Updated: Apr 15
On any given day, 800 million women in the world have their period with the average woman menstruating for 8 years in her lifetime! That is a long time, a lot of blood and a lot of secrecy and shame. This culture of shame that so heavily surrounds menstruation needs to stop. Period.
A lot of the shame is rooted in centuries of old wives tales and myths that make period sounds like the Bogeyman's older sister. So we're here to dispel some of the 5 most common myths SHAKE style.
Now let's get down to business!
5 Period Myths
1. You can't get pregnant on your period
Although its not common.. it is still possible soooo like don't take any chances.
Getting pregnant is all about when you ovulate and thus getting pregnant on your period is still a possibility, particularly if you're someone with a shorter cycle. Now whilst we're on the topic, let's address period sex and YES some people have sex on their period and guess whattttt.. it's their choice!
Period sex is still sex and so still requires contraception.
Also, you're slightly more likely to get infections when you're on your period so it's best to stay protected.
2. Period blood is dirty
So there is this common MISCONCEPTION that seems to traverse all countries and cultures... its this idea that periods are dirty and impure so let me clear it up for you..
PERIODS ARE NOT DIRTY!
Some people believe they are because of the belief that a period is the body's way of flushing out toxins. Actually, your period is mostly made up of blood and uterine tissue. During your cycle, your body prepares for a baby in a number of ways - one of these is by thickening up the wall of your uterus. If you don't get pregnant in that cycle, your hormone levels drop, and the uterine lining sheds itself, resulting in your period. Then the whole process starts again.
3. Virgins can't use tampons
Soooo first of all.. virginity is a social construct.
Second of all... virginity is a social construct.
In case you didn't catch that... virginity is a social construct.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no actual physical representation of virginity. The hymen is just a stretchy membrane that lines the vaginal opening. Tampons, do not break it.
4. PMS isn't real
We feel you RiRi! I think most women who have periods can attest to the fact that PMS is bloody real.
5. Periods are meant to be painful
So whilst it's true that a lot of women experience painful periods and often it doesn't mean anything is wrong, periods should not be excruciating and for the most part they shouldn't prevent you from doing things you want to do.
If you find your period is interfering with your life - speak to a doctor. Painful periods can sometimes be a sign of underlying conditions like fibroids or endometriosis. Don't suffer in silence.
We hope you enjoyed our period myth buster! If you have any questions about your periods or any concerns, why not write in on our contact us page or send us a message on facebook and we would be more than happy to help! All enquiries will remain confidential!
It's been fun guys and dolls!
Your friends at SHAKE Africa