If you’ve ever had a question about your period but have been too shy to ask, this article is for you. Remember: at Marie Stopes, nothing is embarrassing, off-limits or weird, so let’s dive in!
Period myth #1: You’re “supposed to” get your period by a certain age
Some girls start menstruating at 10 or 11; others at 15 or 16. There’s no set age at which your periods should start. However, if there’s no sign of your cycle starting by the time you’re 16, you should check in with your doctor.
Period myth #2: You can’t fall pregnant if you’re menstruating
Although you’re most likely to fall pregnant when you’re ovulating – around day 10 to day 14 of your cycle – it’s not impossible to fall pregnant when you’re on your period. This is because ovulation and menstruating can occasionally coincide.
Use protection even when you’re menstruating; don’t forget, STIs are spread through blood, so that’s even more reason to stay protected!
Period myth #3: If you miss a period, you’re pregnant
Missing a period can be a sign of pregnancy, but it can also indicate many other things. If you’re not pregnant, a missed period can be the result of increased stress, excessive dieting or exercise, contraceptives or other medication you may be taking, or illness. If you miss a period, check in with your doctor or gynae.
Period myth #4: Your period stops when you get into water
Being in water – like in a bath or swimming pool – doesn’t stop your period. It may seem that way because the blood doesn’t flow out of you (due to the counter-pressure of the water), but your period carries on just the same. So, if you’re hitting a pool party or a romantic bath with your partner, it’s probably best to use a tampon or menstrual cup.
Period myth #5: Tampons ruin your virginity
First of all, regardless of whether your hymen is broken or not, you’re a virgin until you’ve engaged in any type of activity that you consider to be sex. But your hymen – the thin membrane that partially closes the opening of the vagina – can break in lots of other ways besides sex. Using tampons – even if they do tear your hymen – does not ‘take away’ or ruin your virginity.
Period myth #6: Tampons can get lost inside you
This sounds super scary and it’s simply not true. A tampon can’t disappear in the vagina as the vagina isn’t that deep! The cervix is at the base of the uterus and it prevents anything you put in the vagina from going too far in.
If you feel any discomfort when you’re inserting your tampon, try using an applicator or applying a little water-based lube to it.
Still have questions? We’re here to help
The staff at Marie Stopes is always on hand to provide advice, support and information when you need it. Get in touch with us if you still have questions that haven’t been answered here, or find out more about our women’s wellness services.
Latest posts by Marie Stopes South Africa (see all)
- 10 Reasons people don’t report rape & sexual assault - December 9, 2017
- Effects of diabetes on sexual and reproductive health - December 5, 2017
- Diabetes Q&A: vital facts you need to know, plus 5 symptoms to spot - December 1, 2017