The amount of myths and old wives’ beliefs revolving around menstruation is simply too much to count. It can range from the ridiculous smearing of your first period blood on your face to prevent acne outbreaks, to the more ‘luxurious’ practice of receiving gifts of gold as congratulations to a girl for entering womanhood.
Here, we’ve rounded up some of the more confusing myths that many ladies nowadays are still unsure about!
Contrary to popular belief (or popular film ‘JAWS’), there has actually never been a documented case of a swimmer being attacked by sharks because she was on her period. Although periods are also fondly referred to as the crimson tide, the amount you bleed is actually very little as compared to the vast volume of the sea! Definitely not enough to be considered an actual ‘crimson tide’.
So, don’t worry and feel free to swim as you wish, even while on your period!
Worried about other factors other than sharks while swimming, like if it starts leaking? Here are some ways you can swim even while on your period!
Not sure if anyone still believes in this anymore, but there is absolutely no medical basis of this at all, simply an ‘old wives’ tale’!
In fact, while on your period, your scalp tends to get oilier or more sensitive than usual, so a therapeutic massage during a hair wash would do the trick!
Despite what many people believe, you CAN still get pregnant while on your period, unfortunately. Once inside, sperms can survive for up to 3-5 days, and ovulation occurs pretty soon after the bleeding phase of your menstrual cycle. Therefore, there is definitely still a chance of you getting pregnant!
To be safe, always use contraceptives if you do not wish to get pregnant.
Quite the opposite actually. Although the last thing you’d want to do while on your period is to move, exercise has actually been proven to provide menstrual cramp relief, as it releases endorphins – our body’s natural pain-relievers.
Of course, there are many other ways to relieve menstrual cramps if you really do not wish to exercise.
Your hymen is a ring-shaped piece of tissue with a hole in the middle (yes, it’s not simply a membrane right at the end of your vagina) just inside your vaginal opening. It’s not really a barrier, like most people believe. The hymen is more of like a balloon arch that you can pass through without any problems, but if you’re too rough with it, the balloons may pop. When you insert anything that’s a little bigger around than the ring itself it will stretch and may tear a little bit to accommodate what you are putting in. If the hole in the hymenal ring is bigger, a tampon may not stretch it enough to tear it at all.
Hence, if inserted gently and correctly, usage of tampons shouldn’t be breaking your hymen. However, some people might have naturally smaller hymens that may break upon the slightest trigger (eg. Riding a bicycle).
Thus, this varies from person to person, although wearing a tampon should definitely not be causing any pain or discomfort!
Some of the less-informed men may think that PMS is simply a self-fulfilling prophecy, whereby it’s simply a mean for women to ‘feel entitled’ or seek ‘special treatment’. However, the effects of PMS are actually 100% real and backed up by science. Due to the varying level of hormones (estrogen, progesterone, prostaglandin etc) in our bodies, we are prone to mood swings, cravings, aches, menstrual cramps and more!
While I agree that some may be more dramatic over their periods than the rest, but I’m sorry lads, this one (PMS) is a cold hard fact right here.
This is a tricky one. While there have not yet been any scientific proof of this, many women swear by this rule. Although there have not been any proof that consuming cold drinks or food will constrict your vessels and cause the cramps to get worse, it is not wrong to take precaution and opt for warm beverages instead. After all, warm beverages will provide you with some comfort if you’re experiencing cramps.
However, the heaviness of a period flow will not be affected by these at all! It simply depends on how much uterine lining tissue has been shed by your body!
With the popularity of tampons on the rise due to the convenience it provides its users, one might be tempted to simply slot a tampon in their vaginas for their occasional discharge as well. However, be mindful NOT to do that!
Tampons, even of the lowest absorbency, are designed to collect quite a bit of blood. When you’re not on your period, you aren’t producing nearly enough fluid to justify the use of a tampon. When you use a tampon in a dry vagina (even when you are experiencing discharge, your vagina is much dryer than when you’re on your period) you put yourself at risk for developing Toxic Shock Syndrome, a rare but life-threatening infection. Avoid the possibility of this happening and stick with an organic pantyliner instead.
Ever been stopped from entering temples or other holy places of worship because you were on your period and hence was labelled ‘dirty’ or ‘impure’? Me too. This practice is probably what kept people in the mindset that period blood are ‘dirty’!
However, this is not true! Periods aren’t a form of our bodily waste (think urine or faeces), and blood secreted from the vagina are definitely as ‘pure’ as blood you bleed from any other part of your body. The only difference is that period blood contains some uterine tissue and cells from the mucus lining of the vagina, and a small amount of bacteria. In fact, period blood contain less blood cells than ordinary blood!
I know, although it may sometimes feel like you’re bleeding out your entire womb, the amount we actually bleed are far, far less than we think!
The average woman typically only loses 2-3 tablespoons of blood during her period. Much less than you’ve expected, huh? Even women who suffer from menorrhagia (abnormal heavy bleeding), only lose about 4 tablespoons of blood!
However, if you really do lose so much blood that you start to become anaemic, consult a doctor about your condition!
And that’s it for now from us about menstruation myths! How about you guys?
Heard of any ridiculous or funny menstruation myths? Do share them with us!
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