Yes ladies, there’s no escaping it. All girls invariably have to go through that dreaded “time of the month”. However, it’s recently become a phenomenon which is often misunderstood as being something larger than life. Large enough that many of the “associations” about periods are nothing more than myths. Here are 10 of the most popular myths about periods which shall be busted.
During her periods, a chocolate is a girl’s best friend
We all absolutely love chocolate and would indulge in ridiculous amounts of it when given the chance. However, craving chocolate is not necessarily linked to the menstrual cycle. There has been some research carried out by the University of Pennsylvania regarding this. According to that, about half of the pre-menopausal women thought that their chocolate cravings were linked to the onset of their monthly menstrual cycle. On the other hand, less than 10% post-menopausal women linked the two to one another. Sorry ladies, looks like you’ll have to find a new excuse!
Menses last for exactly one week
While it is common for periods to last for 6-7 days in a month, they can range from anywhere between 3 days to 7 days and varies from person to person. Furthermore, the cycle tend to be irregular during the first year of menses since the menstrual pattern has not formed completely and may take time to settle. Don’t worry girls, nothing to feel ashamed about.
She should rest during her periods and avoid any form of physical activity
Girls may feel lower on energy during their menses. However, it certainly does not imply that they should not move at all and restrict themselves to bed rest during the entire week. According to research, light exercise during menses is highly beneficial. It increases the supply of oxygen to the body and helps decrease pains experienced during menstrual cramps. Granted, heavy exercise is not recommended during this time of the month. Moreover, it is especially risky in the first few days of menses when the blood flow is heavier than the later days.
You lose a lot of blood during your period
As we saw earlier, women feel all their energy being sucked out from their bodies in the form of blood. However, the average woman only loses 2 to 3 tablespoons of blood during her periods. It may vary for all sorts of females and some females experience menorrhagia i.e. heavy bleeding. But even those women lose up to 4 tablespoons of blood during each cycle.
Period blood smells bad
Very often, girls feel embarrassed as they get a whiff of their periods. They instantly become conscious thinking “I hope no one else can smell that”. As a matter of fact, period blood has no odor of its own. It is made of blood and tissue which sheds from the uterus. When combined with the bacteria in the body, it may leave the blood smelling slightly more unpleasant than usual. Not to worry though, it’s very unlikely that the odor can be smelled by anyone other than the individual herself.
Blood shed during menses is different from regular blood in the body
While most people believe that menstrual blood is “impure” blood which is leaving our body, it is in fact regular blood which comes out from the vagina. Due to the fact that blood comes out from a normal body part, there is nothing abnormal or unusual about that blood. That’s also the main reason why menstrual blood carries no odor. Interesting, right?
You cannot get pregnant during your period
While it is not very common for a female to ovulate during her menses, it is not entirely impossible either. When a sperm enters the human body, it can live for up to 5 days. Therefore ovulation can occur both during the menses period and also right after the menses period. Therefore if females out there plan on using their menstrual cycle as a “safety net” to prevent pregnancy during sex, be very careful girls. You never know what might be stirring inside your body!
Hot water increases blood flow while cold water slows it down
While many people feel that hot water may lead to a sudden outburst of blood and a cold shower would completely pause blood flow, the only thing that determines the flow of blood is in fact the human body itself. There is no guarantee that hot water will lead to more blood flowing out just as there is no guarantee that swimming will completely stop blood from gushing out into the pool. However, warm water is beneficial during menses as it reduces the pain from menstrual cramps.
Cramps are a common sign of menstruation
While majority of the females believe that the onset of periods is a signal that cramps are likely to occur, menstrual cramps are not normal and may occur due to high levels of estrogen or high level of sugar consumption in the body. Therefore if menstrual cramps become severe coupled with severe irritation in the uterus, it is advisable to consult a doctor.
If you spend a long enough time with your friends, your period cycle synchronizes
One of the most common misconceptions regarding menses is that if friends spend a lot of time with each other, their habits and even their menstrual cycles sync. The fact however, is that hormones are not responsible for the menstrual cycle to sync with one another; rather it is a matter of timing. Due to the average menstrual cycle of two women falls seven days apart from each other and since the average menses cycle lasts for five days, the cycle invariably falls around the same time at one point or another.
Therefore, while all women dread the awful cycle they have to go through each month, not everything you hear about it should be believed blindly. After all, why look for more reasons to despise something that’s bad enough already!