Period Myths We Need to Break
Around the world, there are so many myths and taboos that relate to periods. While many myths have been busted, menstruators still hold certain assumptions about periods.
Let’s talk about some of these assumptions!
1. Periods are dirty
Periods are not dirty, gross and shameful. It is the wrong mindset that is ingrained in our behavior. It is only a biological process that is very vital. Periods are never dirty, but can be unhygienic only when you do not follow proper menstrual hygiene practices.
2. Fixed timing of periods
• There is no rule of fixed age for menarche (the onset of periods)
• There is no fixed duration of periods. It can be one day for a person and 5 or 7 days for another
• The 28 day cycle is just an average count. It varies from person to person. It can vary anywhere from 21 to 35 days. Physical, emotional and mental aspects can affect the cycle. Medication too can also impact the menstrual cycle.
3. Hormones play games in the mind of women
Do not label a woman’s temperament as ‘hormonal.’ Hormones can affect everyone. It is essential to understand that hormone fluctuation may cause irritation, anger, reactiveness and other PMS symptoms, but there are other reasons too!
4. Drink less water
There is an assumption that drinking less water will mean less bleeding. The fact is less water intake will dehydrate you, increase cramps and give you a bloated belly. Your hormones might also be affected due to sudden reduced intake of water.
Another practice people have, is to avoid going to pee as many times as in your non-period days to avoid looking at the blood or changing pads. In this case, it is best to consider switching to menstrual cups. Peeing would be a lot easier and you will also not face issues caused by dehydration.
5. No bath during period
Not taking a bath during periods may mean a compromise on menstrual hygiene. Having a warm water bath once or twice a day will make you feel lighter.
6. Rest and No Exercise
Light exercise is good for periods as it increases the oxygen supply to your muscles. It will also reduce cramps and pain. It will also make it easy to deal with PMS symptoms.
7. Skipping a period means pregnancy?
Not always. There are possibly other underlying medical conditions that may cause an absence of periods. Mental stress can also be contributing factor. One must always consult a medical expert in this situation.
8. Keep it a secret from men.
This assumption in particular has existed in our country for ages. It is the root cause behind several taboos imposed on women. It is prevalent in many Indian families to avoid discussing periods. People feel embarrassed and ashamed talking about periods or other related health issues. Menstrual hygiene is thus often compromised in rural areas. Rather than keeping it a secret, it is necessary to sensitize men and boys about menstruation. Read more here!
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By Payal Kulshreshtha
Read more of my work here!