8 Period Myths That Need To End

Women's Health | | Helena Lorimer
4 min read

A myth is a widely held but false belief or idea. And sure, some myths are just old wives tales—things that people like to believe in because it’s harmless, silly, or traditional. 

But there are other kinds of myths that, when believed, can have a detrimental effect. Take period myths, for example.

When it comes to periods, there aren’t many myths that are positive or encouraging. Instead, you hear about how having a period is “dirty” or that one’s emotions aren’t to be taken seriously during PMS

These kinds of myths are damaging, so it’s only right that we set straight some negative period myths to make menstruation more realistic for everyone.

1. Myth: Period Blood is “Dirty” Blood

Fact: The blood which is expelled during menstruation is not the same as the blood that moves continuously through our veins. And actually, it’s less concentrated blood as it contains less blood cells. 

Period blood is actually a combination of blood, uterine tissue, mucus lining, and bacteria. It’s not rejected blood from the body that contains toxins

2. Myth: Women on Their Period are “Impure”

Fact: Periods are just nature’s way of saying that a girl is growing up, and that—when they are ready, they are able to reproduce. 

Periods are a natural process related to the reasons we exist. 

In some cultures, menstruating women aren’t allowed to be in the kitchen, cook, or visit sacred places. Some even believe that menstruating women should sleep in a separate space such as a different room or a shed during their period.

3. Myth: Sanitary Pads or Period Products Should be Kept in Private

Fact: There is nothing shameful or embarrassing about having or using period products.

There’s also nothing wrong with keeping them to yourself, but if you’re hiding them because you associate menstruation with shame, then we have more to talk about.

Many feel embarrassed to reach for pads or tampons in the grocery store and try to hide them in their shopping basket. And some may feel too nervous to take a pad out of their bag when they need to in fear of others seeing it. 

4. Myth: Women Shouldn’t Have a Bath During Their Period 

Fact: Taking a warm bath during your period can reduce period cramps and ease muscle tension.

Many people believe that having a bath during a monthly period is unsafe or unsanitary. In actuality, it could help you manage your period better.

If you choose to have a warm bath during your period, you could benefit from a better mood, less period cramps, and a general stress reduction. 

5. Myth: Period Syncing is Real

Fact: While research is limited, period syncing has not been proven.

Some believe that when women are in close proximity to each other, they’ll begin getting their  period around the same time. And while this may bring about a feeling of closeness and empathy, studies have shown that this doesn’t actually occur.

Most studies agree that when you do have your period at the same time as someone you spend a lot of time with, it is merely a matter of coincidence. 

6. Myth: You Are No Longer a Virgin If You Use a Tampon

Fact: A girl or woman’s hymen doesn’t tear, it stretches, and the link between your hymen and virginity is a social construct.

When there is such importance placed on the hymen, a lot of negative consequences can come about. Some parents want to undergo “hymen testing” on their daughters, which can bring about forms of violence and shame. It turns a woman’s virginity into a commodity, and the reason why they are considered “pure” in some cultures.

This aside, the belief that a tampon can break your hymen, and thus taking away your virginity, is an old misconception that needs to end.

7. Myth: You Shouldn’t Have Sex or Masturbate on Your Period 

Fact: Period sex and masturbation is normal, safe, and can even be beneficial. 

For example, if you engage in sex or masturbation until orgasm, a slew of feel good hormones are released such as oxytocin and endorphins. These hormones work as temporary pain relievers, and can increase feelings of wellbeing, among other things.

Another bonus is that period blood can act as a natural lubricant.

8. Myth: It’s Unsafe to Skip Your Period With the Pill 

Fact: It’s 100% okay to skip your period as many times as you’d like with birth control pills.

For those who don’t know, when using the birth control pill, you can essentially skip your period every month if you don’t take the sugar pills in your pack. 

According to Dr. James Segars JR, M.D. from the department of gynecology and obstetrics:

“Having a monthly period is reassuring, but it is certainly not necessary.” 

In fact, having a period can be a really debilitating experience for some girls and women. Things such as painful cramps, heavy bleeding, and other unpleasant symptoms really don’t need to be experienced if you’ve consulted your doctor and discussed skipping your sugar pills. 

And so, now that you’re more aware of these period myths and that they really are just… myths, it’s time to spread the truth far and wide. 

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