Menstrual Hygiene Day 2021: 5 Common period myths debunked by gynaecologist

Menstruation or periods has always been linked to taboos. And there are several myths associated with menstruation till date even. However, there is no denying the fact that even today several educated people from the urban cities also believe in these myths. So, on this Menstrual Hygiene Day, it is the right time to break those myths and know the real facts. Menstrual Hygiene Day is observed on May 28 annually. And Dr. Kaberi Banerjee, IVF Specialist and Director of Advance Fertility and Gynaecology Centre, talks about the common period myths and their true facts.

Myth 1- Menstruation is dirty and impure

This myth originates since the ancient ages. But we all must understand that menstruation is a scientific process and a natural part of the reproductive cycle. In younger women aged 11 to 14 years, it marks the onset of puberty. Menstruation is caused due to a missed chance of pregnancy post ovulation which results in bleeding from the endometrial vessels. Thereafter, preparing for the next cycle. Hence, it is a natural process with no reason to believe that it makes a woman impure.

Myth 2- If a menstruating woman touches food, it will rot

In urban India, women on their periods are prohibited from entering the areas where “Puja” (prayer) is conducted. In rural areas, even the kitchen is a territory marked for ‘no entry during periods’. This is a sheer myth. No scientific test or record supports such a myth. A biological process can never rot foods.

Myth 3: Foods such as curd, tamarind, and pickles must be avoided during menstruation.

Many people believe that eating curd, pickles, etc. will stop the flow of blood during the period. This is incorrect, any form of food does not affect your periods. However, a certain type of food may help you feel relieved or agitated as they may increase or decrease your sugar levels which may also affect the hormone levels.

Myth 4: Do not exercise during menstruation as it increases the severeness of the cramps.

In reality, exercise can help alleviate the signs of premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhea and also ease out bloating. Exercise also leads to the release of serotonin which helps in making you feel happier.

Myth 5: You cannot continue with normal work routine during menstruation.

One must know that normal work patterns at the office and household do not affect the menstruation flow or pain. You can go on working as on other days even on a period. However, some women have very heavy flow or painful periods. These women would need to take it easy for one to two days.

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