Having a period is an important aspect of woman’s reproductive life. Some women take it as a burden, some take it as a natural habit and some just go with it in a normal way. Dealing with complexities of your periods depends on your perceptions. It is important how you think about this natural cycle. Your thinking will affect you behaviour. Especially in the context of wider misconceptions prevalent in society regarding periods. These myths are taken seriously by women who have less knowledge and fall prey to them. So the easiest way is to research and know the possible problems and also those which are only a probability or even not a reality.
There are many myths widespread about having periods. Some of which are like if a girl’s menarche establishes quite earlier or very late then it is abnormal, tampons can be lost inside your vagina, one can’t get pregnant during period (Article: Possibilities of getting pregnant ), missing a period means you are pregnant, it’s unhealthy to skip a period , your periods stop when you are in water, etc.
We are educating women about such myths and providing you with information which is necessary for coping with such myths. In this article we will address all myths briefly but we will go in detail for discussing the myth of periods stopping in water. Women generally need answers of following confusions regarding this myth:
- Can you go swimming on your period?
- Does your period stop in the pool?
- Does your period stop in the shower?
- Can you go swimming without a tampon?
- How to swim on your period with a pad?
These all questions create confusion. Does all type of waters create a hurdle in menstruation or only during swimming or shower or pool? We will explain the basic problem that lies in our forthcoming perspective.
If you are fond of swimming in a beach or in a pool, you may have noticed that once you get in to the water your period seems to stop for a while. This phenomenon rings alarms whether this is healthy or indicates some problem. It is a completely normal thing and many women face this obviously with exceptions.
Why do Women Don’t Bleed in Water:
There isn’t any difficult understanding behind this. For this you need to understand the period is actually the sloughing of the layers of the uterus that have developed for a possible implantation of fertilized embryo (beginning point of a baby). If a women fails to conceive these layers will shed indicating no conception. As the layer sheds it will bleed and carry the dead tissue through vagina outside of your body.
This falling of blood and dead material ‘’downwards’’ occurs under the pressure of gravity. Yes, the same gravity which Newton discovered when an apple fell over his head from a tree. This downward attraction causes the menses to move downwards. If you can imagine gravity is exactly behaving as a pulling force, it is like an attraction that is dragging things out. So, it is a force in downward direction.
Now why does it stop in water? As mentioned above there is a pulling force downwards on these contents. When a lady is submerged in water there is a counter pressure against the pulling force of gravity that stops the flow of coating and blood. Thus the flow is halted and stopped therein. This is a simple phenomenon, like a tug of war game.
If both parties are applying equal force no motion occurs, if there is a mild difference there is mild motion. Similarly, force of gravity and water is in a tug of war game. Likewise, if you are floating and swimming the pull of gravity is not again in a direction to cause menses. So it makes the concept simple unless the direction of gravity pulls the contents out no gushing of blood takes place.
Will Water Always Stop the Blood Flow?
No it is not necessary always. If you are wearing bright colour costumes you are more likely to get spots over your clothes. Similarly if there are imbalances and counter pressure isn’t sufficient blood may evacuate out. So it depends upon the flow of your period and the position you are in the water.
You must be aware that while you are in the water any increase in the pressure of your abdomen pressure may cause the contents to evacuate. For Example if a lady sneeze her intra-abdominal pressure will increase and create an imbalance between the force of gravity and water pressure.
Does Any Other Type of Water Make a Difference?
Force is present in every water, either you are in a pool water, hot water, cold water, salt water, soapy water, shower or water tub. Everywhere there is a pressure. However, the intensity of pressure varies and therefore the amount of bleeding may vary from no bleeding to slight or even normal.
Will Using a Tampon Create Difference?
Using a tampon may help you a bit. However, once you get out of the water with tampon or without tampon your period will start flowing normally. However, every woman is different and there can be slight variations in principles we have mentioned.
Some Other Myths
Here we are addressing some other common myths about periods:
1) You can’t Get Pregnant during Period:
This assumption is wrong because it is not absolute but relative. One cannot say absolutely that pregnancy is impossible during menses. Pregnancy depends upon the fertilization of female egg from a male sperm. So, for this to occur one needs egg which is possible by a process called ovulation. Variation in menstrual days brings hormonal changes and changes in probability of ovulation, viability of egg and chances of fertilization. So, at some stage chance is more at others it is less. Have detailed information on this topic (TITLE: Possibility of getting pregnant with periods)
2) A Tampon Can Be Lost in Your Vagina:
This is another myth which indicates lack of awareness among female population. Nature has designed female reproductive parts in a structured way. So, nothing can pass your vagina so easily. Vagina is 3 to 4 inches long and may vary in length depending if a women is aroused or not. It has muscles, mucous lining and protective mechanism to clean itself up. Above it there is an anatomical region called cervix and both regions are well guarded and secured. So there’s nothing so mysterious about female reproductive anatomy like Bermuda Triangle
3) A Missed Period Means Pregnancy:
This is yet confusion. A missed period doesn’t necessarily mean pregnancy. There can he many other factors which can lead to cessation of periods. These can be psychological and pathological (indicating a disease). There are various factors that affect your menstrual cycle. Normal menstrual cycle varies from 28 days to 35 days and slight variation is completely normal.
Your sleep hygiene, nutrition, weight and other things can influence it. There can be an underlying disease if your period is missed for a longer duration. However, if a female is sexually active and she misses a period which delays in frequency doctor should be consulted and test should be performed. You can read this article on various means of detecting pregnancy (Title: When to Take a Pregnancy Test Calculator & how it is done)
4) A Lady is supposed to Get Menarche at a Particular Age:
Menarche is the first period a girl encounters in her life. There is a misconception about the age of menarche. People try to make is a compulsion that age for menarche is fix. And if you hadn’t had period in that while there’s a big problem. However, it is completely misleading. There is no specific age for the first period and it depends on various factors. It’s completely normal if menarche occurs at an acceptable variation of age.
Now that creates another question what is the acceptable age for menarche. To make it clear menarche is influenced by hormonal levels, environmental and genetic factors that are inherent in your body. The mean age of menarche can vary from 9 years to 15 or even 16 years. However too much delay must raise a caution. Because a delay greater than normal may indicate some underlying disease which can be genetic, or a new one. Therefore at too much delay doctor must be consulted immediately.
5) Missing a Period is Unhealthy:
It can be at some times. However it completely depends on the hormonal and biological make-up of a lady. Having periods isn’t a stigma rather it is completely normal. If you have any medical problem for which you want to stop your periods than you must consult your doctor and get and expert advice immediately.