We don’t talk about menstruation enough.
Because of period stigma, research on menstruation remains insubstantial. Consequently, anecdotal information often takes centre stage when it comes to caring for your cycle. Unsurprisingly, not all of it is accurate.
So, today, we’re debunking six common myths about menstruation to arm you with the necessary knowledge to go with your flow:
MYTH: You can’t get pregnant during menstruation.
It’s unlikely, but it can still happen.
The average menstrual cycle is 28 to 30 days long, starting on the first day of your period and lasting until the first day of your next period. You’re most likely to get pregnant in the few days before or after ovulation—which occurs around days 13-15. And, sperm can live up to five days in your body.
So, if you have sex on day six of your period (which is also day six of your cycle), sperm could survive in your body until day 11—when you’re most fertile.
MYTH: You can’t have sex during menstruation.
Yes, it’s possible to get pregnant from period sex. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have it!
For one, penetration isn’t the only way to have sex—and not all sex involves someone who can produce semen. Plus, having sex during menstruation can help relieve cramps and headaches.
Lay down some towels to protect your sheets and you’re golden. Or, should we say, you’re scarlet?
MYTH: Menstruation stops in water.
Your flow might slow down, but it won’t stop completely. This happens because of the water pressure surrounding your body.
However, the thing about sharks being able to detect your period while you swim in the ocean and track you down because of it? Totally false.
You’re good to practice your breaststroke any day of the month.
MYTH: Your cycle will sync up with your friends’ cycles.
Shocking, we know! Many people who menstruate have an anecdote about their cycle supposedly coinciding with a friend, roommate, coworker, family member or partner. But, there’s little scientific evidence to support this phenomenon—and what evidence there is has yet to be reliably replicated.
MYTH: Your cycle will sync up with the moon.
Somehow, this being false hurts worse than the last one being false. Who wouldn’t want to be in biological cahoots with the moon?
MYTH: There’s only one way to manage menstruation.
You’re not confined to pads and tampons (unless you want to be)! As we work to decrease the stigma around menstruation, a wider array of period products has been developed—which means you have more options to choose from.
Many contemporary period products prioritize sustainability. You can find both reusable versions of the most common period products and period underwear – a hassle and leak-free alternative. Increasingly, though, people are choosing to use menstrual cups because it both reduces waste and provides you with all-day protection.
Brands like DivaCup are changing the period game – offering a sustainable alternative with a purpose. DivaCup takes it one step further by fighting for menstrual equity and providing much-needed menstrual education, advocacy, and access. Helping to put an end to period poverty.
Plus, menstrual cups help reduce waste, and save you money in the long haul – one cup can last you up to 10 years – so you can save yourself the extra trip to the drugstore.
The best part? IGNITE wants to send you one for free.
Register for our Let’s Talk DivaCups event to learn more about menstrual cups, get all your questions answered AND walk away with a new sustainable menstrual product.
IGNITE’s priority is making your period easier—and that’s no myth.
Studying on campus? Snag an emergency menstrual kit courtesy of IGNITE’s Pads & Tampons Project.