Menstruation is anatural process in the female's reproductive process in which blood flows out from the uterus through the vagina. It signifies the end of their monthly menstrual cycle. On average, it takes about 28 days for a full menstrual cycle but this can vary from individual to individual. The process can also be altered using hormone treatment and Long-acting reversible contraceptives to stop receiving periods completely, which is completely healthy.
Over the years, discussions about periods and the menstruation have emerged from the shadows as society has evolved thanks to availability of information. However, there still exist some myths and misconceptions about periods that tend to discriminate against women and girls. These beliefs sprouted from the olden days when women were considered weak and hence the need to keep them away from the world. But that is completely not the case. Lack of information, cultural and social influences, and religion have been associated with the perpetration of these myths about periods. Below are some of the most common myths and misconceptions about periods found in almost all countries and societies.
Virginity is usually associated with the hymen, a skin-thin tissue found in the vagina. To start with, the hymen isNOT a covering to the entrance of the vagina. It therefore cannot be broken by a tampon or sex. It’s made of thin elastic FOLDs around the vaginal opening which stretch. In some cases it gets torn during first-time sex or when pushing something larger than the vagina. Some women are born with hymens and others aren’t. Virginity is more of a mental issue than a physical issue. If your hymen is torn but have never had sex, you’re still a virgin.
Premenstrual syndrome is a combination of physical and emotional symptoms that many women get after ovulation but before menstruation. These symptoms include abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhoea, nausea, cramping, anxiety or general discontent, acne, depression, headache. However, the majority of women only have milder symptoms. However, not every woman experiences PMS.
Our feelings as women are often dismissed on account of hormones and PMS, and that is also a notorious myth to keep women away from decision-making. While to some extent, PMS affects our moods, most of the time, our emotions and reaction to activities around us are genuine and should never be dismissed on account of periods.
While it’s highly unlikely to get pregnant while on your periods, it’scompletely possible. Ovulation usually happens on day 11-20 while most periods lasts between 5-7 days. So if you had unprotected sex on the last day of your period, a period can survive upto 5 days within your body. This means by day 11, the sperm will still be alive in your system and may fertilize an egg released for your next menstrual cycle. The best way to protect yourself from pregnancy is to use contraception.
Actually in some countries, it goes to the extent of saying it might kill your partner. Unbelievable. Periods are a completely natural phenomena for people who menstruate just like visiting the toilet is. There’s nothing unhealthy about it. Maybe a bit messy, but not unhealthy. In fact, having sex while on your periods can offer relief from cramps and PMS.
There’s no scientific proof that having a period every month is good for your health. In fact, it increases the risk of developing ovarian cancer. Our body systems were designed to have quite a number of children in our lifetime. But the modern day woman on average has about two children. Hence, we menstruate 4 times more than the pre-industrial woman, increasing the risk of ovarian cancer.Delaying or skipping your period is completely healthy. You can use a number of birth control methods to skip or delay your periods like birth control pills, vaginal rings, IUD, Depo shots, etc. Make sure to speak with your GP for guidance.