Women share stories all the time, especially when it comes to tales about their body, whether it be about menstrual cycles or giving birth. As you can imagine, these tales are usually handed down over the years only to become myths. For the purpose of this write-up we will look at the most common period myths.
You cannot get pregnant while menstruating.
This myth has been spread dangerously for many years. It has probably continued for this long because it appears to be a logical conclusion, as fertilization doesn’t seem possible when the uterus lining sheds. Unfortunately, this is not true. Although women have ovulation cycles monthly, they are not always regular. You might have a short ovulation cycle predominantly and then one that is extremely long. A sperm could fertilize an egg during this time, even when you are menstruating.
You should not sleep beside another woman.
From this myth it would seem that periods are caught or contagious, so the woman who is not menstruating could start if she is sleeping beside someone who is menstruating. This tale might have started because of the menstrual synchrony theory which suggests that women living, working, or in close proximity of each other for long periods of time will have periods in sync. There is no scientific data to support this and the syncing is often accredited to the lunar cycles.
Dental fillings will drop out if they are added during your menstrual cycle.
If ever there was a wild menstrual rumor this would be it, and surprisingly many have been spreading it for years. There is no absolute source as to how this fable started, but it is true that you will feel added sensitivity around the tender area of your gums and this is completely normal when you are menstruating. It can lead to increased bleeding if dental work is done, but it is not going to affect the reliability of the dental fillings or how firmly it will stay in place.
It is normal to have heavy periods monthly and menopause.
This myth is being circulated heavily even today. It appears to be a very common belief that what a woman experiences during menopause is equal to difficult menstrual changes as well as months of heavy periods. The truth is that it is normal to have changes, and some heavier bleeding could take place, but you might have another problem if this is continuous.
You should not do strenuous activities.
This myth comes from the Victorian period when females were being treated as very delicate flowers and they had to be careful with their physical and emotional compositions. It was thought that any additional activity or exercise would increase the menstrual flow and cause it to go on longer.
It is actually known that this is beyond accurate, and the opposite is really closer to the truth. You could do just about any activity that you normally do during your period and studies actually show that physical exercise will alleviate menstrual pain and cramps.
People are able to tell whenever you are menstruating.
It is possible that people who felt self-conscious and insecure about their periods started this myth. Fortunately, no scientific fact is behind this myth and there is actually no way for other people to know that you are menstruating, unless you mess up your clothing accidentally.
Virgins should not use a tampon or menstrual cup.
This is one of the other lingering and common period myths out there. Most people still think that using pads is the only way to maintain their virginity. However, the simple truth is that a woman’s virginity can only be lost through sexual intercourse.
You should avoid bare feet and cold food.
Once again, this is one of the most common period myths which seem to have started during the middle ages. During this period, hygiene and health was little less than ideal, so a woman’s physical health was slightly more dangerous. There was a tale that menstruating women should not walk on the floors with their bare feet and only eat warm foods as the coldness in the two instances will heighten the pain of menstrual cramps. The truth is that the pain related to period cramps will radiate out from your uterus, so there is no way for cold food or floors to affect the outcome.
Animals usually attack menstruating women more frequently.
It’s highly likely that you have heard about this myth. Most women are told to avoid the ocean or the sea as the sharks are able to smell their period. Another one is that women should not go on camping trips in the woods because wild bears are more likely to attack them. Once more, there is no science to support this. The truth is that bears, sharks, dogs, or any other animal has no increased interest in females on their menstrual cycles compared to those who are not.
There are additional resources available if you want more information on the most common period myths.