A few days ago I saw that Scotland became the first country in the world that made period products free. Instantly, my first thought was: Man! That would never happen here, where I live. It won’t happen too soon, at least. We’ve grown so used to treat periods as if they are something weird, taboo, embarrassing and gross. This is the case, especially in the rural areas, where access to education (formal or informal) is limited. I’ve grown up in an old village, I’m still living there (since the pandemic) and I’ve experienced some weird stuff regarding this subject. Let me tell you about the “so scary” period, its truths, myths and stigma.
Periods make you dirty
Oh, boy…I’ve heard this way too many times. A lot of people consider the menstrual cycle something filthy, impure, when in fact, it’s a natural, normal and healthy bodily function. It’s normal. As normal as when you eat, sleep, and go to toilet. Should we shame people and call them dirty after they eat themselves? It wouldn’t make any sense, right? I’ve seen with my two eyes how women that were on their period couldn’t enter a church, cook holiday food or touch any “divine” objects. Why? Because they were considered dirty by some people. Just try and tell these people they could have ended as “period” if the ovule wasn’t fertilized. You’d be minced meat. Or, at least, you’d hear some really harsh words.
Of course, this kind of mentality is not seen in every corner of my country, Romania. It’s predominant in these kinds of “isolated” areas. And you’d say that it started fading or dying out. Half of it it’s true, yet there are some young people that still believe these myths. I’ve heard that this myth occurred back when women didn’t have access to sanitary pads. However, this isn’t really the case anymore. With a very few exceptions, feminine hygienic products are accessible to every woman. So why isn’t this myth dead yet? It’s complicated. It remained as some sort “divine” law, imprinted in some people’s minds. The best way of debunking these kinds of myths is through education…which, unfortunately and usually avoids these “taboo” subjects
“Why don’t you hold it in?”
In comparison to some other bodily functions, you can’t hold in your period. You can’t “expel” it all at once. And no, having sex on your period doesn’t prevent or protect you from pregnancies. I’m writing these facts as answers and responses to some questions and myths I’ve heard. A lot of people tend to complicate or avoid talking bout this. In reality, the process of a menstrual cycle is simple. However, a lot of people don’t know or chose to ignore it. The consequence of this ignorance can be dangerous. Or, in the best scenario, it’s really awkward. Another myth is that using tampons, as a virgin, will break your hymen. This is false, your hymen won’t break. Your hymen won’t break during intercourse, any type of physical activity or when you are using tampons, so don’t worry about that.
In the end, whether you are a man or a woman, educating yourself about anything (not only about periods) is essential. If you are reading this, you have no excuses. You have access to the internet, where a lot of doctors debunk medical myths. Some of them explain why women have periods, some of them give quick answers to period questions. So why don’t give it a shot? You will learn something useful. The time period of myths and stigma has to be shortened! I hope you liked this article!