Menstruation happens. Period. For many people it’s a regular occurrence that necessitates tons of femme care products, hot water bottles, and other forms of TLC. It can be a tough time, made tougher by the many myths surrounding periods that people can’t stop talking about.
We’re not sure how these falsities persist, but we’re out to bust period myths and give you the (accurate) information you deserve. Might not help with those pesky cramps (yoga can and these), but the facts will help you properly prep for the month ahead:
1. Your Period Will Last for Exactly One Week
Not sure where it started, but we’ve all heard that periods last one week. Nope. The truth of the matter is that everyone has a different timeline of how long their period will last. Most women’s periods will be somewhere between 3-7 days. Since cycles vary, it’s extremely helpful to download something like a period tracker.
2. You Can’t get Pregnant When on Your Period
If you’re currently sexually active and on your period, it’s important to know that you still have a chance of getting pregnant if you have unprotected sex. While it all depends on the length of your cycle, and when you’re most likely to be ovulating, it’s still better to be safe than sorry (and use protection) if you’re not currently trying to get pregnant.
3. Be on the Lookout with Sharks and Bears
Lions, and tigers and bears – oh my! One of the oddest and most mind-boggling myths in the rumor mill regarding periods is that you’re more likely to be attacked by sharks and/or bears when on your period. The theory is that the blood will attract these animals and it will be a bloody mess (yes, pun intended). This is not true. While these animals (notably sharks) have heightened senses of smell, it takes a lot of blood to trigger this and that’s not happening during your period. Firstly, the amount of period blood you shed is very limited. Also menstrual blood isn’t just blood. So don’t let your period stop you from hopping in the ocean or going on your next camping expedition.
4. Everyone Experiences the same Side Effects on Their Period
While most women love to binge a little (or a lot) when on their period, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re all rushing to the grocery store to buy a jumbo bag of Kit Kats. Unfortunately, some women experience more side-effects than others. Some women get mind-numbing cramps which oftentimes and thankfully can be solved with natural remedies, while other women will just feel the need to sleep in all day. A common side-effect is increased breast size before and during your period. If you’re someone who experiences this, it’s always helpful to invest in a comfy bra that will fit you even when your boob size is going through those normal fluctuations.
5. You’ll Sync with Your Friends
A recent study shows that a whopping 80% of women believe that their periods will sync up if they hang out enough. Sorry, but science disagrees. While it’s totally common for you to overlap your menstrual cycle with a friend coincidentally, don’t get the wrong idea and think that every month you and your friend will be going into an identical battle. Chances are your cycle will last for a different amount of time and also start at a different time. But hey, it’s nice to dream right?
What other period myths need to be debunked once and for all?