As women, we constantly find ourselves pursuing an important place within society, even in spite of the difficulties we face. Having our period, menstruating, or whatever you like to call it, can be seen as an obstacle to achieving what we want, but actually it's not.
Menstruation has the particularity of being an event that is as expected as it is hated. It's constantly represented as something either extremely pure or impure. It is also easily misinterpreted by the collective understanding. Instead of being understood as a natural cycle of the female body, there are many negative or absurd characteristics attributed to it.
For example, there is the false belief that getting your period is absolute proof of not being pregnant. While in fact, there's been cases of women who still experienced some symptoms of menstruation at the start of their pregnancy. The truth is that our period helps us heal while also purifying our bodies.
Every 28 days –more or less– you know it's coming. You know your body, the mood changes it causes, and how you feel during those days. Nonetheless, society perpetuates so many myths about getting your period that sometimes we can't separate the truth from the fiction. There are several beliefs you might already know to be false. The best thing to do is to stop those nonsensical assertions from circling around .
Menstruation forces you to be feminine
Many girls start menstruating even before hitting mental maturity and that's the issue: the maturity of the female body has nothing to do with becoming an adult woman. Having your period doesn't mean you'll automatically behave according to social stereotypes of how adult women should be.
Menstruating proves you're not pregnant
Bleeding by implantation –when an egg is fertilized– is common days after fecundation, which can be mistaken as your regular period. Despite the fact that these two types of bleeding don't have the same consistency, this misconception has been responsible for many unwanted pregnancies.
You can't exercise
Even if you have mild cramps you can make routines that don't include severe stretching. Physical activity produces endorphins, which are natural painkillers that will make you forget the pain and feel better.
Menstruation is filthy and has to be concealed
In some cultures, women who are having their periods cannot participate in religious ceremonies, or even shake hands with a man. The idea of "filthiness" is related to cultural beliefs. Menstruation isn't toxic nor does it cause any reaction when touching it –unless it comes from a body with a sexually transmitted infection– since it's composed by the endometrium and the lining that protects the uterine cervix. It's not a contaminated fluid; if it were so, women would spend half of their lives suffering the consequences of infections.
Irregular periods are normal
Amenorrhea is a syndrome related to the lack of menstruation. There are different degrees of this disorder, but it's only serious when it happens to you when you have regular periods. Although it's a common alteration, it's related to many factors like eating habits, but this doesn't mean it should go unnoticed.
You can't have sex
While it's true that the uterine cervix is more sensitive during menstruation, this can also be a great moment to provoke new pleasurable sensations. Sex generates endorphins that can decrease the discomforts of menstruation. Just remember that you still have to use protection so you can fully enjoy your sexuality without undesired consequences.
Translated by María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards