Top 10 period-related myths

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You may be a veteran of this period stuff but, as a mother, you may find yourself surprised by some of the common misconceptions about periods. Here is your guide to myths and facts about periods so that you can make sure your daughter knows fact from fiction.

Myth 1: You can't get pregnant during your period

It's not likely, but there's always a chance. Ovulation can be unpredictable and so can menstrual cycles. 

Myth 2: Bathing or washing your hair during a period will increase your flow

This is an old one and it’s not true. You can feel free to keep clean and fresh without 'turning on the taps’.

Myth 3: No exercise, you should always rest during your period

If you feel like exercising, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t. It's actually a great way of controlling PMS and cramps because it increases the supply of oxygen to the muscles. Learn more on how to stay active, fresh and confident during your period.

Myth 4: You must see a doctor when your period starts

Unless there is a problem like severe pain or bleeding, you probably don’t need to see a gynaecologist just because you've had your first period. Typically, women should begin those visits when they become sexually active or when they turn 18, whichever comes first.

Myth 5: Your period should last for exactly one week

Everyone’s period is different. It's perfectly natural for a period to last anywhere between three to seven days. Your period may be irregular especially when it first begins. If after the first year of having your period, it's typically longer or shorter than a week, you can talk with your doctor about it.

Myth 6: Virgins shouldn't wear tampons

The myth is that females who haven't had sex will find wearing tampons painful. Not true, although levels of comfort depend on the person. For example, some girls prefer to use tampons with plastic applicators because they glide in smoothly. Another concern is that tampons can somehow 'take away your virginity.' Also not true. The only way to lose your virginity is by having sex. Some mums would prefer their daughters wait to use tampons, so if that applies to you, be sure to talk to your mum first before using them. 

Myth 7: Don't go swimming during your period

Pads don’t work in the water. So if you're planning a trip to the pool during your period, wear a tampon. With one, it's absolutely fine to go for a swim (and it's highly unlikely the string will show, so it's unnecessary to wear shorts over your suit). But if tampons aren’t your style, you can still wear a pad in your swimsuit if you stick to sunbathing and stay out of the water.

Myth 8: Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is all in the mind

PMS symptoms are related to the way your body’s hormones change through your monthly cycle.  Symptoms can be emotional (like irritability, depression or fatigue), and physical (cramps or headaches).  You can treat it by eating better and adding supplements to your diet, resting and exercising, and getting help and support. Learn how to free yourself from PSM now.

Myth 9: Talking to your daughter about periods before she starts will only scare her

It's always a good idea to be open and honest with your daughter. Because girls typically begin menstruation any time between the ages of nine and 16 (for most girls, between 11 and 13), it’s hard as a parent to know when to broach that topic. You should look for signs in your daughter’s development like budding breasts, an increase in perspiration, pimples and underarm hair. These clues can help you to know that she has entered puberty and you should continue (or open) the dialogue. If you don’t talk to her first, she may be scared when she starts bleeding. Discover how to talk to your teen daughter about puberty and how to prepare your daughter for her first period. Also, learn how a mom can help her teen daughter deal with her body changes and how to help your daughter understand what’s happening in her brain.

Myth 10: Daughters always tell their mothers when they start their periods

She may but, then again, she may not. Girls may feel shy or too embarrassed to discuss the myths and facts about periods with their mothers. Mothers need to let their daughters know that they welcome discussions and questions about intimate subjects. It's important that a daughter feels she can trust her mum with such personal information. If she doesn’t, here are our tips on how to encourage your daughter to open up to a trusted adult about puberty.

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