5 Menstruation Myths Debunked

Every month, most women experience a relevant degree of bloating, cramps, cravings, or other symptoms during menstruation. That’s more than enough to deal with without having to worry about some of the myths associated with getting THAT time of the month.

In a world where we are overwhelmed with ‘fake news’ 24/7, it’s vital that we know the truth about what’s happening to our own bodies during our monthly cycle, and to educate ourselves by separating possibly harmful myths from facts.

Below are 5 of the most common menstruation myths, debunked.

MYTH 1: ‘Don’t take a hot bath or shower during your period.’
Some women have been told that taking a hot shower or bath during their period is unsafe because the hot water will increase bleeding. The truth is that even if warm water stimulates the blood flow, it can actually help to relieve menstrual cramps and ease premenstrual tension. A hot bath and feeling clean will most likely also improve your mood and help you deal with period symptoms a little better.

MYTH 2: ‘You can’t swim during your period.’
There’s no reason that you can’t swim while you’re on your period. It won’t affect your flow but for hygienic reasons, it’s best to use feminine care products like tampons or menstrual cups when you do. If you do use tampons, opt for the ones with higher absorbency and make sure that you change it once you’re done swimming.

MYTH 3: ‘Women can’t exercise while on their period.’
Unless you suffer from extreme menstrual cramps that interfere with your ability to do physical exercise, there’s no reason that you can’t exercise while on your period. Your monthly flow is a normal function of your body and many people recommend moderate exercise during menstruation to help ease cramping.

MYTH 4: ‘All women suffer from PMS”
PMS refers to a wide range of symptoms that occurs from a few days to 2 weeks before your period. There’s a common misconception that all women get cranky and irritable when they are on their period. In truth, only three out of every four women experience pre-menstrual symptoms with some only having minor ones.

Researchers believe that PMS relate to the change in estrogen and progesterone that happens after ovulation. Usually, PMS symptoms will start to go away a few days after a woman starts her period when the hormones start to balance again.

MYTH 5: ‘Women’s period cycles sync when they live together’
There’s a widespread belief that women who live together will start getting their periods at the same time. Even though many women might have encountered this in some way or another with friends or relatives they have lived with, there are no medical studies on period syncing, that have supported this belief to be true.

*During August, we are running a campaign to raise awareness and help fight period poverty in South Africa with our #YouBuyOneWeGiftOne Sanitary Pad Initiative. Read more here.