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Busting period myths

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

National News

Riding the crimson wave, getting a visit from Auntie Flo, being on the rag… There are probably just as many slang terms for having your period as there are myths about them.

For something so normal – there remains a wariness around calling a period a period and even talking about periods can be difficult for many people. The result is silence and people being misled by myths that should have been dispelled a long time ago.

We want to put an end to period misinformation and get everyone on the same page, so let’s take a look at five common and misleading myths and bust them once and for all! Period.

  1. You must rest and avoid exercise while you have your period

While you may feel tired and a bit crampy when you have your period, there is no reason why you cannot play sport and exercise as normal. In fact, you may even find that exercise can help ease cramps. There are lots of different menstrual products to help you manage your period, so you should be able to find a product that works well for you, no matter the activity.

  1. Pain during your period is normal and you just have to get used to it

While some cramping is common, if the pain you are experiencing is so intense it makes it hard for you to go about your daily life you should talk to us or to your health provider. There are options available to help you manage your period and any associated pain. You shouldn’t feel that putting up with debilitating pain is just part of your uterine management.

  1. If you’re on the pill and skip your periods by taking the hormone pills continuously, your uterus will fill up with blood

The pill is an effective form of contraception because it stops you from ovulating. When you don’t ovulate, your uterus lining does not thicken with blood and tissue and therefore there is no build up of blood that you need to get rid of. There are no side effects to not having your period this way, and it is in fact a very safe way to have control over your menstrual cycle. The bonus too is that taking the combined pill without a break is the most effective way of using this form of contraception.

  1. If you use a tampon, you’re no longer a virgin

This is simply not true. Not only is the concept of virginity outmoded and outdated, being a virgin essentially implies that someone has not yet had penetrative sex. And, inserting a tampon has nothing to do with sex. It is perfectly safe to use tampons from the moment you start getting your period. Just make sure you follow the instructions and change them regularly.

  1. You can’t get pregnant on your period.

So, the chances of getting pregnant while you’re on your period are low – but they’re not zero. It’s possible that vaginal bleeding during ovulation could be mistaken for the start of a period. Instead, this is the time when you’re most fertile. The other thing to remember is that sperm can live for up to 72 hours after ejaculation – so, particularly toward the end of your period, your chances of becoming pregnant will increase.

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.

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