4 Period Myths Debunked
By Aisha Beau Johnson
Having a period can sometimes be a pain, but talking about it shouldn’t be. Yet, in many communities around the world, having periods and using tampons carry a lot of stigma. So much so that the conversation around periods has been slow to evolve, leaving many women in the dark about what’s actually going on with their bodies. That’s why, in honor of Endometriosis Awareness Month, we decided to debunk some of the most common myths about our periods.
1. It isn’t safe to go without your period for a long time.
This myth is particularly important right now, because the act of menstrual suppression, or utilizing birth control to decrease the number of periods, can alleviate many health problems. Many women with endometriosis experience heavy or painful periods and this can actually bring them some relief. It can also help to reduce the risk of endometrial or ovarian cancers. Aside from ovulation, there is no proven need to have a period every month.
2. If you use a tampon, you’re no longer a virgin.
This myth is quite popular in Black communities and according to a survey conducted by Tampax in 2019, 1 in 4 African American women prefer pads because they were never taught how to use tampons. Although intercourse, physical activity such as playing sports or dance and using a tampon may disrupt the tissue (or hymen) around the vaginal opening, virginity tied to an intact hymen is a flawed and antiquated concept.
3. You shouldn’t have sex on your period.
So long as you and your partner are comfortable, sex during your period can be a beneficial and enjoyable experience. Having an orgasm can help to relieve cramps and headaches. Also, menstruation is a natural lubricant, and can make sex more comfortable. Just be sure to keep in mind that you still can get pregnant while on your period, so if that isn’t your goal, be sure to always use a condom.
4. Periods can be in sync.
Back in the 1970’s there was research suggesting that women who lived together could have their periods in sync due to pheromones. But since then, there has been no further study able to support this information. So, although it’s kind of cool to have your period at the same time as your bestie, more than likely it’s just a coincidence.
Aisha Beau Johnson is a digital content creator, speaker, and founder of AishaBeau.com, a digital destination highlighting all things self-care for women of color. She specializes in writing about beauty, lifestyle, and wellness topics, highlighting the importance of internal and external well-being. Her podcast Re-Written is all about self-love.