Sour food can’t make cramps worse & 9 other absurd period myths busted!
By NCVC Staff | Published on Oct 10, 2023
Periods. The very mention of the word can make people uncomfortable. But what’s even more discomforting is the fact that we continue to believe and spread baseless period myths without any concrete proof. From the idea that period blood is impure to the belief that women shouldn’t bathe or exercise while menstruating, it’s time to debunk these absurd myths and separate fact from fiction.
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Period Blood is Not Impure Blood
Let’s break this myth right now – period blood is not dirty. According to Dr. Deepa Dewan, associate director and head of unit, obstetrics and gynecology, Max Hospital, Gurgaon, period blood is simply the lining of the uterus shedding itself at the end of the menstrual cycle. It receives a lot of blood supply during its formation, but it’s definitely not impure blood. So, let go of this misconception once and for all.
Birth Control Pills Are Not the Only Solution for PMS
While birth control pills can help treat premenstrual syndrome (PMS) due to hormonal imbalances, they are not the only solution. Dr. Dewan suggests that lifestyle changes such as staying active and exercising daily can also help alleviate PMS symptoms. So, don’t solely rely on birth control pills and explore other options to manage your PMS effectively.
Menstrual Synchrony is Not a Thing
Contrary to popular belief, women who spend time together don’t magically sync their menstrual cycles. The theory of ‘menstrual synchrony’ lacks concrete scientific evidence, according to Dr. Dewan. Each woman has her own cycle, and staying in close proximity with other women doesn’t influence the timing of their periods. So, let go of the notion that your periods will align perfectly with your friends or roommates.
Your Diet Does Impact Your Menstrual Cycle
You are what you eat, and so is your menstrual cycle. Dr. Dewan explains that deficiencies in essential nutrients and minerals can lead to irregular periods. A low hemoglobin due to iron deficiency or an unhealthy diet can cause menstrual problems. Similarly, obesity and unhealthy food can make you more prone to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). So, pay attention to your diet as it can affect your menstrual cycle and overall health.
Period Sex and Pregnancy
It’s less likely for a woman to get pregnant during her period, but it’s not impossible. Dr. Dewan clarifies that the chances of conception are highest during ovulation, which usually occurs between the 14th to 16th day of a woman’s cycle. However, the timing of ovulation can vary, especially for those with irregular periods. So, it’s still advisable to use protection during period sex to prevent any unwanted surprises.
Tampons Can’t Get Lost Inside You
There’s a common fear that tampons can get lost inside the vagina, but it’s just a misconception. Dr. Dewan assures us that tampons cannot mysteriously disappear. If you forget whether you’ve taken out a tampon or not, it’s simply a case of forgetfulness. The tampon will be present somewhere inside the vagina and can be easily removed. So, there’s no need to worry about losing a tampon inside your body.
Bathing is Essential During Menstruation
Contrary to another myth, it’s important to take a bath while menstruating to maintain hygiene. Dr. Dewan explains that a woman’s intimate area is more prone to infections during her period. Therefore, regular bathing is crucial to stay clean and hygienic. So, don’t believe the misconception that bathing during your period will make you bloat or worsen your cramps.
Exercise is Absolutely Fine During Your Period
Don’t let the fear of stains or altered menstrual flow stop you from exercising during your period. Dr. Dewan assures us that there’s no scientific reason for women with normal cycles to stop exercising while menstruating. Discomfort due to blood flow or wearing a sanitary napkin may make you hesitant, but it’s perfectly normal and healthy to exercise during your period. In fact, exercise releases endorphins, which can improve your mood and help with period mood swings.
Sour Food Doesn’t Worsen Period Pain
There’s no scientific evidence to support the claim that sour foods worsen period pain, according to Dr. Dewan. The hormones estrogen and progesterone fluctuate during the menstrual cycle, causing menstruation. Sour foods have no effect on these hormones, making this myth baseless. So, feel free to enjoy your favorite sour foods without worrying about your period pain.
Swimming is Not Off-Limits During Your Period
Contrary to popular belief, you can swim while menstruating. The fear of turning the pool water red is unfounded. Even if you were to leak, it’s unlikely that you would produce enough blood to change the color of the pool water significantly. However, Dr. Dewan does caution that the risk of infection is slightly higher during your period. So, if you’re considering swimming, make sure to wear a tampon and take necessary precautions.
It’s high time we dispel these ridiculous period myths and promote accurate information about menstruation. Let’s embrace a more informed and open-minded approach towards periods, leaving behind baseless beliefs and empowering ourselves with knowledge.