“Don’t take shower, don’t swim, don’t eat spicy foods when you are on your periods”… these are some of the many things females hear throughout their lives. Surprisingly, half of the population experiences menstruations during their lives, and still, hundreds of misconceptions about the process still circulate.
How periods taboo is affecting women’s lives?
This conversation on periods is coming from former times when there was very little knowledge about the periods. The biological process of menstruation is surrounded by secrecy and nearly everyone feels shy to talk about their periods. Coming from the times when religion had the authority to explain natural happenings, these myths are traveling from generation to generation.
Menstruation is considered a social taboo and misconceptions and about menstruation making periods a nightmare. It is notable how these myths are affecting the reproductive and sexual aspects of female health.
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I remember this incident when one of my classmates suffered from lower back pain and was getting treatment from a urologist. But after seeing some of the best doctors in Lahore she was diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). Not talking about your menstrual health and believing the false information can adversely affect the health of the female.
Let’s debunk some widely accepted myths on periods
1- Your period always need to be on time
Talking about the periods, we can say that periods are just as unique as individual females. There is no set duration for how long it will take you to complete the menstruation cycle. The term menstrual cycle typically refers to the time from the onset of a period cycle to the beginning of the next. Although it is considered that a menstrual cycle typically lasts for 28 days, however, the actual duration can be both shorter and longer.
2- Bathing during menstruation is bad for your reproductive health
It is often said that taking shower or washing your hair during periods can adversely affect your reproductive health. This statement has nothing to do with realities because there is no obvious reason to skip your shower while menstruating. Contrary to it, taking shower in between your periods can help you to relieve your period cramps and make you feel good.
3- Working out on your periods can affect your fertility
Gone are the times when menstruating women were considered sick and asked to avoid social activities. But the view that menstruating women can’t workout became prevalent. However, the reality has nothing to do with this claim because working out during your periods can help to significantly relieve cramps.
3- The hormonal role gives you a reason to invalidate your feelings
Apart from physical changes, periods also have an emotional impact on a female’s mental health. The constantly fluctuating hormonal levels inside a female’s body are responsible for the emotional ride she goes through. Speaking of hormones, the tumbling level of estrogen (associated with our happiness hormone) alongside an upsurge in progesterone causes mood swings. But considering that it’s fine to dismiss your feelings amidst mensuration is merely a myth.
4- Periods pain is normal
As per overall belief, it is considered that your period pain is a normal thing. For some people, they experience painless periods while for others it can be like something is drilling into their belly. Well, period pain, also called dysmenorrhea can be nerve-wracking. Further, extremely painful periods can be an alarming sign of an underlying health condition. Therefore, it’s advisable to visit a doctor if you feel like curling up in your bed throughout the cycle.
5-Your periods get synchronized
One of the prevalent thoughts about periods is that women who spend more time together are likely to get their periods at the same time. Well, many people can relate to period syncing at some point during their lives. The idea was science-backed by the fact that pheromones can synchronize period cycles in women. But as the studies failed to explain the phenomena of period synchrony, it remains a myth.
6- Using tampon can make your lose your virginity
Yes, you hear it right! There is this misconception regarding the use of tampons that it can break your hymen making you lose your virginity. The tampon is basically used to absorb period blood and inserted in the vagina, but it doesn’t mean that it can break your hymen. Talking about the facts, the hymen is a stretchable membrane that is not present above your vagina. As a tampon is a stretchable and menstrual blood acts as a lubricant, so using a tampon can’t harm your virginity.
Tips for happy periods
After reading about all these period myths, periods may sound like a nightmare to you. Fortunately, a happy period is not just a myth, as several lifestyle and dietary modifications can be your way to happy healthy periods.
Several tips can help you to have trouble-free periods. Some of these include;
1- Choosing the right products
Sanitary products are one of the major factors that can make your periods a pleasant experience. Sanitary products are usually available in a wide range, ranging from menstrual cups to tampons or sanitary pads. But the choice of a certain product totally depends upon your requirement as well as your comfort. So, carefully choosing a sanitary product can help you in staying comfortable while being on your periods.
2- Eating right
Another factor that can affect your period’s experience is possibly your diet. Your diet is directly associated with your periods. I remember this friend of mine who went to doctors hospital in Lahore for having irregular periods and was diagnosed with a certain nutrient deficiency that was affecting her cycle.
Here are a few food tips that can improve your menstrual cycle
- Adding iron to your diet can help you to compensate for the blood loss and pairing it with vitamin C can help in iron absorption
- Ditch your low-carb diet and intake adequate carbs if you are facing period’s irregularity
- Increase your calcium intake because it can help to reduce the severity of premenstrual syndrome’s symptoms
- Magnesium can help relieve period cramps
3- Working out
Working out can help to relieve your period cramps. You can try aerobics, cardio or yoga to help yourself with period pain.
4- Enough sleep
Sleep is a secret ingredient to the recipe for a happy period because adequate sleep can help to balance out hormones ultimately improving our hormonal cycle.
Periods are not a disability rather a normal biological process that no one should feel ashamed about. As I said earlier, your periods are as unique as you are! So understanding our own requirements and not believing that they are just our “lot in life” can be your way to healthy happy periods.
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