We get it, the thought of starting your menstrual period can be a bit frightening to most girls, but we can’t avoid it.
We hear stories of what can happen but we never really know until we experience them first-hand, which is why we want to go over some myths and the reality.
Urban myths are nothing more than wrong information being passed from generation to generation and young girls should understand that menstruation is a natural process.
Here are the most popular menstruation myths and the reality:
First myth: “Menstrual cramps are something you have to deal with and there’s nothing you can do to avoid them”
There are a few things you can do to lessen the pain of cramps. Some women, for example, feel better by placing a warm compress on their stomach area. Most of them also find that taking non-steroidal medicines such as Motrin, Aleve and Advil, lessen and sometimes eliminate their cramps. Others find that birth control pills also reduce severity of their cramps and lighten their flow.
Second myth: “You’ll faint if you exercise during menstruation”
Not necessarily. If you were to lose a lot of blood and have clots during your menstruation, you may become anemic. Very rarely, if a woman has a heavy period and has other health issues, she can feel dizzy and potentially faint. Teens can lessen their chance of becoming anemic or light headed by eating well and to staying active all the time including when they are menstruating.
Third myth: “Don’t use tampons because you might shove them too far in and cause them to get lost”
Tampons cannot be “lost”. The vagina has “pockets” that surround the bottom of the uterus so tampons can potentially be pushed too far into the vagina that the string is not visible or becomes detached. But given the case all you need to do is stick your fingers into your vagina and pull it out, or see a gynecologists so that he or she can take it out for you.
Fourth myth: “If your menstrual cycle begins at a young age, it means that you’ve done something bad like had sexual intercourse or masturbated”
Puberty is due to changes in your hormone levels and will occur whether or not you’ve had sexual intercourse. It’s something completely natural that has nothing to do with masturbation or any other factors.
Fifth myth: “If you use a tampon you are no longer a virgin”
This is certainly not true. A virgin is someone that has not had sexual intercourse, and using a tampon has absolutely nothing to do with this.
We encourage parents to have an honest and open conversation about puberty with their children, and for them to reach out to their doctors if they need clarification about the topic.