Periods, the most common repetitive phenomena in a girl’s life, have innumerable myths associated with it. These myths have been prevailing in the mindsets of people since ages. Until recent times many taboos were attached with the menstrual flow of women. For instance, period blood was the primary result of the decomposition of iron and if a menstruating woman went to tend the fields, the crops would die. Apart from these, some common myths have been pressed on by women all over such as restraining women from having pickles during periods etc. Keeping aside the stereotypical myths about periods, here are some bizarre myths about periods.
The following are some of the unique myths about periods every woman should know:
- Leprosy is caused and cured by period blood – The people living in the medieval period had many connotations attached with periods. One of them being the occurrence of the disease called leprosy due to period blood. On one side where people believed that period blood would cure leprosy, on the other they were also of the opinion that period blood causes leprosy. As per them, the period blood was quite powerful and menacing that it could cause leprosy in case a person consumes the period blood.
- A woman can lose her virginity through the usage of Tampons – A very bizarre myth correlated with periods is that the virginity of a woman depends upon the use of tampons. This is because many women think that the hymen layer breaks through the use of tampons as they, unlike sanitary pads, are to be inserted in the vagina. But, it has been scientifically proven that in some women the hymen cycle breaks due to extreme sport and exercise but it has nothing to do with virginity. So, the usage of tampons does not destroy virginity.
- Avoid exercise during periods – It is said that a woman becomes weak due to the extreme outflow of blood. That is why as per the beliefs, during periods women are supposed to take rest and they should strictly avoid any form of physical activities. This is absolutely a wrong assumption about periods because exercise helps reduce period cramps by relieving the endogenous morphine. In fact, various yoga postures are prescribed during periods such as the wild child’s pose yoga and the reclining twist yoga.
- Period occurs every 28 days - The most common myth about periods is that it takes place every 28 days. This is certainly not true because the menstrual cycle varies from person to person. The frequency of travelling, weight and internal factors determine the menstrual cycle and that is why it varies from person to person since all women do not comprise of same internal features. So fret not if your ‘down’ time varies from that of your friend’s!
- Girls should avoid swimming during periods – Women need to know that swimming has nothing to do with periods. In the olden times, women didn’t get into the water because they didn’t have the means to curb the menstruation blood from flowing into the water. Modern day offers solutions like tampons and menstruation cups. So Go Girl… go get your swimsuit on and splash the pool.
- Period flow increases due to hot water – One most astonishing myth found about periods is that hot water increases the menstrual flow. Nothing attributes to changes in the period flow except one’s body and hot water does not impact the period flow.
- There is a difference between menstrual blood and normal blood – This is another misconception about the menstrual blood. The menstrual blood flows from vagina and that is the only reason girls connote the blood to be different from normal blood. Girls, you should know that vagina is also a part of your body and the blood flow from vagina is as normal as the flow of blood from other parts of the body, there is nothing weird or creepy about the menstrual blood. Yes, the only difference is that it carries clots as your uterine wall sheds it layer.
- A girl should take complete bed rest during periods – This is not at all true and girls should know the reason behind it. Girls should take rest during periods but they should not de-attach themselves completely from physical activities specifically exercise. As mentioned above exercise is a great cure for period cramps and girls should switch on to exercise during periods.
- Certain types of food should be avoided during periods – Eating any kind of food does not impact the menstrual cycle of girls. Healthy food is always suggested for girls whether they are on periods or not. So, girls do not restrict your diet during periods. It’s perfectly fine to have pickle in your sandwich or gorge on the delicious gol-gappas.
- Heavy flows are always dangerous – Heavy flows scare most of the girls as they consider them to be a sign of imbalance in their period flow. But there is nothing dangerous about heavy flow only except if it lingers every month, one should consult a doctor but otherwise it is very normal.
These are some of the myths which most of the women/girls have been fed with to practice. These stereotypical stigmas can be abolished when women read and know more about the menstrual cycle instead of blindly following the age-old irrationalities.