Every woman has to deal with periods in some form or fashion; it’s an unavoidable fact of life. Because of the differences in physical makeup, each woman’s body is going to respond differently to their menstrual cycle. Some women have very light, manageable periods with minimal to nearly undetectable PMS symptoms, while others are so negatively affected by their periods and PMS symptoms that it takes a toll on their quality of life as a whole.
Due to the sensitivity of this topic and varying degrees of education and information about it in the public at large, there have been a number of misconceptions and myths that have been perpetuated about a woman’s menstrual cycle in both pop culture and popular opinion. Here are three of the many “myths” surrounding periods and PMS:
You cannot get pregnant during your period
This simply isn’t true, despite what many people believe. You CAN get pregnant during your period. Sperm can live for 3-5 days in the uterus and ovulation can occur during, or soon after, the bleeding phase. To avoid pregnancy, utilize contraceptives, even during your monthly cycle.
All menstrual cycles last for 28 days
The lengths of menstrual cycles vary by person. While the average is 28 days, that’s not a hard and fast rule. This cycle is counted from the first day of one period to the first day of the next, and it isn’t the same for every woman. For some women, menstrual flow might occur every 21 to 35 days and last two to seven days.
Bed rest is always necessary while on your period
Getting enough rest is crucial for your overall health and quality of life, but it is not necessary for you to spend your entire period in bed. In fact, moderate exercise has been shown to alleviate cramps, help with fatigue, and even brighten your mood. With that said, pushing yourself too hard can have adverse effects, so be sure to listen to your body and do what feels right for you.
There are countless other myths and misconceptions surrounding periods, but you should bring any questions or concerns that you may have to your doctor. Even if it seems awkward or silly or trivial, we are here for you and it’s our job to help and address any and all questions and concerns.