A big change for any girl is getting her period. It changes your life drastically, women have to spend more for feminine care and hygiene, we experience pain and discomfort so regularly that it almost becomes second nature. We hear a lot of things about periods, especially when we’re just starting. Those things can be myths, here are some period myths debunked.
1. Period blood is not regular blood.
Period blood is actually regular blood. The same kind that flows through our body or that exposes itself when we’re wounded. People may just have thought that it was different because period blood comes out of the vagina.
2. If you swim in the ocean whilst on your period, you will attract sharks.
This is an age-old belief that you may have heard when you just started your period and was wondering if you can enjoy the beach. This statement may come from the belief that sharks are attracted to blood. When in fact there is no case wherein a woman on her period was attacked by a shark becomes of her period.
3. A menstrual cycle is 28 days.
You may have learned this one from school but it is actually false. 28 days is just an average number of a menstrual cycle. The cycle length can differ from person to person depending on their lifestyle and health. A menstrual cycle can be 21 days long up to 35 days long.
4. You can’t get pregnant when on your period.
Although a period is a signal that a woman is not pregnant, she can still get pregnant whilst on her period. An egg released during ovulation can live for up to 24 hours whilst sperm can live in the body for 3 days.
5. Period blood smells.
Period blood itself has no smell, it is simply the uterus lining and blood shedding. However when mixed with bacteria that is naturally in our bodies, it may have a scent. Either way, that is nothing to be ashamed of.
6. Periods make you lose a lot of blood.
You may have thought this before on a heavy-flow day, that it seemed like you had an almost infinite supply of blood. Thankfully, women actually menstruate an average of 2 to 3 tablespoons of period blood during her period. If you bleed heavily during your period, you may actually only be menstruating 4 tablespoons of blood.
7. Your period stops when your in water.
This myth goes hand in hand with the belief that sharks will go to you whilst on your period. While you’re in water the pressure from the water prevents your blood from flowing out of your vagina. That does not mean it stops your period completely, when you get out of the pool your flow will continue just as normal.
8. A tampon can get lost in you.
Some period horror stories you may have heard include a tampon getting lost in someone. This is completely false, tampons cannot get lost inside the vagina. They can certainly get stuck, but they cannot get lost. The vagina is not a bottomless pit, it may be more shallow than one thinks.
9. There is a certain age to start using tampons.
This myth may come from the fact that the older you’re the more you may be aware of toxic shock syndrome. Some people believe that you have to reach a certain age to be able to use tampons. When the truth is as long as you’re old enough to get your period, you’re also old enough to use tampons.
10. Periods can be shortened or delayed.
You may have seen it on TikTok, or sketchy websites that there are DIY experiments you can do at home to make your period shorter or delay it for a bit due to a special occasion. Please, do not believe any of these baseless DIY experiments, it may cause more harm to your body. An individual should not try to disrupt their period.
All these myths can affect so many women with their period. If you know someone who has believed any of these myths, help a girl out and let them know the truth. Let’s not cloud our knowledge of periods with horror stories and false information. Periods can be celebrated, normalized and even cherished.