Menstruation is unique to women. However, the myths and taboos related to it still hover over our society. It results in the exclusion of women from many socio-cultural aspects of life. Especially in India, the topic of menstruation has been taboo to date. These taboos have, however, impacted the emotional and mental state of many girls and women. However, it is their health that needs utmost attention amid all the debate.
The challenge of combating these taboos or myths about menstruation is further compounded by the lack of knowledge and our levels of understanding of reproductive health and periods.
Now, let’s discuss six of the most common menstruation-related myths that we must put to an end to.
Myth 1: Periods and menstrual cycle are ‘that’ time of the month
Fact: Did you know that a woman’s menstrual cycle is not the same as her period? Confusing, isn’t it? Periods or menstruation is the actual time in which a woman bleeds. However, the menstrual cycle is the time from one period to the next one.
Moreover, the most widely circulated fact is that a woman’s menstrual cycle lasts for 28 days. However, the number varies in reality. Some of their cycles even range from 29 to 35 days. So, next time when someone comments about a woman’s ‘that’ time of the month, be sure to let them know it isn’t appreciated.
Myth 2: The pain is not real or too bad
Fact: Menstrual cramps or the pain that a woman experiences during her periods is real. You cannot simply compare it to a headache or a wound that one gets when bumping into corners. We have even got a medical name for this condition which is dysmenorrhea. According to various studies, around 20 percent of women have this condition that is strong enough to interfere in their daily activities.
Myth 3: Mood changes aren’t real
Fact: Just like pain, mood changes during periods are real. A woman faces multiple hormonal changes during this time that may lead to anxiety, fear, and even depression. The effects of these hormones on their mood are complicated. While mood changes are real, it doesn’t invalidate their feelings.
Myth 4: Women are hormonal
Fact: Women have long been accused of being ‘hormonal’ all the time. Their feelings have also been equated with hysteria to explain the behavior. But the truth here is that everyone in this world has hormones, even men. So, the fact that hormones only define women is untrue.
Myth 5: Period blood is dirty
Fact: Period blood is not only the rejected body fluids but more than that. You can term it a kind of evolved vaginal secretion. So, the thing is no – period blood isn’t dirty. It is just a bit different from the blood that runs through our veins.
Myth 6: Only women get periods
Fact: No, this is not true. You may find it difficult to digest but women are not the only ones who go through the menstrual cycle. Even nonbinary people and transgender men may get their periods. So, it’s high time you consider menstruation a human issue instead of a ‘woman’ issue.