Period myths that you need to debunk right away

On the occasion of Menstrual Hygiene Day, two leading obstetricians and gynaecologists separate the fact from fiction. 

29 May, 2023
Period myths that you need to debunk right away

Menstruation is a common biological process that occurs in the life of most women. Despite being a natural phenomenon, periods have been shrouded in myths and misconceptions throughout history. These myths often contribute to a lack of understanding and perpetuate unnecessary taboos and stigma surrounding menstruation. To understand what the right information is, it is important to bust the myths and eliminate false information. 

Myth: Menstrual cups can get lost in your body


Menstrual cups are subject to the widespread misconception that they might be misplaced inside the body. This misunderstanding results from a lack of knowledge regarding the construction and application of these. Menstruation cups cannot be misplaced or be inadvertently trapped inside the body. Bell-shaped menstrual cups are typically made with a little stem or grip at the base, which acts as a guide for removal. The cup collects menstrual flow when it is properly placed in the vaginal canal below the cervix. The cervix blocks the end of the vaginal canal, which naturally prevents the cup from entering the uterus or dissolving. Thus, menstruation cups are safe, efficient, effective, and cannot get lost inside your body

Myth: When women spend a lot of time together, their periods sync

According to the myth of menstrual syncing, women's menstrual cycles will eventually coincide if they spend a lot of time together. Individual hormonal variances control menstrual cycles, thus any apparent synchrony is probably coincidental. Individual variances in menstrual cycle timing and length can be caused by factors like stress, food, and lifestyle. Menstrual synchrony is not supported by any scientific research.  

Myth: Menstrual blood is impure


Menstruation is not associated with impurity or filth in any way; menstruation blood is a mixture of blood, uterine lining, and vaginal fluid, and it is a natural bodily process. On the contrary, regular periods are a symbol of healthy reproductive health, breaking this myth can help reduce the shame and taboo around menstruation as there is no scientific proof whatsoever that menstrual blood is impure.

Myth: Women cannot exercise or engage in physical activities during their periods

Regular physical activity is beneficial during menstruation. Exercising can help reduce menstrual cramps by promoting blood circulation and releasing endorphins, which act as natural painkillers. Additionally, exercise can help improve mood and reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). While it's important to listen to your body and choose activities that are comfortable, there is no medical reason for women to avoid exercise during their periods.

Myth: Missing periods indicates pregnancy

There are several reasons besides pregnancy why a person may miss their period. Hormonal imbalances can play a significant role, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition where the ovaries produce an excess of androgens (male hormones). Thyroid disorders, such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, can also disrupt the menstrual cycle. Hence it is necessary not to jump to conclusions when you miss a period, instead, visit a doctor to find out the reason.

It is very important when it comes to matters of health to find out what is true and what is not, only true information can help you make an informed decision. 

Inputs by Dr. Nirmala M, Consultant—Obstetrician, Gynecologist & Fertility Specialist, Motherhood Hospitals, Whitefield, Bengaluru and Dr. Sandhya M R, Consultant—Obstetrician & Gynecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Electronic City, Bengaluru