Debunking 10 menstrual myths

Around half of the population experience periods during their lifetime yet it’s something we don’t talk about enough. This means that rumours and myths circulate about periods, menstruation and menstrual cycles. We’ve shared 10 of the most common menstrual myths to give you clarity. 

From understanding what is happening during your period, to what happens to our hormones and our bodies to understanding how to have a sustainable period, we’ve got you covered. 

MYTH 1: Periods are unhygienic

There’s a lot of pre-existing stigma around periods when there really shouldn’t be. A lot of this might be historical, from when we understood less about biology, and it has passed from generation to generation. This gives periods a bad rep!

The phrase “sanitary products” suggests that periods are dirty, when in fact they’re something around half the population experiences at any one time. 

Period blood isn’t dirty. It’s just different to the blood that circulates in our veins. It’s also not made up of rejected body fluids or a way of your body flushing out toxins. Period blood is different because it is a mix of blood, uterine tissue, mucus lining, and bacteria but is in no way dirty.

MYTH 2: Period sex is gross

Leading on from the taboo that period blood is dirty, we have the age-old period sex conundrum. 

We now know that periods are in fact not dirty and unhygienic and in fact, sex helps with menstrual cramps. Sex can release endorphins which temporarily relieve pain as well as ease tension and stress.

Of course, this is a personal preference. On heavier days, period sex can get messy so some prefer to use a towel or just have sex in the shower (make sure you’re not a clumsy person for the latter). Similarly, sex doesn’t just have to be a partnered activity. Masturbation can be equally beneficial to your well-being during your period. 

This is a super common myth but newsflash, it’s certainly not impossible to get pregnant on our periods. 

When we ovulate and our menstrual cycles are often unpredictable and when we ovulate doesn’t always happen at the same point in our cycle. Pair that with the fact that a man’s sperm can live in a vagina for up to 5 days and there are small chances of getting pregnant while on your period. 

Want to prevent STIs and pregnancy if you’re sexually active on your period? Make sure you use a condom. 


MYTH 4: Periods are a woman’s issue 

A lot of the language we use to talk about periods places them solely in the realm of femininity. In reality, she's, he's, and they's can all experience periods. Equally, she's, he's, and they's can also not experience periods. 

Some cis women may never experience a period for a variety of different health reasons. 

Period rights are human rights. 

MYTH 5: Tampons can get lost inside you

Nope! There’s in fact nowhere for a tampon to go. The only other opening in your vagina is your cervix, which is far too small for a tampon to pass through. 

It may get stuck, but most tampons have a string to help you easily get it out. The worst thing you can do is panic, as all of your muscles will tense so it’s worth doing something that will relax you before removing your tampon if you’re feeling worried or stressed. 

MYTH 6: All tampons are created equal 

A lot of tampons contain trace materials that are toxic and some towels are actually scented which can irritate your skin. For a more natural period without the alarming toxins, it’s worth going organic whether you prefer tampons or pads. 

As an added bonus, organic period products are better for the planet too. Here We Flo creates organic tampons and pads that come in biodegradable and compostable plant cellulose packaging so they’re plastic-free too - we love to see it!

MYTH 7: Tampons can be used for discharge

We implore you not to do this. Throughout your cycle, your vagina will excrete different kinds of discharge which has led some to grab their tampons so they don’t “soil” their underwear. Discharge is normal and should be celebrated as a sign that our body is doing what it needs to do. 

Even low absorbency tampons are designed to collect a lot of period blood and when you’re not on your period you aren’t producing enough liquid to justify the use. You’re also putting yourself at risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome so it’s a lot safer to opt for some organic panty liners if you’re worried. 

MYTH 8: It’s always the time of the month

Menstrual cycle: Your cycle is the entire time from the start of a period to the next. For a lot of people, this lasts around 28 days but that’s just an average number. For some, it can be a lot shorter, around 20 days, and for others longer from 29 to 35 days. Various situations like travel, weight fluctuation, emotions, and medication can affect your cycle length too.

Period: Also known as menstruation, this is the actual time you bleed during your cycle and again this can vary in length. For some, it can only be a couple of days and for others well over a week. 

At different points in your cycle, your hormone levels change, particularly your oestrogen and progesterone levels. These can cause changes in our bodies and brains from cramps, tender breasts, and even flu symptoms to irritability and fatigue. 

Like you, every experience of this cycle is unique and comments like “you’re always on” or “you’re so hormonal'' are very unhelpful. 

MYTH 9: Period pain isn’t real

This is something that some people experience monthly, while others experience this more sporadically. 20% of people who have periods suffer from pain severe enough to interfere with their day to day lives. 10% are impacted by endometriosis which can cause pain and infertility issues. 

The fact of the matter is, period pain is very real and for many can be debilitating. Feeling awful each month? Know that you’re not alone and speak to your GP to get support. 

MYTH 10: It’s impossible to have a sustainable period

If we menstruate, we use around 11,000 disposable menstrual products in our lifetime, which is a lot of waste. Plastic packaging paired with most pads being up to 90% plastic means a lot of items filling landfills. 

#Luckily there is another way. Reusable items like period pants, or fabric pads and liners, and menstrual cups or fabric based organic pads and tampons mean we can work

Myths busted? 

Love them or hate them, periods are here to stay but now we can at least feel more educated when it comes to what happens to our, or our loved ones’, bodies each month. We’ve covered whether our periods are dirty, having sex on our periods, what’s going on in our bodies, and busted some common tampon myths. And we wouldn’t be EcoVibe without reminding you that you can indeed stay sustainable and sexy on your period!

What’s a period myth that we need to bust? Let us know in the comments below. 

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