In 2024, it’s troubling that myths and misinformation around menstruation still run rampant. As a society, we continue harboring taboos that stain periods as something dirty or shameful rather than a normal biological process. Through open and judgment-free conversation, we have an opportunity to replace fiction with facts.
In this blog article, I will tackle the most popular 8-period myths in 2024. I’ll dig into the science and cite guidance from medical experts that debunks misleading period beliefs passed down through the generations.
These myths about menstruation can cause real harm and uphold systems of stigma, so chipping away at them represents meaningful progress.
How Periods Impact Our Life?
Since more than half of all people will experience menstruation at some point in their lives, increasing public health, equity, and empowerment can be achieved by promoting accurate knowledge of menstrual health.
Regarding the truth about the human body, we are all winners. We can change how society perceives and treats menstruating people by having more conversations about it.
I encourage you to keep an open mind as you read and avoid the knee-jerk defense of period myths and facts about them. Lean into the discomfort of confronting misconceptions that challenge long-held assumptions.
Our periods impact work, relationships, creative pursuits, athletic achievement, identity, and more doesn’t that warrant getting the facts straight?
This article just skims the surface of prevalent myths. There are many more we likely carry about menstrual pain thresholds, hormonal effects on emotions, fertility signs, PMS severity, sexual desire fluctuations, and the ability to use certain contraceptives.
I welcome you to build on this foundation by doing your own research. It will help you to identify the difference between various period myths and facts that impact your life.
Now let’s debunk those top 8 period myths in 2024, shall we?
8 Myths about Menstruation
In this section, we will uncover truths behind the fiction regarding PMS symptoms, menstrual products, periods, and fertility among other topics. I’ll cite up-to-date medical guidance to clear up the confusion.
Many still believe that tampons should be avoided if you haven’t given birth or if you are a virgin. However, gynecologists refute this outdated myth.
Tampons can be safely used regardless of one’s sexual activity and childbirth status. Restricting tampon usage unfairly shames people for personal choices regarding sex and reproduction.
2. The Curse
Some consider having a period to be a “curse” filled with pain, mood swings, bloating, and more. Yet not all who menstruate experience difficult symptoms.
Framing periods negatively as something to endure rather than a normal bodily process can make people dread their cycles. The reality is that severe PMS points to an underlying health condition, not an inevitable curse.
3. Period Products and Fertility
Many believe that using internal menstrual products like menstrual cups impacts fertility. However, no evidence using a hygienic and properly fitted menstrual cup harms one’s reproductive abilities. Such myths needlessly deter people from safer, eco-friendly products.
4. Synchronizing Cycles
You may have heard that friends who live together eventually get their periods at the same time. However, scientific research disproves menstrual synchrony. Cycles can vary month-to-month and any overlaps occur by chance, not due to pheromonal cues between people.
5. Exercise and Periods
Some argue against exercise during your period to avoid cramps or fatigue. Yet staying active can relieve cramping for some by releasing endorphins. While light activity is fine, avoid overexertion by listening to your body’s limits.
6. Pregnancy Risk
Many falsely think you cannot get pregnant on your period. However, since sperm can live inside for up to 5 days, having sex at the end of your cycle still poses a pregnancy risk. Do not rely on menstruation alone for birth control.
7. Hormonal Causes
Premenstrual syndrome with severe mood swings does not necessarily mean you have “raging hormones.” Fluctuating estrogen/progesterone rarely causes such extreme PMS on its own. Often an underlying thyroid disorder or other issue needs diagnosis.
8. When Life Begins/Ends
Some cultures associate first or last periods with becoming a woman. Yet one’s identity and maturity aren’t defined by biology. Such perspectives uphold restrictive ideas about femininity, sexuality, and purity. Menstruation shouldn’t bear so much meaning about a person’s worth or societal roles.
While modern medicine has debunked many myths, these 8-period myths in 2024 show how unaware our society is of the facts about menstruation. As you can see, we must move past assumptions, taboos, and stigma to embrace the biological reality of menstruation.
I encourage you to fact-check period myths when you encounter them. Stand up to shaming language, and openly discuss menstrual health. Armed with accurate information, we can transform attitudes around this important aspect of women’s health.
What myths still need busting in 2024? What changes would you like to see in how society views and supports menstruation? Let’s discover more about the various period myths and facts that continue to persist even in 2024.
Let’s try our best to dispel the stale assumptions that exist about periods. With compassion and science on our side, we can overwrite these myths about menstruation that have caused needless suffering. Our menstrual health impacts overall wellbeing – by bringing it out of the shadows, I believe we can make progress towards equity and empowerment.
- National Institutes of Health. (2017, January 3). Sex hormone-sensitive gene complex linked to premenstrual mood disorder. [Press release]
- Houghton, L. A., Lea, R., Jackson, N., & Whorwell, P. J. (2002). The menstrual cycle affects rectal sensitivity in patients with irritable bowel syndrome but not healthy volunteers. Gut, 50(4), 471–474