Myths are widely held but false belief or idea. They are symbolic narrative, usually of unknown origin and at least partly traditionally and often associated with religious beliefs. There are so many myths surrounding menstruation which are untrue yet restricts many women and girls. Here are some of them.
1. You cannot get pregnant if you have unprotected sex while menstruating
Fact: It is possible for a woman to get pregnant while menstruating although the chances are lower. The number of day of the menstruation, ovulation day and length of days the sperm lives contributes to making this possible.
2. Taking a bath during menstruation causes infection or infertility
Fact: Having a shower while menstruating is safe, in fact, it is necessary to keep the body clean and fresh and to prevent infections. It is recommended that water only be used in cleaning the vaginal area to the anus and not the other way, douching and use of vaginal products should be avoided.
3. A tampon can break the hymen
Fact: A tampon, one of the menstrual hygiene material used by women to collect blood during menstruation which is usually inserted into vagina has been erroneously tagged with non-virgins. The hymen is made up of an elastic membrane and it does not cover the whole surface of the vagina, the tampon can be used by virgins, and if used properly, it doesn’t break the hymen. Asides, you are a virgin until you have sex, using tampons does not change your virginity.
4. Tampon can get totally lost inside the vagina
Fact: Tampons are made in such a way that it has an extension outside the body which can be easily used to pull it out. Even if the string is cut off, it can still be removed using the fingers, the tampon cannot travel anywhere inside the body, it stays in the vagina.
5. Menstruating women and girls are unclean
Fact: Menstruation is a normal physiological process of a woman’s body, it does make one unclean.
6. Burning or burying menstrual materials leads to infertility
Fact: There is no connection between disposal of waste menstrual hygiene products and infertility.
7. Menstruating women and girls should not eat certain foods
Fact: Menstruation entails loss of blood and the body needs to replace the lost nutrients through food. Menstruating girls and women need foods rich in iron and vitamins and plenty of clean water to stay hydrated. Fruits and vegetables help to keep the woman healthy.
8. Starting menstruation means a girl is ready to marry
Fact: Menstruation is one of the signs that a girl is undergoing puberty and at this stage, the body is still developing. Getting married at a very young age can lead to health problem for both the mother and child.
9. Old menstrual cloths should be buried in the ground because evil spirits will be attracted to the blood.
Fact: Old menstrual cloths can be disposed of in several ways which include burning, throwing into the waste bin and other appropriate methods of disposal, burying is not essential.
10. Females should not cook during menstruation
Fact: Menstruation does not stop a woman or girl from doing their normal daily routine. A girl can cook during her period, she only needs to ensure good personal hygiene.
11. A touch from a menstruating woman will cause a plant to become dry, milk to curdle, and a mirror to lose its brightness
Fact: A woman’s menstruation does not have an impact on plants, milk or mirrors.
12. A girl should eat separately during her menstruation.
Fact: Menstruation does not stop a girl from socializing with friends, family and other people in the society. A woman can eat and do any activity with others while menstruating.