Bizarre Facts: Period Version
Don’t we all question and wander around the process of menstruation right from the start? Having said that, do you know everything about periods? No matter how big of a period encyclopedia you own, a few things always manage to escape. Here’s a refreshing and unexpected set of facts about periods that we bet you didn’t know!
1. There are more than 5000 ways to say ‘periods’:
The English have landed. Strawberry week. Code red. The blob. Red wedding.
While they’re all hilarious, it’s not a good idea to reinforce that periods are something to be covered up. Say it out loud. PERIOD.
2. Your period gets worse when it’s cold:
How much worse can it get, right? Sadly, cold weather can make it heavier and longer. When paired with female productive hormones, cooler, shorter days can adversely affect your mood. This is believed to be due to a lack of sunlight that helps our bodies develop vitamin D and dopamine, both of which improve our moods, satisfaction, concentration, and levels of all-round health.
3. You can get pregnant on your period:
Let’s settle the buzz once and for all. Though you're more likely to get pregnant while you're menstruating, it's not impossible. This is because sperm will last for up to five or six days in the body, so you could actually get pregnant. If you have a very short cycle, have sex near the end of your period, and ovulate just after your period ends. Don’t forget to use protection!
4. You bleed much less than you think:
Although it feels like a complete battle of the swords down there, your body typically loses just about three tablespoons of blood during your time; during a normal period, the average menstruator loses anything from one tablespoon to a small cup of blood.
5. You sound different:
Since our reproductive hormones affect the vocal cords, our voices tend to shift slightly during the menstrual cycle. They say menstruators sound distinct throughout their time, and even "less attractive." Ouch.
6. Asthma symptoms worsen:
An increased exposure to allergens, combined with a lower-than-normal lung capacity, causes 19 to 40 percent of menstruators with asthma to experience premenstrual asthma in the week leading up to your time (PMA). Make sure to be extra careful!
7. Period count- 450:
The average menstruator gets around 450 periods in their lifetime. Seems like a lot, but let’s just take them one month at a time.
8. Water temporarily corks your flow:
Your uterine lining continues to shed even when you’re in the water. But the upward pressure of water stops the blood from leaving the vagina. So when in water, your flow stops, but the bleeding doesn’t.
9. You can get false periods:
The period you get when you’re on birth control pills is more of a withdrawal bleeding. Even though they prevent your body from releasing an egg, they don't stop the lining of your uterus from building up all month long. The period-like bleeding during the fourth week is the reaction of your body from the last week of the pill to the lack of hormones.
10. Periods can make other parts of your body bleed:
This one’s scary. The "vicarious menstruation" medical disorder is applied to bleeding from a surface other than the uterine cavity. This happens at the time when regular menstruation should take place. Bleeding from eyes, ears, mouths, lungs, nose and even the skin has been documented by many.
While we’re at it and speaking of facts, here are also a few superstitions you can do away with:
Keeping aside behavioral constraints, taboo, and gender-based stigma surrounding periods, here are some funny global myths around menstruation. PS: the answer to all of these is a big 'What? NO'.
1. You get clumsy on your period
2. Tampons and cups can take your virginity
3. Don’t take a bath on your period
4. Don’t go camping because the bears can smell it from far away.
5. If you shower with hot water while on your period, you will have a heavy flow.
6. Cold beverages will give you cramps
7. Don’t wash or cut your hair
8. Period sex can kill your partner
9. Flowers will die if you touch them
10. You can’t enter the kitchen or any place of worship
11. Avoid dancing to take care of your uterus
12. Don’t paint your nails, wash your hair, or drink lemonade.
13. Walking barefoot might lead to cramps
14. If you try making whipped cream, it will curdle
15. Everything you cook will be a disaster.
16. Shaving your bikini line on your periods can cause darker skin
Those called for a good laugh. The next time you actually hear any of these, make sure to throw facts around like confetti. Given that there’s still so much we didn’t know about menstruation, dispelling the mystery around these lesser-known and bizarre facts is always fun!
Written by Nibha Patil
Cover by Khyati Patkar