Women have around 450 periods in their lifetimes and lose around 2 fl oz of blood each time. By the way, the whole process isn’t that cheap: women spend more than $6000 on hygiene products in total. We often don’t even pay attention to these statistics and have no clue about the features of our own bodies, especially when it comes to our periods.
Bright Side is going to bust some common period myths. We hope this article will help you get rid of stereotypes and make your periods more comfortable.
Myth #10: You’re not allowed to take a bath.
Some girls avoid enjoying a bath during their periods, some women think that hot water encourages bleeding, and others are afraid to get an infection. But it’s not a wound that bleeds, it’s just the endometrium that separates from the endometrial wall. Water won’t ever be able to take that “too far.”
A warm bath can be helpful. Hot water improves the work of the blood vessels, relaxes our smooth muscles, and reduces menstrual cramps. So there’s a chance you’ll feel much better after taking a bath. Of course, it’s recommended to wash your bath before you get in, and if you’re still worried, use a tampon.
Myth #9: You’re not allowed to swim in a swimming pool or open water.
Many people think that this is bad for their health, but it’s not true. First, a tampon or a menstrual cup won’t let water get inside (pads won’t do the trick since they’ll get wet.) Second, swimming, as well as other exercises, reduces pain.
It’s not that easy to get an infection in a swimming pool. According to statistics, in a swimming pool, you’re at risk of getting a gastrointestinal disease, conjunctivitis, or skin diseases. To avoid skin irritation after swimming in a swimming pool, take a shower and put on clean clothes.
Myth #8: Periods synchronize when women live together.
Martha McClintock was the first to write about this feature in her article for Nature in 1971. In her experience, friends, relatives, and roommates have their periods almost 100% synchronized. The reason was because they exchanged certain pheromones that are produced by the female body.
Later studies have disproved the link between periods and the frequency of interaction. It turns out she hadn’t considered several factors, and a similar experiment gave absolutely different results. Today menstrual synchronization hasn’t been proven and is treated as a myth in the scientific community.
Myth #7: It’s better to postpone hair dying.
…Otherwise the color won’t spread evenly, and the hair will look scruffy. Internet users claim it happens due to a hormonal imbalance. Scientists were really interested to study this case and they found out that even if during menstruation the hair is more capricious and vulnerable, it doesn’t have any impact on sebum production.
According to data, unruly hair is the result of poor care or a genetic predisposition. Stylists agree with this: you can dye your hair whenever you want.
Myth #6: Strong drinks can affect the menstrual cycle.
It’s all about the dosage. Ladies who consume too much alcohol on a regular basis are prone to having irregular menstrual cycles, anovulations, and amenorrhea. Alcohol abuse has a poor influence on the whole body, not just the reproductive system.
If you want to drink a glass of wine or a couple of cocktails during your period, it’s OK. Studies show that moderate drinking doesn’t destroy the menstrual cycle phase and doesn’t affect your health.
Myth #5: It’s better to postpone a depilation and your visit to a tattoo artist or a cosmetologist.
Some tattoo artists don’t recommend that women get tattoos during their periods since a tattoo can “smudge.” Cosmetologists also try to prevent their clients from undergoing some procedures such as Botox injections and so on. But the result depends on the expert. You shouldn’t postpone your visit, though you do have to remember: it can be more painful.
Myth #4: You have to tolerate the abdominal pain.
Yes, almost all women experience this pain, but its intensity may vary. From 45 to 93% of women suffer from dysmenorrhea. From 3 to 33% of them experience severe pain: high body temperature, vomiting, dizziness, and other symptoms that make women really miserable for 1-3 days.
If dysmenorrhea stops you from leading a normal life, it’s better to turn to a gynecologist who will find a suitable treatment. Generally, the treatment for this lasts for 3 menstrual cycles, and the effects can last for 2-4 months. Then the pain returns, but it’s less severe.
Myth #3: It’s impossible to get pregnant during your period.
This is one of the most common period myths. In fact, fertility isn’t that strong during periods, it’s the strongest 12-16 days before the next cycle. But don’t forget that in some women, the cycle lasts 21 days, not 28 days, and can be irregular.
Myth #2: The cycle depends on the Moon phase.
This myth comes from ancient times, and modern studies can’t find any link between the phases of the Moon and dates when periods begin. A team of analysts has come up with the same results after studying 7.5 million cycles. The explanation is rather simple.
The lunar cycle lasts for 29.5 days, while an average menstrual cycle can vary from 21 to 35 days. The length of a cycle can change throughout a woman’s life. A phase and a cycle may coincide if the cycle lasts for 29-30 days, and it’s, in fact, just a coincidence.
Myth #1: It’s dangerous to delay your period with combined oral contraceptive pills.
Each woman probably has wanted to postpone her period at least once in her life. Some women don’t use pills since they think they can affect their health. But experts from the National Women’s Health Network have proven that delaying your period doesn’t do anything bad. In some cases, it’s even useful. For example, when a woman suffers from dysmenorrhea. Of course, it’s not recommended to use this method on a regular basis.
Do you know any other myths about periods? We’ll try to bust them in one of our next articles.