Image: Piotr Marcinski / 123rf

From nosy aunties to ill-informed friends, women have been passing down myths about periods as facts from generation to generation. It’s time we separated the fact from fiction so here are some period myths that should never be repeated. Ever.

Myth #1 – You can’t swim when you’re having your period

You can do whatever you want when you’re having a period, and that includes swimming, so use a tampon and dive into that pool if you feel like it. No, you won’t ‘leak’ and end up in an embarrassing situation. And.no, you don’t have a higher chance of being attacked by sharks if you’re swimming in the ocean during your period. So put away that Jaws DVD already. 

Myth #2 – Virgins shouldn’t use tampons

Using a tampon won’t make you lose your virginity. Also, there’s no way a tampon can get ‘lost’ in your vagina so don’t be afraid of using it. 

Myth #3 – You can’t have sex when you’re having your period

It might be messy and perhaps slightly uncomfortable (if you’re having body aches, for example), but if you and your man are okay with it, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get down and dirty during your time of the month. But do make sure you use protection because… 

Myth #4 – You can’t get pregnant if you have sex during your period

Yes you can. This is because sperm can live inside a woman’s body for up to five days so if your cycle is short/unpredictable and you start ovulating very soon after your period ends, it’s possible for fertilisation to take place, thus resulting in pregnancy.

Myth #5 – You shouldn’t wash your hair when you’re having your period

Wash your hair as often as you like. In fact, having a warm shower or bath will probably make you feel better overall. 

Myth #6 – People can tell that you’re having your period 

It’s not in the way you walk or the vibes you give off…nobody can tell you’re having your period just by looking at you. Unless you’ve stained yourself, then they might have a clue.

Myth #7 – You should rest during your period as you lose a lot of blood

It might look like a lot but, on average, women lose only four tablespoons of blood during their period. So there’s no need to act like an invalid; in fact, exercise is good for you so get moving. 

 

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