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Correcting menstruation myths

What is fact? What is fiction?

Menstruation was a mystery before science could explain it. For this reason, a lot of different ideas and beliefs have been created. Many have been proven wrong, but some persist in many countries around the world.

These myths tend to suggest that menstruation is a disease or a curse or that a woman's body is 'polluted' when she is experiencing periods. Such beliefs cause discrimination against women.

Educate yourself about what is fact and what is fiction:

Myth 1: Girls who are on their periods are impure, dirty or even cursed.

There is nothing impure or dirty about menstruation or menstrual fluid. Bleeding is not a sign that you are cursed either. It s an essential bodily process and the fluid that comes out of you is a harmless mixture of blood and tissue.

Myth 2: Girls should not take a shower or bath during their period.

This is not true. Taking a shower, changing your sanitary product (e.g. pad or tampon) and using clean underwear are essential parts of good menstrual hygiene.

Myth 3: Girls will get ill due to the 'heavy' blood loss during their period.

Menstruation in healthy women does not cause iron deficiency anaemia. Blood loss during a period in healthy women is not more than around three tablespoons.

Myth 4: Girls cannot get pregnant during their period.

Another myth! It is in fact possible for a girl to get pregnant if she has sexual intercourse, even she if is bleeding from her vagina.

Myth 5: Girls should not go to school, worship or hangout with boys when on their periods

This is not the case. There is no reason why you should stay away from school, church or boys! Just make sure you carry sanitary products with you in case you need to change them during the school day.

Myth 6: Sanitary products cause infertility

Yet another myth! Sanitary products are perfectly safe. They are needed to hold menstrual blood. If you don't use them, blood could stain your clothes and make you uncomfortable.

Myth 7: When girls get their period early (around 10 years old), it means they have been having sex

This is not true. Each girl is different and it is perfectly natural for menstruation to begin between 10 and 15 years of age.

Have we missed a myth that is common in your village or town? Add it now and we will update the page.

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