Inaccurate information about menstruation continues to exist in present times. The impact of these myths varies around the world whereby in some communities, consequences include girls and women being discriminated and stigmatised for menstruating.1
Be it a slight or major impact on a woman’s life, the truth about menstruation must come to light to improve the livelihood of women around the world. This is why it is crucial that awareness on the challenges and stigmas of menstruation is raised. Here three menstruation myths debunked!
Myth #1 Menstruation is shameful
Fact: Menstruation is nothing to be ashamed of. As a matter of fact, it’s a sign of good health and it should be celebrated. However, women across the globe are feeling some degree of shame associated with menstruation. In a study conducted by THINXX, results from participants across the United States of America showed that 58 percent of women feel embarrassed simply because they’re menstruating.2 In Indonesia, girls believed that menstruation should not be talked about and this has led to absenteeism at school. Open discussion about menstruation helps to break this myth.3
Myth #2 Menstruation is dirty
Fact: Unlike faeces or urine, menstrual blood is not the body’s way of flushing out toxins or removing waste from the body. Menstrual blood is a combination of tissues and the same blood that runs through a woman’s veins that is released when pregnancy does not occur. 4 Therefore, menstrual blood is not dirty.5
Myth #3 Menstruation equals mood swings
Fact: When a woman menstruates, there are real changes in the body due to fluctuation in a woman’s hormone levels.5 Women may experience mood swings, headaches and even a burst in energy levels.6 Therefore, it is not right for anyone to assume that menstruation equates to mood swings or that a woman is just being dramatic.
Myth #4 You may continue to use any feminine hygiene product during menstruation
When menstruating, the pH levels in your vagina might shift and this could sometimes lead to infections that cause discomfort such as bacterial vaginosis (BV).7 Such infections can affect your day but before you reach out for just about any product on your bathroom shelf to help ease the symptoms, it’s important to note that not all feminine hygiene products can be used to ease symptoms experienced during menstruation. Do read the label prior to using the product as this helps to ensure that the infection is not aggravated.
A BETADINE® antiseptic feminine wash containing Povidone Iodine is also available and it helps relieve external itching and irritation during menstruation. (Please follow approved label indications)
Menstruation is a positive sign that a woman is healthy. Women shouldn’t have the need to feel shy or embarrassed about being healthy. Get the conversation on menstruation going in your circle of family and friends as the first step towards debunking menstruation myths and breaking menstruation taboos.
1. Menstrual Hygiene Day: Making menstruation a normal fact of life by 2030 (n.d.). In Menstrual Hygiene Day. Retrieved March 22, 2022, from https://menstrualhygieneday.org/ 2. Nearly half of US women have experienced ‘period shaming’ (n.d.). In Menstrual Hygiene Day. Retrieved March 22, 2022, from https://menstrualhygieneday.org/nearly-half-us-women-experienced-period-shaming/#:~:text=The%20poll%20found%20out%20that,made%20by%20a%20male%20friend 3. Myths about menstruation that prevent girls from going to school (2019, October 16). In Assembly. Retrieved from https://assembly.malala.org/stories/myths-about-menstruation
4. Why do women have their period? (n.d.). In Healthline. Retrieved March 25, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/why-do-women-have-periods 5. 8 Period Myths We Need to Set Straight (n.d.). In Healthline. Retrieved March 22, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/period-myths#Myth-8:-Periods-are-shameful 6. Physical and Emotional Challenges Through the Menstrual Cycle (n.d.). In Our bodies, ourselves. Retrieved March 22, 2022, from https://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/book-excerpts/health-article/dealing-with-physical-and-emotional-changes/#:~:text=Among%20the%20more%20negative%20changes,can%20disrupt%20our%20lives%20significantly 7. What causes an itchy vagina during your period? (n.d.). In Healthline. Retrieved March 25, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health