Sure, we’re all totally awesome, sophisticated ladies who know our own bodies and biology inside-out, right? Even with all our modern-day smarts, however, there’s a bunch of menstruation myths out there that still run rampant and confuse even the savviest gals into doing weird things around that time of the month. To help you sort fact from fiction, here’s a rundown of some of the most common period rumours “ and why they’re rubbish.
You can’t get pregnant on your period.
It would be great if there was a definitive point during your cycle when baby-making is impossible, but sadly, this is not the case. While it’s certainly less likely you’ll conceive during menstruation, it should be noted that sperm can stay alive inside your vagina for up to seven days, and ovulation can potentially occur before the bleeding phase is over. So, continue to practice safe sex all month long.
You shouldn’t have sex on your period.
On the flipside, there are some folks out there who instead believe that period sex is a bad idea “ perhaps that it is less sanitary, more physically taxing, or just plain gross. While it’s true that menstruating women’s widened cervix puts them at a somewhat higher risk of STD transmission, all that other stuff is totally false. In fact, many women testify that sex is more enjoyable during their periods because of the extra lubrication and increased sensitivity down there (not to mention that orgasms are a pretty effective way to reduce menstrual cramps). As for the messiness, it’ll probably be less freaky than you think (especially if you can avoid your heaviest days and stick to positions with your partner on top). Just throw down a couple towels or a dark-coloured sheet, and you’re good to go.
PMS is all in your head.
Nope “ despite some of the nasty things people say about PMSing women, the condition is not just some made-up excuse for us girls to get bitchy or sensitive. Studies show that roughly half of adult women experience symptoms of tension, depression, irritability, and physical discomfort or pain immediately preceding the onset of menstruation. Lending further support to PMS’ existence is the fact that women on the pill (who don’t experience the hormonal fluctuations that they normally would) report fewer mood changes with their cycle.
You shouldn’t wash your hair while menstruating.
This one may sound a little random, but there are many out there who say washing your hair during menses is bad news, leading to headaches, cancer, and sour milk. What? No. Not true.
You can’t do strenuous activity while on your period.
The cramps and bloating may make you want to skip the trip to the gym in lieu of an extra-long nap, but really, getting regular exercise is a great way to reduce symptoms of PMS, both physical and emotional. So if you want to continue exerting Wonder Woman-levels of strength and athleticism during that time of the month, by all means, go for it!