Periods. They happen to many of us and often. Then why are there still so many misconceptions about the topic? The misinformation is prevalent among younger women, but it is also spread across ages, as well as gender (some men just have no clue). Part of the problem, is that our experiences all vary and the information we have is individually based and subjective, so it is hard to generalize and answer questions like “how long does a period last” so that it is right for everyone. Another part of the problem may be the sheer amount and variety of information on the web. On the one hand, it is wonderful, because people are able to get answers privately about topics that may be sensitive to them. On the other hand, the ease with which the information gets dispersed to the public makes fertile ground for falsities and miscommunications. That is why it is important to research thoroughly and ask your doctor when in doubt.

Here are some myths and clarifications we hope some find helpful.

5. “Your period comes the same day every month”

This seems to be a common misconception among young women who just started having their period. Hey, it can be pretty nerve wracking if you think your period is supposed to come at a certain time every month and it does not show up on time.

The date your period comes depends on how long your previous period lasted and on your cycle length. Not everyone has 28 day cycles (which is the average), and not everyone has regular periods. The way to check this is to track your period every month. (Source: www.WebMd.com)

4. “You cannot get pregnant if you have sex during your period” 

The egg stays alive for about 24 hours once released from the ovary. Sperm can stay alive inside a woman's body for 3-4 days, but possibly as long as 6-7 days. If a couple has intercourse before or after ovulation occurs, they can get pregnant, since the live sperm are already inside the woman's body when ovulation occurs. Thus a woman can become pregnant from intercourse for about 7-10 days in the middle of her cycle. (Source: Women’s Health Information http://www.fwhc.org/health/moon.htm)

3. “You lose a lot of blood during your period”

The amount of blood varies, but it tends to be from around four tablespoons to a cup (Source: www.Kotexfits.com)

2. “Most women have a hard time immediately before and during their period”

This generalization seems to come from men more often than women. Every woman’s experience is unique. Some women have extreme symptoms, to the point where it interferes with their daily functions, but some have almost no pain or noticeable mood swings. Still for others, the symptoms vary from period to period, the reasons behind this are complex, and may include a drastic change in diet or exercise, or other factors. From an alternative medicine perspective, severe period symptoms are actually an indication that there is a problem with your body, which could be fixed through herbs and acupuncture.

1. “You should not exercise during your period”

It is true that some symptoms of the period may make you feel weaker, and in that case you should not exercise heavily. But many sources agree that moderate exercise can actually help alleviate cramps, because it relaxes your muscles and improves blood flow.

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to provide health advice and is for general information only. Always seek the advice of qualified health professional before embarking on any health program