Menstruation is a tricky subject. Even today, it is a seen as a taboo topic – it is icky, messy and banned from discussions in polite company, even among women. And because of its ‘taboo’ status, young women and girls are often given wrong advice. Here are the most common menstruation myths every woman must know:
However, knowledge, as they say, is power and you would do well to ignore these menstruation myths.
Menstruation Myth 1:
“You’re supposed to get your period at least by the time you’re (For e.g. 13)”
There is no set age at which young girls should get their first period. Girls as young as nine years of age may start menstruating while some may start at the age of 15. If by the age of 15, a girl doesn’t get her periods, it is better to consult a doctor.
This particular myth plagues young women, girls and mothers alike. Sadly, if the girl misses her mark, i.e. if she turns 13 years and even one week old, and if she hasn’t started her period still, there is a problem with her!
Menstruation Myth 2:
“Your period lasts for exactly one week.”
Shockingly, not all women’s bodies are the same, so women’s menstrual cycles also differ. The 28 days cycle is an average marker and not set in stone. No one is perfect and therefore; the menstruation cycle is also not accurate. Women have irregular periods for various reasons. Teenagers too, do not have the typical cycle of 28 days. The gap between periods may vary from 21 days to 35 days.
Menstruation Myth 3:
“You can’t get pregnant if you have sex during your period.”
While uncommon, one can get pregnant while menstruating. Ovulation and the menstrual cycle can be unpredictable, and ovulation can happen before, during and after the bleeding phase, especially if your period is irregular.
Therefore, one needs to make sure they use protection or practice safe sex even during one’s periods. This is also because during this time women are susceptible to STDs.
Menstruation Myth 4:
“Eating sour foods will worsen menstrual cramps.”
Seriously… there is no connection between menstrual cramps and eating sour foods. However, it is essential for women to maintain a healthier diet during this period. It is best to eat beans, pulses, roti, brown bread, and yogurt.
Menstruation Myth 5:
“You shouldn’t wash your hair during your period.”
Thank goodness this is a myth! There is no reason to follow this idea as bathing and regular grooming rituals have no connection with one’s menses. Taking warm baths twice a day will only help feel lighter as they ease muscle cramps.
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