When it comes to our periods, there is A LOT of misunderstandings surrounding this thing that happens to half the population of the world. 

Have you ever talked with your male friends about your period?  They most likely have a strange understanding of what’s actually happening, and they might even think some of these myths are true.

While some of these may sound completely crazy, these myths have been perpetuated around the world as facts, so it’s time to set the record straight.  Here are some of the common misconceptions about menstruation, we’re about to debunk these common period lies.

Graphic about debunking period myths that period blood is dirty.

Myth #1:  Period Blood is Dirty

The blood that comes out of your vagina is no different than the blood that comes out of a cut.  It’s the same blood!  It’s not “dirty.”  It requires no type of different care than that of a nosebleed.  If we can use a tampon to soak up that nose blood, certainly we can use one for our periods.

Graphic about debunking period myths that your cycle is 28 days.

Myth #2:  Your cycle needs to be 28 days

A 28 day cycle is an average cycle, and girl, we know you’re not average.

Every menstruators cycle is unique and different and can last from 21 to 35 days in adults and teens cycles can vary between 21 and 45 days, so don’t worry if your cycle isn’t 28 days!

Situations like travel, emotions, medication, and weight changes can all affect when a menstruators period occurs.

A great way to figure out the length of your flow is to track it in a calendar or an app so then you’re less stressed when it rolls back around.

Graphic about debunking period myths that all women sync up.

Myth #3:  Women who live together “sync up”

Ok!  You might have thought that you experienced this with your sisters or roommates, but it actually has more to do with math.

A period cycle lasts sometime between two and seven days and the cycle is from 21 to 35 days and so you most likely will bump into each other at some point during your menstruation period.

But it’s still fun to feel in “sync,” but now you know the truth of the matter!

Graphic about debunking period myths that you can't get pregnant on your period.

Myth #4:  You can’t get pregnant during your period

This myth is dangerous because it simply isn’t true, but still abounds as a popular belief all over the world.  It’s more unlikely that a woman might get pregnant during her period, but it’s still possible!

Every woman has a different cycle and ovulation typically occurs after a period finishes, but in irregular cycle or if the period is a little longer than normal, the fertility window (during ovulation) could overlap with the menstrual cycle.  For most women, fertility windows can vary from cycle to cycle and so you just don’t know when exactly you’re most likely to get pregnant.

Also sperm can live inside you for up to 5 days, so you want to be safe when having sex.

Safe and protected sex is still necessary during your period, and condoms will also protect against STI’s.

Graphic about debunking period myths that your period can attract wild animals.

Myth #5:  Your period can attract Wild Animals

There is absolutely NO evidence that if you go swimming during “shark week” that sharks will attack you or a bear will hunt you down if you go camping.

This is not true at all.

Graphic about debunking period myths that skipping your period isn't safe.

Myth #6:  Skipping your period using birth control in not safe

As long as your OBGYN gives you the thumbs up, it’s completely safe to skip your period when you’re on birth control.  

Graphic about debunking period myths that you can't swim on your period.

Myth #7:  You shouldn’t swim or take a bath when on your period.

Some people believe that taking a bath or swimming during your period isn’t safe because it can stop or stimulate the blood flow.

This is not true!  Definitely go for a swim!  In fact it can be really relaxing, help you with your mood, and help alleviate those cramps.

It’s completely safe and using a tampon or a menstrual cup is completely sanitary for swimming while on your period.

Graphic about debunking period myths that you should avoid exercise on your period.

Myth #8:  You should avoid activities like sex or exercise when you’re on your period

Some cultures believe that having sex or exercising while you’re menstruating may result in damaging your vagina or cause infertility, this is a myth!  It’s not true at all.  

Exercising and having sex while on your period is safe and can actually help with alleviating cramps and improve your mood during your cycle.  So go for it!

Graphic about debunking period myths that your period will last for one week.

Myth #9:  Your period will last one week each month

The truth  is that even if you’re on time, that doesn’t mean that your period will be.  Your monthly cycle is unique and for most women, periods last about five days and happen on average, every 28 days.

Graphic about debunking period myths that talks about your virginity and tampons.

Myth #10:  Using a tampon as a virgin will break the hymen and take the user’s virginity

This is a harmful myth that is NOT TRUE.  

Contrary to popular belief, the hymen is not a flat piece of tissue that covers the vaginal opening, it is usually a fringe piece of tissue that is around the opening.  In addition, some women have a small hymen and some are born without one.

It is true that hymens can be torn during sex, exercise, or putting in a tampon, but there’s no such thing as a hymen “breaking,” and virginity is in the eye of the beholder.  Virginity is more of an emotional concept and not just the severing of a piece of tissue.

Graphic about debunking period myths that talks about your period and the moon.

Myth #11:  Your Period aligns with the Moon

This would be kind of cool, you could feel like a neat alien, or how men are from mars and women are from venus.  But this is not true at all, your period does not sync with the lunar cycle.

The moon and menstruation both go through cycles, actually Aristotle claimed that he thought periods occurred around the waning of the moon, but it’s just a myth from a time when we didn’t understand the human body.

Graphic about debunking period myths that only women get periods.

Myth #12:  Only women get periods

Not every woman gets her period and not every menstruator considers themselves to be a woman.  Transgender men may still get their periods, and so now we talk about menstruators as opposed to just women.


About the author

Alice Cash is the Marketing Manager for Jubilance by day and an award winning Theatre Director by night.  Leading the podcast Weekly Woman, she loves her candid conversations with women from all over the world about how they live and the amazing things they are doing to make a difference. Alice is also the editor of the bi-monthly newsletter the Jubilee, a blog dedicated to the power of female wellness especially concerning menstruation.  She’s worked in France creating theatre pieces and taught drama and filmmaking to women and children in Haiti.  She graduated from Georgetown University and holds two master degrees from NYU and The New School.  Alice has traveled to  40+ countries, including Tibet.  She is a New Yorker and can often be found in Central Park, searching out the best bubble tea, or directing a play, you never know where she’ll show up. @alicesadventuresinwonderworld
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