Periods or menstruation is an integral aspect of the human experience. It is responsible for each of our existence. The ovulation calendar and menstrual cycle are common aspect of people’s lives who bleed. But unfortunately, there are numerous myths and stigmas associated with periods. This makes life difficult for millions of people who have to live through the difficulties that arise as a result of the myths. Ranging from weird to shameful myths that surround periods, one would be shocked beyond relief if they come across the list of them.
GYV has curated a list of myths that are associated with menstruation and the menstrual cycle. We have brought, in fact, checks that bust these myths and stigmas. While some of them are hilarious, others are insensitively appalling. Read this and help create a better, sensitive, and friendly world for those who bleed.
Working out, swimming or exercise is bad on the ovulation calendar:
This commonly believed myth ruins the workout and health routine of millions of people. The misconstrued belief started in Mexico.
Myth Busted: Intensive workout is prevented during periods, but doctors say that different body types have different experiences. While those experiencing extreme cramps and pain might take a break from a workout, others can continue with yoga, swimming with tampons/menstrual cups, and regular workout or exercise.
Eating pickles and sour food items harm the ovulation calendar
This is a widely popular myth most prevalent in South Asian countries. People on their ovulation calendar are often prohibited from eating pickles or sour food items. The logic given behind is that it triggers blood flow. Also, individuals going through periods are barred from touching pickles as it is known to “spoil the pickle”.
Myth Busted: Doctor Sheetal Rani says that you can eat pickles and sour food items as you wish. There is no such scientific logic behind refraining from sour food items. As far as pickles getting ruined is concerned, as long as they are kept well, they taste the best.
The Kitchen Prohibition
Another weirdly manipulated practice that found place in household discrimination is prohibiting people from entering the kitchen. The real reason for keeping women away during periods was to help them get rest while on periods. However, with time the preventive measure to save them from household burden and give them rest turned into a conservative tradition.
Religious Exclusion and Ban
People on their periods are strictly prohibited from getting involved in religious affairs. They are banned from entering religious spaces, touching religious belongings, and attending religious ceremonies. This is because people during periods are considered “impure”.
Breaking Myth: Do we need to bust the myth here? The Sabrimala struggle is a living example of how people are struggling to bust this myth.
Tampons break your Hymen
Tampons are a savior from the hassles of repeated pad changing and rashes. However, tampons are still not the most used sanitary product. The logic behind this is that tampons break a woman’s hymen. Society prohibits young girls from using a tampon. While the theory of hymen in itself is a social construction. Doctor Sheetal Rani says that hymen is just a membrane that covers the vaginal opening. There is no guaranteed way of the hymen breaking and one might not even realize it. Even heavy blood flow during menstruation can result in the hymen breaking.
Washing Hair or Showering during Periods:
A common belief in India, Argentina, and Italy, the myth dates back to times when common bathing spaces existed over personal household showers. Today the logic is completely irrelevant and makes no sense. In fact, doctors emphasize on maintaining good sanitary hygiene during periods and at all times.
Natural Prevention during ovulation calendar:
In various communities and societies, people during their menstruation refrain from touching plants and trees. They are told that the plant might die and wither away if they are touched by a bleeding person.
Myth Busted: Reality says that this myth is null and void and holds no grounds of logic whatsoever. Menstruation is as natural as the plants and nature itself.
- People suggest other people on their periods to not consume cold beverages. Cold coffees, shakes or ice teas are a big no.
Myth Busted: While hot beverages give relaxation to cramps and pain during periods, there is no such scientific proof that cold beverages cause any unease to a bleeding person.
Staying Away from Children:
- In various countries and communities, people who are on their periods stay away from children and kids. The argument behind this is that people on periods might get young children sick. This comes from the horrifying assumption that periods or menstruation is disease/sickness.
Having Sex on Periods can kill your partner:
The weirdest of all the myths traces its origin in Poland. Soon with time, it became popular in other countries too.
Myth Busted: We spoke to people who had sex during periods and well as it turns out their partners are keeping fine and healthy. If anything, sex during periods helps with menstrual cramps. It completely depends upon the individuals involved and their preference.
Can’t get Pregnant while on Periods:
People believe that periods are a method of contraception. People can follow an Ovulation Calendar for safe sex without any contraception.
Myth Busted: Dr. Rahul tells us that this method has a very high failure rate. Dr. Shah says, “As long as one is bleeding, conceiving rates are negligible. However, due to irregular ovulation calendar/ window/ menstrual cycle, which are quite common, the chances of pregnancy are quite high.” A sperm stays in the female genital tract for 48-76 hours. Hence the best method of contraception is not periods but condoms, IUDs, and oral contraceptive pills.
Only Women Get Periods:
The reason why throughout this article we never used the term women is that periods are not necessarily associated with just women. Trans men and Trans women experience it too. Transmen bleed and go through menstruation, trans women experience hormonal transition, cramps, and PMSing and hence experience menstruation too. Biological appropriation often negates the bleeding experiences of the trans community and only considers women as those who bleed.
Pads must be washed before being disposed of, or the demons would come to haunt you:
This another weird story woven around periods is both cringe-worthy and creepy. It is undoubtedly important to dispose of used pads or tampons in a hygienic manner. But there is no need to wash them before disposing of them. And the only ghost that might come haunting one is the person with such demonic ideas.
So if you liked this article and find it helpful, share it with your people and help us get the word out. To know more about menstrual health and hygiene click here