There is a seemingly endless list of myths about periods circulating around society, many of which have entered our brains and taken up residence as fact. It’s important to have the correct information about your cycle because at the end of the day, your period is something you experience on a regular basis, and it's something that can have an impact on your life and alter your daily routine.
Myth #1: You Can't Get Pregnant During Your Period
While there's a belief floating around out there that you can't get pregnant if you have sex during your period, the reality is it's still a possibility. For example, if you have a shorter than normal cycle (less than the typical 28 days) or if your period is lighter than normal, you might ovulate sooner than expected and get pregnant. Also, sperm can live up to three to five days inside of the vagina, so depending on how close to ovulation you have sex, pregnancy is possible. So, if you want to have sex during your period, go for it. Just be sure to continue using your usual form of birth control.
Myth #2: You Can't Get STIs During Your Period
Not only is this completely untrue but women are actually more prone to contracting STIs when having unprotected sex during a period since the blood acts as a petri dish for hungry organisms. This means the bacteria and viruses may be more like to spread. To keep yourself safe, you'll still want to use a condom and follow your usual safe-sex practices, even if you have your period.
Myth #3: It's Normal To Have Really Bad Cramps
Some cramping during your period is typical, and is usually nothing to worry about. Painful and debilitating cramps, on the other hand, aren't something you need to deal with. If your menstrual pain is so intense that it's holding you back from going to work or school, there is usually something else going on, including conditions that make period pain worse, like endometriosis. At this stage, you’ll want to reach out to for an evaluation.