We live in an age where research is clearing away numerous long-held myths and misconceptions surrounding health and medicine. However, the knowledge around menstrual cycle still remains tainted by age-old myths. This is the reason even till date when asked about what is menstruation, no one wants to speak about it in open as it is a taboo. In fact, there are numerous myths which are still prevalent in the current age and world. These not only reflect the inaccuracies but also perpetuate theories about women that can be detrimental for the overall health and well being of a woman. Here are some of the common menstruation myths which we must leave behind.
Myth 1: Avoid Taking Showers During Periods as it Poses Health Risk
Whatever is the underlying reason for this myth, there are numerous women who blindly follow this. Many women believe that showering with cold water harmfully affect their menstruation whereas taking hot water baths increase the amount of menstrual blood. However, there is no evidence to prove this.
Instead, it is advised to take a bath during menstruation as it helps you to keep your vagina clean and maintain proper hygiene during this time of the month. Moreover, not bathing during menstruation can affect the hygiene and overall health of the reproductive tract which in turn can increase the risk of reproductive tract infections.
Myth 2: Do not Exercises During Periods
It is one of the common myths that exercising during periods can increase the pain and blood flow and hence, it is wise to not exercise. In fact many studies in India have revealed that most adolescent girls believe that exercising or performing any form of physical activity during menses cause dysmenorrhea (painful periods).
But in reality, exercise is good for overall health. If you exercise during periods, it can help relieve the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhea and improve bloating, which is a common symptom of menstruation. Moreover, exercise also causes the release of serotonin, the happy hormone, which helps you to feel much happier during menstruation because severe hormonal changes can take a toll on your mood.
Myth 3: Do not Eat Curd, Tamarind and Pickles During Menstruation.
In some parts of India, certain strict dietary restrictions are also followed during menstruation such as not eating sour, spicy and oily food such as curd, tamarind, and pickles during menstruation. This is because, it is believed that such foods will disturb or stop the menstrual flow. However, if you are experiencing bloating or acidity before your periods then you are advised to avoid these foods or reduce the intake during periods as it can worsen the condition. The key is to eat a healthy diet during periods.
Myth 4: Women Should not Enter Kitchen or Prepare Food During Periods
It is also believed that menstruating women are unhygienic and unclean and hence the food they prepare or handle can get contaminated. During menstruation women’s body emits some specific smell or ray, which turns preserved food bad. And, therefore, they are not allowed to touch sour foods like pickles. However, no scientific test has shown menstruation as the reason for spoilage of any food as long as proper hygiene measures are followed while cooking food.
Myth 5: Menstruation is Shameful
It is the biggest myth and in fact according to a study published in Journal of family medicine and primary care, around 78% girls have a negative attitude about menstruation. This clearly shows the lack of information and knowledge about periods. Every girl should know what is menstruation.
Menstruation is a natural process which every woman goes through and is a sign of puberty. This is the phase in which numerous hormonal changes occur in the body which causes periodic discharge of blood from the uterus. Every month the ovary releases an egg, which if fertilized, causes pregnancy. However, if the egg is not fertilized, it causes the uterine lining to rupture which causes bleeding. This is a natural phenomena and is not at all shameful.
Let’s join hands to spread menstruation awareness by debunking some of the common age-old myths because it’s high time we took the topic of menstruation seriously!