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Period Myths

Don't Believe These Lies About Menstruation


By Tracee Cornforth
Updated July 17, 2014

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Myths about periods and the menstrual cycle have been around as long as women have been
menstruating. On a recent visit to the Museum of Menstruation, a strangely interesting archive of the
history of menstruation and womens health, I read in a 1963 booklet written for mothers that your
daughter may have heard that a dental filling will fall out of her tooth if put in on those days. Or that
a permanent wave wont take then.
The booklet calls these myths absurdities, then advises mothers to explain to their daughters that
good diet, regular elimination, regular exercise, and good posture help prevent menstrual cramps.
OK, so maybe they were half-right. Good nutrition and regular exercise can help to reduce the severity
of menstruation cramps, PMS, and PMDD. Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of regular physical
activity also improves your overall physical and emotional health, as well as reduces your risk of many
diseases including heart diseases and cancer.
Weve all heard myths about menstruation. Sometimes we know the myths are just that myths. Then
there are times when were not sure, and times when we just believe the myth. How many of these
myths have you believed?
1.

2.

3.

You cant go swimming during your period. Perhaps this myth started in the days before
internal devices such as tampons were popular. Or it could have been a fear of cramps while
swimming or that menstrual blood could contaminate the swimming pool. Regardless of what
started this myth, there is no reason that you cannot safely swim during menstruation.
Its unhealthy to have sex during your period. While some women feel may feel
uncomfortable about having sexual intercourse during menstruation, its perfectly OK, and may
even help relieve menstrual cramps. In fact, although not scientifically proven, researchers have
associated sex during menstruation with decreased endometriosis, as well as with several other
health benefits including a long life; absence of heart disease, stroke, and breast cancer; healthy
immunity; regulating the menstrual cycle; pain management; and improved quality of life. While
the health benefits of sexual intercourse need more study, there is no health reason not to have
sex during menstruation, so, go ahead, and have sex during your period if you want to!
Dont wash your hair when youre menstruating. There is absolutely no reason not to
wash your hair, or take a bath or shower during menstruation. In fact, a nice warm bath can do a
lot to relieve menstrual cramps and premenstrual tension. You might want to avoid cold water
during your period since it could, theoretically, cause uterine contractions that could increase
menstrual cramps.

4.

5.

6.

Girls shouldnt use tampons during their first periods. Another complete falsehood.
There is no reason not to use tampons during your first period. Just make sure you read the
instructions and insert the tampon correctly. A properly inserted tampon doesnt pinch or cause
any type of discomfort. In fact, you wont feel anything if your tampon is inserted correctly.
See: Tampon Tips for Teens
You wont get pregnant if you have sex during menstruation. Dont count on it! Unless
youre using The Pill, an internal device, or another hormonal type of contraception, there are no
safe days. Unless you are in a long-term, monogamous relationship, you should always use
condoms during sex, even if you take The Pill or use another form of contraception.
Contraceptives do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases or STDs.
You shouldnt exercise or do strenuous activities during your period. Menstruation is a
normal function. Your period is not a disability, you can do anything during your period that you
can do when youre not menstruating. Once treated as a time when women were "sick,"
menstruating women rested, stayed home, and didn't socialize.

7.

5 Pinoy Myths About Menstruation

8.

I love you lola, but I don't think I want to wipe my face with period blood.
P osted on Jul y 14, 2014
b y Ma r ga rita A. C ont rer as

9.

ShareThis

10. As

much as we love our grandmothers, moms, and titas, some


of their womanly advice just DO NOT make sense. Here, five of
the oddest Pinoyperiod myths:
1. "When you get your menarche (your first flow) in your
teenage years, wash your face with the blood so you won't
get pimples."

11.
12. No,

don't! It's disgusting AND unhygienic. Instead of doing this,


we suggest picking up your trusty pimple cream or try out any of
these DIY facial masks .
2. "Jump off the stairs from three steps up so that your
period will last for only three days."

13.
14. In

case you weren't listening in Biology class, periods normally


last three to five days. You don't need to risk getting a sprained
ankle, okay?
3. "Don't take a bath during your period, you'll be infertile."

15.
16. Elders

argue that taking a bath during your period will let cold
air enter your body (nalalamigan), through your vagina.
Infertility can be caused by a lot of factors, but we're pretty sure
taking a bath during your period isn't one of them.
17. 4. "Dysmenorrhea can be cured by marriage."
18. We think the GIF is enough to explain it all.
19. 5. "Attending a wake during your period will make your
menses foul-smelling."
20. Liquids secreted by the body have particular smells, and most of
the time, they're not very pleasant. The same goes for your
menses. So whether or not you attend a wake, the odor will still
be there.