May 28th, 2016 | Updated on June 4th, 2019
How much do you really know about menstruation?
Roughly half of the world’s population experiences this normal bodily function. Every month a woman, her endometrium, or the lining of her uterus, sheds. During the course of her menstrual cycle, this lining plumps up to prepare to nourish a fertilized egg. The menstrual cycle provides important body chemicals, called hormones, to keep a woman’s healthy. It also prepares her body for pregnancy each month.
MYTH: 1. Don’t Exercise When You Are On Your Period
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TRUTH: Run, bike, dance — do whatever you want. These are just some of the so-called “strenuous” activities you can still do while you’re on your period. Unless you’re in a lot of pain, feel free to exercise or partake in any other type of activity. In fact, some studies even suggest exercising can help with painful periods.
MYTH: 2. Don’t Go Swimming
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TRUTH: There was a time when young girls were told strange things like if they went swimming in the ocean, their period scents would attract sharks, or their tampon would swell with water, causing them to drown. These are pure myths. Tampons, for example, make it easier for women to enjoy swimming or beach days during periods.
MYTH: 3. Teens Shouldn’t Use Tampons
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TRUTH: Tampons are perfectly safe for both teens and adults. If you still haven’t used a tampon and you’re worried about discomfort, make sure you read the instructions carefully. And no, using tampons doesn’t mean you lose your virginity.
MYTH: 4. People Can Tell When You’re On Your Period
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TRUTH: Unless you’re carrying a big red sign that says “it’s my time of the month,” nobody will know you’re on your period. If you’re embarrassed about pad lines (even though you can hardly tell), try wearing a tampon. Sometimes, you may also have a period odour. Again, nobody else can smell it. If you are worried, change your tampon or pad more often.
MYTH: 5. During Your Period, You Lose A Lot Of Blood
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TRUTH: For the first few hours/days of your period, it may seem like you’re losing a lot blood. On average, women lose about 60 ml (4 tablespoons) of blood, and considering a teen who weighs 110 lbs has about 3,500 ml of blood in her body, you can see the loss isn’t that big.
MYTH: 6. A Tampon Can Float Away Inside Your Body
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TRUTH: No. Just no. There is no way a tampon can “float” away inside your body. Once you insert a tampon, it will stay there until you have to take it out.
MYTH: 7. During Your Period, Only Sleep On Your Side
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TRUTH: Again, false. Sleep on your back, front, side, whatever makes you feel comfortable. If you’re worried about leaks, try pads and tampons that are meant to be worn overnight.
MYTH: 8. PMS Is Not Real
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TRUTH: PMS (premenstrual syndrome) can occur seven to 14 days before the period begins. During this time, women may experience acne, bloating, tender breasts/nipples or mood swings. Some studies have shown mood swings, for example, may not exist, but this again varies from woman to woman.
MYTH: 9. Inserting A Tampon Hurts
TRUTH: The key to using tampons is to relax. If you don’t get it right the first time, don’t worry. Practice makes perfect, even when it comes to tampons.
MYTH: 10. Don’t Wear Tampons Overnight
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TRUTH: You CAN wear a tampon overnight. Most tampons can be worn for eight hours a day or night, keeping in mind you should change your tampon every four to eight hours.