5 Period Myths That You Should Know About
Every healthy mature woman has her periods for most of her life. Still, it is difficult to name any other biological process in the human body that is surrounded by myths and prejudices to the same extent.
1. You can't have sex during your period
While some avoid protection during menstruation, others believe that sex on periods is forbidden. Sexual intercourse during menstruation is a personal matter for everyone. There is absolutely nothing unhealthy or unhygienic about it.
The idea that menstrual blood is somehow dirtier than blood from a cut finger or any other place on the body is just a myth. It was formed because of the tabooing of menstruation for many centuries. Many people in the last century had no or very little free access to hot clean water, which caused additional inconvenience.
Sex during menstruation is safe for both partners. If the sight of blood doesn not bother you and your partner then you can have as much sex as you want. Masturbating during your periods is also absolutely OK too.
2. You can't get pregnant during your period
Some people think that it is impossible to get pregnant during menstruation. However, this is not entirely true. Ovulation - the release of an egg from the ovary - does not occur during menstruation. But there are several circumstances when fertilization is possible.
Sperm can be active for up to seven days after entering the female body. This means that if you had sex a week before ovulation (for example, on the last day of your period), the sperm can "wait" for the egg to leave the ovary and fertilize it.
The beginning of menstruation sometimes can be confused with spotting. It starts just at the time of ovulation when the egg is ready for fertilization. Usually, this minor bleeding, associated with hormonal imbalance, passes after a couple of days.
Gynecologists recommend adhering to the rules of safe sex during your periods. Consider using a NuvaRing birth control ring instead of a regular condom. Researches show that less than 1 out of every 100 women who use the birth control ring will become pregnant in one year.
3. Menstrual blood smells bad
Period blood itself is odorless. The smell can occur when blood and tissue mix with the body's natural bacteria. But it's still not that strong.
No matter how much tampon commercials promote it, your vagina will not smell like a summer garden during your periods. Avoid hygiene products with flavorings. They can cause irritation and allergic reactions.
To maintain your vagina clean and odorless, just wash it with water and change pads or tampons every 4 hours. The most hygienic means can be provided by menstrual cups. It is enough to take it out and wash once every 8 to 12 hours. A sharp unpleasant smell can signal yeast or some other infections and is a reason to contact a gynecologist.
4. You can lose a lot of blood during your periods
Average menstruation can last from three to seven days. During this time, you can lose about three tablespoons of blood. You will lose no more than four tablespoons if you experience severe bleeding.
Standard blood loss during menstruation is not life-threatening and does not lead to anemia. But if you use more than seven tampons a day or your period lasts more than a week, you should see a doctor and get tested.
5. You can't exercise during your period
Physical activity during menstruation is not prohibited. Marathons and weight lifting may be worth giving up, but a lighter workout, like swimming or Pilates, can lift your mood and relieve uterine spasms that cause painful sensations.
The bottom line
The menstrual cycle is one of the main women's health indicators. You should pay special attention to the myths surrounding it to keep your good physical and mental health!