You’ve probably heard a lot of things about having a period that just aren’t true. Because many folks have a hard time talking openly about menstruation, it’s easy for period myths to build up, especially amongst younger women who may not feel they have a good place to get solid answers to their questions.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! Let’s get out there with some period mythbusting action! Have you ever fallen for any of the period myths below?
MYTH: You can’t go swimming when you have your period.
TRUTH: You absolutely CAN go swimming! Just make sure you’re using the right protection for the task at hand—probably a tampon or menstrual cup. Pads aren’t going to do you much good in the pool!
MYTH: Exercising during your period is bad for you.
TRUTH: Exercise is generally always good for you, especially if you suffer from cramps. If you have severe cramping (dysmenorrhea) or excessive blood flow (menorrhagia), you may want to check with your doctor first, though.
MYTH: You shouldn’t have sex when you have your period.
TRUTH: There’s no medical reason not to have sex even if you’re having your period. It might be a bit messy, but that’s between you and your partner.
MYTH: You can’t get pregnant on your period.
TRUTH: Since it’s possible for ovulation to occur during your period, it’s possible for you to get pregnant. It’s extremely unlikely, but if you have a particularly short menstrual cycle that puts your ovulation and menstruation very close, it could happen. The only way to definitely NOT get pregnant is to either not have sex or always use birth control/condoms when you do.
MYTH: A menstrual cycle always lasts 28 days.
TRUTH: Cycles are as varied as the people who have them. Twenty-eight days is only an average; some cycles are as short as 21 days, while others can last up to 35 days. Different kinds of birth control can also affect the length and heaviness of a period.
There are plenty of period myths out there, so be sure to check with your doctor and other reputable sources to make sure you’re getting the most accurate information. Your health and peace of mind are worth it!