant while having sex during her period, according to Cora Life

The infertility period is not the same for women whose cycles last only for 21 to 24 days. They ovulate earlier. When sperm is ejaculated into their reproductive system during the last days of their period, it could stay viable for up to five days. If the sexually active woman ovulates four or five days later. This means that she was already fertile while having sex, as per American Pregnancy.

Period sex urge

The belief that sex is unbearable during a woman’s monthly period is also a myth. The menstrual flow lubricates a woman’s intimate area. Some men prefer to have sex when the vagina feels wetter. Thus, a woman’s monthly period does not defeat the urge to have sex especially in males who are aroused by its dampness.

Period smell

Menstrual blood has no odor. It is composed of blood and tissue shed from a woman’s uterus. The liquid only releases a foul odor when it comes to contact with bacteria. This can be avoided with proper hygiene. Medication for vaginal infection also helps in eliminating the foul smell.

Losing too much blood

There is a belief that women could bleed to death while on their monthly period. But the truth is the average woman only loses two to three tablespoons of blood per cycle. Even if you have heavy bleeding, the volume only rises to a maximum of four tablespoons per cycle. The loss of blood can only be alarming if you bleed more than seven days, or if you consume more than seven tampons per day throughout the entire cycle.

Tampons are bad

TV personality Kourtney Kardashian once said on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” that tampons are bad for you. This is true with commercial tampons that contain chlorine, glyphosate and rayon. These harmful chemicals deteriorate a woman’s reproductive health and potentially cause dangerous infections like Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), as pointed out by Women’s Health. Although most tampons only contain a fraction of the chemicals, regular use increases your risk of getting TSS.

However, organic tampons do not harm your body. They are made of 100 percent organic cotton and are bleached with peroxide. Commercial tampons are bleached with chlorine which is responsible for generating the harmful chemicals that cause TSS. Thus, contrary to the myth, only commercial tampons are bad. Organic ones are actually good for you.

PMS is just a fit

Post Menstrual Stress (PMS) is an actual disorder that causes erratic behavior, mood swings and tiredness. Since women’s hormones constantly change during the cycle, the process affects their brain’s functioning. The disturbance causes cramping, fatigue and irritability which affect their behavior. In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists revealed that 85 percent of menstruating women suffer the condition.

Not washing during periods

Most people believe that taking a bath during your period stimulates the bleeding process. Although it is true that bathing in hot water can affect blood flow, this actually relieves menstrual cramps and muscular tension, according to Medical News Daily. It is even necessary to clean your vaginal area during your period to prevent infections.