MYTH #1: You’re supposed to get your period by [insert age here]. There is no “normal” age to get your first period. Seriously. What is normal, is for you and your friends to get your periods at different times. Most girls start menstruating anywhere between 9 and 15 years old, often around the time that other women in their families got theirs. But, if there’s no sign of your period by the time you’re 15, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor.
MYTH #2: You can’t get pregnant when you have your period.
While uncommon, it *can* happen. Thanks to health class, you probably know that when you have your period, you aren’t ovulating, so you might think that means you wouldn’t be able to get pregnant. But that’s actually NOT the case. Here’s the deal: Your ovulation and your menstrual cycle can be unpredictable, and ovulation can happen before, during, and after the bleeding phase, especially if your period is irregular. You can also bleed even if
you’re not having your period — it’s called spotting and when it happens, it can seem like your period. Even if your not ovulating when you have sex, sperm
can live in your vagina for up to five days, so if an egg is released during that time, it can be fertilized. Bottom line:
You can get pregnant any time you have sex, period or no period. That’s why it’s important to still use birth control and condoms when having sex during your period both to prevent pregnancy and to protect against STDs.
MYTH #3: If you miss a period, you’re
Pregnancy is the most common reason for a missed period, but there are other reasons it could go MIA. “Stress, illness, and changes in weight or nutrition can all affect your menstrual cycle”. Your period probably won’t be on an exact cycle, like every 28 days. Plus, missing a period is even more common in the first year after you start menstruating. It can take from six months to a year for your period to
become regular after you first get it. And for some people, it might never be regular. Still, if you are sexually active and miss a period, see your doctor for a pregnancy test.
MYTH #4: A tampon can get lost inside of
Good news: Nothing can get lost in your vagina. Your vagina ends at your cervix and a tampon can’t get beyond that. But if you can’t remember if you removed your tampon or not (it happens!), try lying down and reaching into your vagina with clean fingers. The vagina is only about 3 to 4 inches long (though it can stretch to accommodate vaginal
intercourse or having a baby), so chances are, if a tampon’s in there, you’ll be able to feel it. “If you feel the tampon but absolutely can’t pull it out yourself, your doctor or nurse can help”. So, don’t freak out, or be afraid to use tampons. (And no, using a tampon does not affect your virginity in any way. You can start using tampons any time you feel comfortable. Period.)
MYTH #5: PMS is all in your head.
Those mood swings and cravings you feel just before your period arrives? Totally real and totally normal. Phew! 20 to 50 percent of women have emotional and physical symptoms of premenstrual
syndrome five days before their period starts. Symptoms can range from bloating, fatigue, and changes in your appetite, to anxiety, tension, dizziness, and/or tender breasts. Both exercise and OTC pain meds have been known to lesson the
symptoms, but if they are really bad, see your doctor for other options.
MYTH #6: It’s unhealthy to skip your
“There’s no medical reason why you need to get your period every month,” this was said by a medical practitioner. “It’s fine to use hormonal birth control to lesson the bleeding or stop your period all together.” Some girls skip their periods for health problems, such as anemia or painful cramps, and others just don’t want to bleed that month (like because of a vacay or prom night) and that’s okay. Just check with your doctor first. If you are sexually active and use birth control to skip your periods, it’s best to get routine pregnancy tests just in case.
MYTH #7: It’s gross to have sex on your
As long as you and your partner feel comfortable and use protection, it’s totally fine to have sex during your period. You might even notice you want to have sex more while you’re on your period and that’s totally normal, too.
“Menstruation causes a fluctuation of hormones and increase blood flow which can actually increase arousal”. “Many girls find that sexual arousal and having an organ helps relieve menstrual cramps.” It’s
entirely about what you feel most comfortable with. Just make sure to still use a condom to protect against STDs as well as unwanted pregnancy.