About half of the population bleeds and yet, periods remain one of the least discussed topics, thanks to period shaming and myths. We agree that menstruation can be annoying, but at the same time, it can be powerful and filled with marvelous facts.
But, if you thought you knew everything about your period, this fact check article will surely change your mind!
Facts vs Myths
When trying to learn more about your menstruation, it’s easy to get misguided by the numerous myths still prevalent today. Think of some of the advice you probably heard growing up -
“Don’t wash your hair during menstruation”, “you shouldn’t exercise during your period”, “it’s impossible to get pregnant when you’re bleeding”. These, however, couldn’t be any farther from the truth.
In this article, we talk about some of the period facts that you probably didn’t know. Even though we’re not here to bust myths, facts like these will probably also help you distinguish between what’s true and what’s made up!
10 facts about periods that will make you go - “whaaaat?!”
We promise you.
- Your period isn’t birth control - If you’ve been using your period as birth control so far, please stop. Ovulation can differ largely from one person to another and you may ovulate any time before, during or after your period. Besides, sperm can live inside your vagina for 5-6 days, within which window it’s very much possible to conceive. Unless you want to get pregnant, use protection any time you have sex.
- Nearly 10 years of your life are spent menstruating - According to research, an average menstruator has around 400-500 periods in their lifetime. When you add them up, you can spend around 3500 days - which is about 10 years - menstruating! If you use synthetic and disposable period products, that adds to the generation of a lot of period waste! Want to become more sustainable? Switch to the reusable Carmesi Menstrual Cup, which can be used for up to 10 years! Not comfortable with cups? Ditch conventional synthetic pads and adopt more eco-friendly options like the Carmesi Sensitive and Eco-conscious Sanitary Pads. Used to tampons? Go 100% organic with our Carmesi Tampons!
- You lose way less blood than you think - If you were under the impression that your body loses a lot of blood during menstruation, then let us tell you the fact. What flows through your vagina only contains about 3-6 tablespoons of blood over the course of your period. This is actually negligible when it comes to blood loss! But, if you feel your period is too heavy or that you’re soaking through your pad or tampon every two hours, get yourself checked by a doctor.
- Menses can affect your voice and smell - Did you know that you could sound and smell different on your period? The hormonal changes affect your vocal chord, making you sound slightly different when you’re on your period. And, although not consciously detectable, your smell can also change during this time, making it less attractive to men than your smell when you’re ovulating. The biological reason for this is that you’re not very fertile when you’re menstruating.
- Periods can sometimes make your eyes bleed - According to a scary research article published in the journal Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, a rare condition called vicarious menstruation can cause you to bleed during your periods from organs besides your uterus - like your eyes! Doctors have explained that the endometrial tissue that’s shed during menstruation is transmitted to other organs through your bloodstream.
- Asthma can worsen from your period - As you near your period, your body starts to become increasingly sensitive to allergens a week in advance, which can make your asthma conditions worse. Hormonal changes are to blame for this condition, according to a study published in the journal Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine.
- Scented pads and tampons can be the culprit for your rashes - Using conventional synthetic pads and tampons, especially the ones that are scented, can cause rashes in your genital area. It’s always best to use natural, plant-based pads and tampons that do not irritate your gentle skin or cause pad rashes.
- Stress can affect your period - Stress hormones can interfere with your reproductive hormones and make your period heavier, longer, shorter or even stop altogether. Have better stress management systems in place and make sure to exercise to help regulate your cycle.
- Cold weather can affect your period - A particular study established that cold winter days can affect your period and make you bleed for more days or even worsen your period pain. Lowered exposure to sunlight can also adversely affect your serotonin levels and make your PMS symptoms worse.
- Periods have more than 5,000 euphemisms across the globe - “Monthlies”, “Aunt Flo” and “on the rag” are just some of the euphemisms used for periods. And, these are just in English. Imagine the number of euphemisms it can have across so many languages! It’s over 5,000! Want to hear a bizarre one? “Les Anglais ont debarqué” is one of the French expressions for periods. It translates to - “the English have landed”!