Women have been gathering and sharing stories since the dawn of time. And of course many of those tales surround the female body and all her glorious functions, from menstrual cycles to childbirth. Of course over time thru the handing down of family tales and old traditions over the years also comes the formation of myths and less then factual legends.
Let us take a look at some of the most common misconceptions and the actual truth behind these fictions.
Myth #1: Don’t Sleep Next To Other Women
This myths spins the yarn that periods are contagious. It states that if women sleep next to each other while one of them has their period, it is transmissible and the lady who is not currently menstruating will suddenly get her period.
Truth: You can probably debunk this one yourself, having had a girls night sleep over or shared a bed with a female relative for example and did not wake up the next day suddenly with your cycle started.
This tale may have begun because there is a valid theory on menstrual synchrony, which proposes that women who live, work, or are in close proximity with each other for a majority of the time will have their cycles sync. It was initially believed to be because of pheromones but there has not been enough scientific data to back this up. This synching is more often attributed to the lunar cycles. But let’s just be clear, it cannot happen in one night!
For further reading on the synchrony theory you can look here.
Myth #2: Dental Fillings Placed During Your Cycle Will Fall Out
This is a wild one that has been going around for decades. This myth states that any lady who has the unfortunate need to get her cavities attended to during the time of her period is doomed to have those fillings come right out.
Truth: Although we can find absolutely no source for how this fantastic fable begin, we can say that it is true there is some additional sensitivity in the tender area of the gums, which is completely normal during your period. It can cause increased bleeding if you are having some dental work but it will in no way affect the outcome of a dental fillings integrity or how it stays firmly in place in your tooth.
Myth #3: You Will Not Get Pregnant During Your Period
This is a myth that also has been dangerously prevalent for many, many years. It may have begun because it seems like a logical conclusion that it would not be possible for fertilization to occur while the lining of your uterus is being shed. Unfortunately that is not the case.
Truth: Although they do come monthly, not all ovulation cycles are always regular. For example, one woman may have a predominantly short ovulation cycle and then an exceptionally long period. During this time, a sperm can fertilize an egg EVEN during menstruation. It is not highly likely but it is still possible.
This is a really important myth to break and teach younger girls who are learning these new facts about their bodies. If you are interested in practicing pregnancy prevention with the use of condoms, it will be crucial to remember to use one every time. Fertility specialist Carolyn Kubik explains the process in more detail here.
Myth #4: No Strenuous Activity
This myth comes to us from the old days during the Victorian era when women were treated as delicate flowers and had to be ever so careful with their emotional and physical constitutions. It was believed that additional exercise or activity would increase the flow of your period and cause it to last in duration.
Truth: Hopefully this myth is not in circulation any longer. It is known beyond any doubt that this is not true, and actually the inverse is closer to the truth. During your period, you can do any kind of activity you normally do and it has been shown that physical exercise can actually alleviate menstrual related cramps and back pain.
Myth #5: Virgins Cannot Use a Cup or Tampon
This is another one of the lingering and huge myths out there. Many still believe that the only way to keep your virginity intact is to use pads during your period.
Truth: This comes down to understanding the definition of how ones virginity is lost and it can only happen via sexual intercourse. That’s it. No other way. Period.
Myth #6: People Can Tell When You Have Your Period
This myth was most likely started by those who felt insecure and self-conscious about their menstrual cycles.
Truth: Fortunately there is no science behind this myth and the truth is that there is certainty no way for anyone to know that you have your period (unless of course there is a clothing accident malfunction!).
Myth #7: Avoid Cold Food and Bare Feet
Again, we can only surmise that this one started back in the Middle Ages when health and hygiene were a little less ideal, thus one’s physical health was a bit more precarious. The story goes that women who have their periods need to eat only warm foods and never walk on floors with bare feet, as the chilliness in both instances will increase the pain of period cramps.
Truth: The pain of period cramps radiates outward from the uterus. Thus there doesn’t seem to be any way that cold food or cold floors can affect this outcome.
Myth #8: If You’re Breastfeeding With No Period You Won’t Get Pregnant
This old wives tale tells us that if you are breast-feeding and not getting a regular period then of course you cannot get pregnant.
Truth: There is almost a 100% guarantee that your period is going to return after you have given birth. The tricky part is you won’t know exactly when. This means you can be ovulating without knowing it. With ovulation comes the possibility of pregnancy. Myth debunked!
Myth #9: Heavy Periods and Menopause are Normal
This myth is in high circulation still this day. It seems to be a common belief that menopause equals difficult changes along with months of very heavy period cycles.
Truth: Changes are normal and some heavy bleeding can occur, but if it is continuous there could be another issue at hand. Please make sure to seek proper diagnosis.
Myth #10: Animal Attacks Happen More Frequently to Menstruating Women
It is most likely you have heard a version of this one. Stay out of the ocean, as sharks can smell your period. Or don’t go camping in the woods, as you are more prone to be attacked by a wild bear.
Truth: There is absolutely no science behind this myth as well. Sharks, bears, dogs and other animals seem to have no more interest in women on their cycles than anyone else.