Menstruation is a normal part of life that most women experience. However, it is surrounded by myths stemming from superstitions. This is a very dangerous phenomenon since it not only makes periods a taboo, but also creates confusion. Most of these myths are deep-rooted in discrimination based on gender, eventually creating unnecessary restrictions for women. So let’s debunk them and spread period positivity.
1. Tampons Take A Woman’s Virginity
One of the most common misconceptions regarding menstruation is that tampons can take a woman’s virginity. There is some truth to this statement, in the sense that tampons can contribute to the breaking of the hymen, which is misunderstood as a “mark of virginity”. This, however, isn’t true. Losing virginity isn’t dependent on the tearing of a tissue, which is basically what the hymen is. Rather, it is dependent on a woman becoming sexually active for the first time. The reason why this myth is so popular is because a lot of cultures equate the tearing up of the hymen to the loss of virginity, but when we take a closer look, it becomes clear that this isn’t the case.
2. Sex During Menstruation Cannot Result in Pregnancy
Unprotected sex during menstruation can result in pregnancy, also it increases the chances of sexually transmitted infections such as HIV. If you ever encounter symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases, make an immediate visit to a gynecologist in lahore to get yourself diagnosed. Surpirisngly, although it is unlikely, women can get pregnant if they have unprotected sex during periods. Recent research reveals that after intercourse, the sperm can live up to ten days inside the uterus. This means that if there is an overlap between these ten days and the period of ovulation, a woman can definitely get pregnant.
3. Periods Should Last Exactly One Week
It isn’t necessary to menstruate for exactly one week. Periods are supposed to last from three to seven days, and for a lot of girls, the number of days can actually differ. That being said, if your period lasts for more than eight days, and feels unusually heavy, visit a gynecologist to rule out any underlying health conditions such as bleeding disorders and polyps. On the other side of the spectrum, if you don’t bleed for more than ninety days, consult a specialist as this might also be indicative of health complications.
4. Period Blood is Dirty
In a lot of cultures, period blood is considered dirty, and because of that, women who are on their period are considered impure. They are not expected to cook during their period, and are asked to sleep in separate quarters. This is an extremely dangerous myth as it propagates the idea that menstruation is a sickness, or a contagious disease, and not a normal part of everyday life. The truth is, period blood isn’t dirty. It’s just a combination of:
- Mucus lining
- Uterine tissue
Altogether, they flow from the uterus out of the vagina. So, periods aren’t shameful, and there is nothing impure about them.
5. You Cannot Shower During Your Period
This is another common cultural myth. Some people believe that taking a shower is unsafe during your period for two reasons:
- Hot water stimulates bleeding.
- Water prevents bleeding.
Both the reasons are thought to have negative consequences. However, this is certainly not the case. While hot water can assist in stimulating bleeding, it can help relieve menstrual cramps and ease muscular tension, providing much needed comfort. The second reason holds no truth. Quite the contrary, water helps keep the body clean, preventing the onset of a number of bacterial infections.
6. PMS is Not Real
Premenstrual syndrome refers to the symptoms women experience prior to their period. It is very much real, with about one in four women experiencing it. PMS is thought to be caused by hormonal changes. Some common symptoms of PMS are:
- Feelings of sadness
Physical symptoms include:
- Breast tenderness
For some women, PMS can be mild, while for others, it can cause a huge impact in their life. Needless to say, it isn’t “in their head” and it does exist.