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10 Period Myths That Should Be Forgotten ASAP

Periods: we all get them, but many women still believe a lot of myths and misconceptions about their menstrual cycle. Let’s bust these 10 popular myths about your period.

Period myths

While you're less likely to become pregnant during your period, it’s not completely impossible. The length of your menstrual cycle, as well as when you ovulate need to be taken into consideration.

For example, people who have a shorter menstrual cycle — say, 21 days between their periods — may ovulate earlier. If a woman with a cycle this short has a long period and has sex near the end of it, the sperm could still be alive to fertilize the egg when ovulation occurs.

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So yes, there’s a chance of getting pregnant from sex during your period and right after it. However, the chances of getting pregnant right before your period are extremely low.

Physically, a virgin may still have her hymen fully or partially intact. However, the hymen is a thin membrane, and may not be fully present in some people when they have sex for the first time, due to sports or other activity that may cause it to break. The misconception behind this myth is that the act of putting tampons in the vagina will fully break the hymen.

The hymen is a thin membrane that may not be fully present in some people when they have sex for the first time, due to sports or other activity that may cause it to break.

The hymen is a partial membrane that covers part of the opening to the vagina, but it’s not an airtight seal. There is room to use tampons before you have sex if you choose. Using tampons may cause your hymen to stretch or tear a bit, but it’s the actual act of intercourse that counts, not simply an intact hymen.

A woman swims during her period

The short answer is yes, you can swim while you have your period, but wearing a pad in your swimsuit is probably ill-advised. If you wish to swim, opt for a tampon or a menstrual cup instead. Just be sure that you change your protection frequently while swimming and thoroughly wash your hands and genital area before getting back into the pool.

Research about whether or not living near one another can cause women’s cycles to sync up has found mixed results. The initial research was done on a study of women living in a dorm in the 1970s and suggested that living in close proximity may cause women to begin menstruating at the same time. Follow-up studies haven’t supported this conclusion.

What’s more likely to happen is that out of a group of women, there’s bound to be a few who have cycles at the same time, and many others who have a cycle that overlaps, such as beginning or ending within a few days of one another, and thus menstruating for a few days at the same time.

Menstruation is a natural part of life. It’s a normal body function for women, and there’s no reason to feel shame because you’re menstruating.

Many women, especially younger ones just going through puberty or who have had their periods for the first time, may feel very self-conscious about the changes in their body. It’s extremely common for young women to feel a little embarrassed about being on their period, especially if their peers make off-color jokes about it.

Bottom line, periods are normal, but your body’s functions are your private business, so it’s okay to be discreet and not discuss anything you aren't comfortable with.

Menstrual blood is a body fluid, and it should be handled with the same caution as any other body fluid. Wash your hands after coming into contact with it. Menstrual blood itself isn’t simply blood like from a cut on your finger. It’s comprised of mucus, old uterine tissue, and blood.

Menstrual blood itself isn’t simply blood like from a cut on your finger. It’s comprised of mucus, old uterine tissue, and blood.

The composition of menstrual blood is slightly different from blood in the rest of your body — specifically, the compounds that cause coagulation aren't present. This means that menstrual blood won’t clot like blood if you cut your hand, for example. The mucus and other secretions that are part of menstrual blood keep it fluid, allowing it to pass from your body. 

If you’re one of the 90% of women who get PMS, you know this myth isn’t true. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS), its symptoms, and the severity of these symptoms vary widely from woman to woman. Cramping and bloating are the most common PMS symptoms. The cramping occurs as your uterus contracts to expel the pad of blood and tissue created to host a possible baby. 

Find out about your PMS in advance with Flo!

Find out about your PMS in advance with Flo!

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Menstruation involves shifting hormones in the body, which can affect mood. Also, the sensation of menstruation itself — bloating, cramps, diarrhea — can also have an affect on a person’s mood.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS), its symptoms, and the severity of these symptoms vary widely from woman to woman. Cramping and bloating are the most common PMS symptoms.

Some women report less extreme bouts of PMS after childbirth, but everyone is different. If you have severe PMS that impacts your quality of life and begins to affect your work performance and relationships, you may be among the 3–8% of women who have PMDD, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Discuss this with your gynecologist, who may be able to recommend medication or other treatment that allows you to function better in the days leading up to your period.

While some exercise, such as core exercises, may be uncomfortable for women who have cramping or bloating during their periods, many health experts say mild to moderate exercise during your period is beneficial. The dopamine and endorphins released after exercise, especially cardio, may have a positive effect on your overall mood and can help alleviate some of the cramping that accompanies your period.

A woman having sex during her period

This issue boils down to your personal preference and that of your partner. Some people may be turned off by the presence of blood during sex, no matter how attracted they are to you. Others, however, have no problem with it. For some people, the way their hormones shift during their period makes them want sex more. For others, their hormone levels may dampen their sex drive.

Orgasms may help reduce cramping, as well as make your periods shorter — the muscle contractions during orgasm may help push out the menstrual blood faster.

There may be a few benefits to having sex during your period, however. Orgasms may help reduce cramping, as well as make your periods shorter — the muscle contractions during orgasm may help push out the menstrual blood faster. Bottom line, however, is that sex during your period should be consensual for both partners, and neither should feel ashamed for having personal preferences one way or the other.

Ok, this myth is a little silly. Sharks can detect blood in the water for up to half a mile away, but the composition of menstrual blood is different from regular blood in humans, and human blood, in general, is chemically different from that of marine animals, which are sharks’ preferred prey. Menstrual blood isn't something that indicates to a shark that you’re dinner, although the way you swim might be — slow swimming and lots of thrashing about are more likely to signal that you’re weak (and edible!) than being on your period would.

There are a lot of misconceptions about your period, which hopefully have been cleared up. Remember that it's a natural function of every woman's body, and not a joke or something to be ashamed of. 

https://americanpregnancy.org/getting-pregnant/can-get-pregnant-period/

https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/use-tampon.html

https://modernfertility.com/blog/cycles/

https://www.plim.fr/en/content/19-about-menstrual-blood

https://invivohealthcare.com/archives/pms-more-than-just-your-hormones/

https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/sex-during-periods#benefits

https://www.thejakartapost.com/life/2018/07/29/menstrual-blood-proven-not-to-attract-sharks.html

Flo Period & Ovulation Tracker

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  • Amazing! Ricecake2003
    This app is super useful for tracking periods, and has given me mostly accurate predictions so far! I especially love that you can comment anonymously on posts and get help from and give help to the community.
  • Such an intuitive app! Hannah Malone
    I've tried several period tracker apps on the market and nothing is as good as Flo. It's accurate, detailed providing you with an abundance of parameters to log, and they even provide useful articles and surveys to help you better understand the complex nature of the female body.

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