Bleeding beliefs: True or false?
Dr. Judith Galang-Perez, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Asian Hospital and Medical Center, helps make sense of the many myths.
1. You shouldn’t bathe during menstruation.
Bathing was believed to be a cause of dysmenorrhea. However, there is no established evidence on how bathing can cause or worsen menstrual cramps. Dr. Galang-Perez says women will actually want to bathe more during their period to keep themselves feeling fresh and smelling clean. A warm bath can even help relax the muscles to relieve some of the pain of dysmenorrhea.
2. You can’t swim or exercise during menstruation.
In the old days, menstruation was treated like a sickness. Women who had their period were kept at home. Now, of course, we know better. Dr. Galang-Perez says exercise can actually help reduce cramps and the endorphin boost it causes may minimize the mood swings frequently associated with the monthly cycle.
The ban on swimming may have started before the advent of tampons. Women feared that their bleeding would contaminate the water. While swimming during menstruation is safe and beneficial as exercise, women simply need to make sure that they are using tampons instead of sanitary pads.
3. Sex should be avoided during menstruation.
It may not be to everyone’s liking, but sex during this time would depend on you and your partner. If you are both comfortable with the idea, then go ahead. There are studies that show that achieving orgasm can even help ease menstrual cramps!.
The full article on more myths about menstruation – and the medical realities- can be found in the March 2011 issue of Health Today now available at newsstands.