For way too long, girls have felt like they had to get information from whispers in locker rooms – it was like a game of period “telephone.” Well, fret no more! It’s time we got this out in the open, where it belongs.
Myth: Swimming in the ocean on your period will get you eaten by sharks.Okay, I will totally admit that I’m scared to death of sharks. But that has nothing to do with my period and a lot more to do with the movie “Jaws.” There has never been a documented case of a shark attacking a swimmer because she was menstruating. So, go ahead, dive in and have fun. Myth: You shouldn’t wash your hair during your period. Thank goodness this is a myth, since I can’t imagine giving up my daily shower, especially during my period. There’s no reason for you to change any of your regular grooming and hygiene habits just because you’re having your period. In fact, a warm bath or shower will help you stay clean, and some girls say it helps with their cramps, too. Myth: Bed rest is a must during your period. Sure, you should get plenty of sleep during your period, but you should always get plenty of exercise, too. You’ll feel better if you get up and get out there (especially since exercise has been shown to alleviate cramps and brighten your mood)! Myth: Hot water increases period flow. The good news and the bad news: pretty much the only thing that will change your flow is your own body. So you can’t make it lighter (sorry!), and you can’t make it heavier. And a nice warm bath or shower, or a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel can help with cramps. Myth: You cannot get pregnant during your period. This isn’t true, despite what a lot of people believe. Tell your friends. Tell every female you know who’s sexually active or plans to be any time soon. You CAN get pregnant during your period. Once inside you, sperm can live for 3-5 days. Ovulation can occur during, or soon after, the bleeding phase. If you don’t want to get pregnant, either don’t have sex, or use birth control every single time you do. Myth: Irregular periods are bad for your reproductive health. First, talk to your health care provider if you’ve missed your period. It can take anywhere from 6 months to a year to become regular after the first time you get it. And, for some girls, it never becomes completely regular. There are lots of things, including stress, illness and intense exercise, that can mess with your cycle. That’s why you should consult a heath professional first. Myth: You shouldn’t use a tampon until you’re old enough. If you’re old enough to have your period, you’re old enough to use a tampon. Just read the instructions and warnings and be sure to use it correctly. It helps to ask your mom or another trusted adult for guidance. Tampons shouldn’t cause pain or discomfort. Myth: Menstrual cycles are 28 days. That’s only an average. Days in the menstrual cycle vary from woman to woman. Your body will tell you what your cycle is, not other people. Myth: You can shorten or delay a period by _________. Don’t bother filling in the blank. You shouldn’t try to fight your body’s natural menstrual cycle. Doing so could potentially cause other health problems. Myth: Menstrual blood is different from regular blood. Menstrual blood is regular blood. This myth probably gained traction because menstrual blood flows from the vagina. And because vaginas are a normal part of the female body, there’s nothing unusual or wrong with menstrual blood. And did you know it has no odor? Now that’s a fact!