Half the population goes through a menstrual cycle at some point in their lives. For the sheer number of people who experience menstruation, one would think that there’d be a wealth of knowledge and information surrounding periods — but this is not the case. In fact, there are so many myths (and even stigmas) that exist regarding menstruation, that even women themselves are often misled.
Our women’s health center is here to dispel any myths and break any stigmas that might exist. When we all have the correct information — regardless of gender — we are all better for it. Read on to separate fact from fiction, and schedule your next GYN appointment with Dr. Carole Neuman today.
Myth #1: You can’t have sex while you’re on your period.
This is perhaps one of the most common myths, but for the most part, many people have a better sense of understanding with this one. The truth is you absolutely can have sex while you have your period — but for many couples, it’s a matter of preference. Some feel perfectly comfortable getting intimate when one partner is menstruating, others may prefer waiting. Regardless of a personal preference, it’s more than fine to have sex while on your period — and as we’ve talked about in a previous blog, it may even help relieve some of your period symptoms!
Myth #2: You can’t get pregnant if you have sex while on your period.
Again, there’s been a little more light shed on this myth in recent years, but many people still think this is true. While the American Pregnancy Association says that your chances of getting pregnant are probably significantly lower, it’s definitely still possible. Sperm can actually live inside of you for up to five days, so if you decide to have sex while on your period, be sure that you’re using birth control as a necessary precaution.
Myth #3: Every woman gets a period.
Amenorrhea is the medical term for an absent or nonexistent period. For some women, they’ve never had a period in their lives; for others, they haven’t had one for several months (or even years). There are many things that can cause amenorrhea, such as pregnancy, menopause, significant weight fluctuations, stress, and birth control, however, there are still plenty of women (or people who identify as a woman) who do not get periods.
Myth #4: Periods are gross.
For any woman who has felt the need to discreetly conceal a tampon or pad to go to the bathroom, we all know exactly why this is. Periods have been presented and believed to be this unusual, taboo thing — in practically every society and every culture that exist today. And of course, we understand that blood is not everyone’s favorite topic. However, menstruation is something that truly affects all of us, and for the positive! Without periods, humanity would cease to exist — instead of thinking of periods as “gross,” they should be presented as the necessary and normal bodily function that they are.
Myth #5: A woman who’s sensitive or emotional is on her period.
Far too often, a woman expressing emotion is either described, snickered at, or even asked to her face if she’s on her period. This is presented as a joke (and one that’s obviously not funny) or an explanation for a woman’s behavior in movies, television shows, books, and in day-to-day life.
To be fair, there is some truth in the matter — many women do end up feeling more emotional, or end up feeling emotions in a stronger capacity, while they’re on their period. This is due to fluctuating levels of hormones that take place during a menstrual cycle. But this is not true for every woman, and this denigrates a woman’s emotions and feelings in an overall sense. Women are entitled to their feelings just like everyone else is, and how a woman is feeling is not less important whether she may or may not be on her period. Taking this attitude trivializes how someone is feeling, which is a toxic attitude for anyone to have — regardless of gender.
Myth #6: Periods are a women’s issue.
Like we said earlier, periods truly affect us all. When something affects us and/or our loved ones (and again, half the population), it’s not just something for some people to care about. We may not be directly impacted from having a menstrual cycle, but the truth is, we are! No one would exist if it weren’t for healthy reproductive functions, which is why we need to acknowledge periods as a normal, healthy, regular life occurrence. We’re all at our best when we’re all caring and actively supporting those who have a period.
If you don’t get a period, your support can exist in a number of ways. At the very basic level, it looks like being emotionally responsive to the needs of those around you. To step it up, have tampons and pads available in your bathroom for any female friends, partners, or guests to use (if you’re an employer, look out for your female employees in similar ways). If you hear negative phrases used regarding menstrual cycles, respectfully call them out. If you work with kids or are raising your own, educate in a holistic manner, in which you teach menstruation as being a necessary part of life, and something that affects everyone.
Periods are not just a women’s issue, but there are plenty of women’s health issues that Neuman GYN is highly experienced in finding, preventing, and treating. Our women’s health center in Jacksonville is here to provide the compassionate care you deserve, because you deserve a gynecologist who not only makes you feel comfortable, but advocates for your health and well-being. We don’t only advocate for these things, we make them a priority.
For any gynecological need you’re looking to address, from checkups to dealing with urinary incontinence and everything in between, our women’s health center is the place for this to happen. Contact our GYN clinic today to get your next appointment scheduled, and see the difference that we can make in your health and life as a whole.