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Wine & Gyn Episode 22: Period Myths

Whew! There are a lot of things we do not know about our bodies and our periods, but have you considered that some of what you think you know about your body might not even be correct? Enter in Period Myths- a podcast episode all about the statements we think are true about our periods that turn out to be big fat lies.

One of the overarching belief about our periods is that they are gross, problematic, and inconvenient. While those statements may be true for some women, we want our listeners to reevaluate where those attitudes stem from and if they are actually helpful. Our periods don’t have to be gross, it’s a normal body function and period blood isn’t dirty. Our periods don’t have to be problematic, there are many resources for getting a more manageable period each month. Our periods don’t have to be inconvenient, menstruation is a vital sign of health and balance in the body when it functions properly. Periods are a sign that a woman can conceive and carry a baby. Periods are the result of normal hormone fluctuations body systems. You can definitely choose to think about your period more positively.

A common myth we grow up believing, and sometimes continue into adulthood, is that we can lose things in our vaginas. This is simply not true as anatomically there is an end to the vagina at the cervix, which stays closed and keeps our uterus and abdominal cavity safe. It is possibly however to feel as though you have lost something in your vagina, especially if you can’t reach it with your fingers. It’s easy to retrieve something from your vagina with a positional change, bearing down or getting some assistance from a friend, partner or midwife.

Some additional myths about periods are centered on tampon use. Can young girls wear them? Yes. Can you wear a tampon overnight? Yes, for up to 8 hours it’s safe. Is it easy to get toxic shock syndrome? No, this is a very rare condition caused by the release of toxins from an overgrowth of bacteria. It can happen to anyone, not just menstruating women- but wearing a super tampon, or any tampon for more than 8 hours can put you at risk for this.

Another common belief about periods is the idea that you can’t get pregnant while you are bleeding. While this is also very rare, it can in fact happen. The perfect storm for getting pregnant on your period would include very short cycles and hormonal imbalances, but it has happened before.

Some women believe that when you spend a lot of time with a friend or family member you have the potential to sync up on each other’s cycles. This is not scientifically proven but there are many anecdotal stories of this occurring. Our take on how this seems to be happening is the idea that we end up spending several days each month on our periods and when we become aware of a close woman’s cycle it feels as though we are spending some time together menstruating- which is true because there is just bound to be some overlap eventually. In actuality, there isn’t any research that supports women’s cycles actually shifting to accommodate a shift like this.

One of the more fun myths we share is that wild animals are attracted to period blood. What we find statistically is that menstruating women are no more likely to be attacked in the wild by animals than non-menstruating people. We bet you still spend plenty of time thinking about it though, we know we will!

Finally, a major myth purveys that our periods are supposed to be cramping and painful. And this simply is just not true. We have accepted it as a normal part of being a lady- but fail to see that it’s a sign our bodies are trying to tell us that something is not right. Cycles that are shorter than 27 days, longer than 29 days, accompanied by brown blood, clots, cramping, bloating and pain are a symptom of hormonal imbalances and uterine dysfunction. We can help!! Vaginal steaming has been known to address all of the above issues and you can find your first herbal batch in our shop at the link in the toolbar above!

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