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    Do You Believe These 6 Menstrual Myths? True Or False?

Do You Believe These 6 Menstrual Myths? True Or False?

At a given point each day, 800 million women and girls are menstruating. Here are the top 6 menstrual myths and the facts around them.

“Periods Always Happen At The Same Time Every Month” – FALSE

The myth that menstruation always occurs at the same time for every individual is false. Menstrual cycles vary significantly among females and several factors can influence their timing and regularity.

The menstrual cycle is not uniform across all individuals. While the average cycle is often cited as 28 days, it can range from 23 to 35 days in adults and can be even more variable in teenagers. This variability means that the timing of menstruation can differ significantly from one person to another and can also vary for an individual from month to month.

Several factors can affect when menstruation occurs, including:

  • Travel: Changes in time zones can disrupt the menstrual cycle.
  • Weight fluctuations: Significant changes in body weight can affect menstrual regularity.
  • Emotional stress: High levels of stress can lead to changes in the timing of menstruation.
  • Medication: Certain medications, including hormonal contraceptives can influence menstrual cycle timing.

Having a “regular” period bleed does not necessarily mean it occurs on the same date each month. Instead, it means that periods come at roughly the same interval between cycles, which can vary from person to person. Some females may experience irregular periods throughout their lives, with unpredictable timing and duration.

“You Can’t Get Pregnant During Menstruation – IT IS POSSIBLE

Another common myth is that it is impossible to get pregnant during your period.

This is false but less likely. Sperm has the ability to live inside the genital tract for up to 5-7 days. this means that it can, potentially overlap with ovulation in shorter cycles.

Understanding your menstrual cycle is a really empowering way to understand what is happening inside eyourbody and how you will be feeling each week of the month.

“Period Pain Is Not Real” – FALSE

The myth that period pain is not real is false.

Period pain, also known as dysmenorrhea, is a real and common experience for many individuals. It is caused by contractions in the uterus and can range from mild discomfort to severe pain that interferes with daily activities. 

The pain is often due to the release of hormone-like substances called prostaglandins, which can cause the uterine muscles to contract and shed the uterine lining. While some period pain is normal, severe pain that disrupts daily life is not considered normal and may be a sign of an underlying condition, such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids.

It is essential to consult a healthcare provider if you experience significant changes in your period pain or if it impacts your daily functioning.

“Mood Swings Are Not related To Periods” – FALSE.

The claim that mood swings do not have any relation with periods is false.

Mood swings are a well-documented symptom associated with the menstrual cycle, particularly in relation to premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and Mood Swings

PMS encompasses a variety of symptoms that occur in the weeks leading up to menstruation. Mood swings, along with feelings of upset, anxiety, or irritability, are common symptoms of PMS. The prevalence of PMS is significant, with a wide range of physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms reported. These can include tension, anxiety, depressed mood, crying spells, irritability, anger, appetite changes, trouble sleeping and social withdrawal.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

PMDD is a more severe form of PMS, characterized by significant premenstrual mood disturbances that can seriously impact relationships and impair functioning. Symptoms of PMDD are similar to those of PMS but are much more intense and can include severe mood swings, depression, anxiety, and irritability. PMDD affects a smaller percentage of individuals but can have a profound negative impact on daily activities and quality of life.

Factors Influencing Mood Swings

Research indicates that mood swings during menstruation can be influenced by a variety of factors, including hormonal fluctuations, stress, and pre-existing mood or anxiety disorders. Hormonal changes in estrogen and progesterone levels influence serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, sleep cycle, and appetite. Low levels of serotonin are linked to feelings of sadness and irritability, which are common PMS symptoms. Additionally, individuals with a history of mood disorders or a family history of PMDD may be at increased risk for severe premenstrual mood swings.

Treatment and Management

There are several treatment and management options for individuals dealing with mood swings related to their menstrual cycle. These can include lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise, a balanced diet and stress reduction techniques. In more severe cases, medications such as oral contraceptives, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), or other antidepressants may be prescribed. It’s important for individuals experiencing severe or disruptive mood swings to consult with a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

“Period Blood Is Dirty” – FALSE

The myth that period blood is dirty is false.

Menstrual blood is not “dirty” or full of toxins; it is a natural and healthy part of the female reproductive cycle.

Menstrual blood is composed of blood, uterine tissue, mucus lining and bacteria, and it is a normal bodily secretion that is part of the menstrual cycle. This blood is different from the blood that circulates continuously through the veins, as it is less concentrated and contains fewer blood cells.

Cultural and social influences, particularly in certain parts of the world, have historically portrayed menstruation as impure or dirty, but these views are based on myths and misconceptions rather than scientific facts. 

It is important to challenge these myths and recognise that menstruation is a normal physiological process that should not be stigmatised or associated with shame.

“You Can’t Exercise or Go Swimming With a Period” – FALSE

Myths suggesting that exercise and swimming should be avoided during menstruation are false.

As much as you are very unlikely to want to go roller skating, ice skating, hiking or weight training while you are having a period bleed, exercise can help alleviate cramps and improve mood and swimming is perfectly safe and being in warm water will help ease menstrual discomfort.

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