Even though almost every woman of reproductive age has periods, there is a lot of misinformation about this issue. Many myths and misconceptions about periods are outdated but they are still quite popular. You should understand that some myths can have a negative impact on your reproductive and overall health. That’s why we have gathered these five common myths about periods that should be addressed ASAP.
Pain during periods is normal
Many women experience mild to severe pain and cramps during periods. But you should understand that periods shouldn’t be extremely painful. If you can’t maintain your daily activities and have to stay in bed during menstruation, it is better to contact your gynecologist. This is because severe pain and cramps can be caused by certain gynecological conditions.
For example, uterine fibroids can make your periods heavy and painful. Other symptoms of fibroids can include lower back pain, vaginal bleeding between periods, pelvic pressure, and even infertility. Fortunately, there are effective treatment options for uterine fibroids that can help manage your symptoms.
Menstrual cycle should last 28 days
Indeed, the average length of a menstrual cycle is 28 days. However, many women have longer or shorter menstrual cycles. You should know that the menstrual cycle that lasts from 24 to 35 days can be deemed normal. However, it should be regular. For example, if you have periods every 29 days, they should always start within this period (+-2 days).
Additionally, many people believe that periods always last for 5 days. This is not always correct. Some women can menstruate for 3 days while others can have week-long periods. If your periods and menstrual cycle are shorter or longer than the aforementioned periods of time, it can be a sign of certain gynecological conditions. In this case, it is better to contact your gynecologist.
If you have missed periods, you are pregnant
Even though missed periods are deemed the most obvious sign of pregnancy, they can also manifest certain health issues. For example, women who are exposed to prolonged stress, exercise excessively or have suddenly lost or gained weight can also skip periods.
Additionally, hormonal imbalance and certain hormone-related conditions can also affect your menstrual cycle and lead to missed periods. So if you have skipped three or more periods in a row, it is better to undergo a gynecological exam.
You can’t take a bath during periods
One of the most common myths about periods is that a menstruating woman can’t take a bath or swim since she can get infected through the water. Firstly, if the water is contaminated with harmful bacteria, it is not recommended to soak in it at all, not only during periods.
Secondly, there are no open wounds in the vagina or uterus that can let the bacteria enter your bloodstream. Thirdly, the water can’t reach your uterus especially if you take a bath with a tampon. However, you should always change a tampon after taking a bath. You should also know that taking a warm bath with lavender essential oils can help ease period cramps so there is no reason to avoid the needed relaxation.
It is impossible to get pregnant during periods
Many people think that the likelihood of conceiving a child during periods is extremely low. Indeed, you will be more likely to get pregnant during ovulation rather than during periods. But you should understand that the fertile window starts approximately 5 days before ovulation.
This means that women who have long periods and short menstrual cycles can conceive during periods. Moreover, the sperm can remain active for 5 days in the female reproductive system so it can easily fertilize the egg after periods.