Lions, Sharks & Bears Oh My! Ridiculous Period Myths About Women in Nature There are still several misconceptions surrounding menstruation that continue to baffle us. As evidenced by this Buzzfeed article , period myths range from strange urban legends to outright absurd. Here we'll discuss some popular period myths and debunk them once and for all. Buckle your seat belts! Using tampons will make you lose your virginity. This is one of the most popular period myths and it’s clearly messing with us. Here’s the deal: tampons are believed to tamper (see what we did there) with the hymen, the thin tissue surrounding the external vagina opening that is associated with virginity. The hymen is said to bleed when ladies have sex for the first time. Although there are several ways a hymen can be “broken”, tampons aren’t one of them. Also, we'll say this again: you only lose your virginity when you have sex. Virginity is not according to the status of a female body part. It’s according to your answer to the question of “Have you already had sex?” That's it. However, despite debunking the idea that tampons cannot make you magically lose your virginity or “widen” your vagina, using tampons can be uncomfortable for some. There are period panties these days that you can use if you are part of the population that hates tampons. They’re comfy and odor-free too. *wink wink*
Bears and sharks are attracted to menstrual blood. Okay, this one's interesting. On the evening of August 13, 1967, two women were killed by a grizzly bear. Even though it wasn’t established that the women were menstruating when they were killed, the National Park Service issued a warning that women should avoid hiking or visiting the park when they’re on their period, on the basis that women attract bears with the odor that comes with their period. The case is the same with sharks too. Even to this day, some male surfers point out that women who surf on their period are more likely to attract sharks, a myth debunked by shark behavior expert Ralph S. Collier. He and his friend, a fellow shark behavior expert, conducted a test to see whether introducing human fluids, like menstrual blood, in a pen of sharks could elicit a sort of feeding frenzy. As it turns out, the sharks weren’t interested at all with menstrual blood. What a relief, right? Phew. As for bears, the National Park Service recently released a paper announcing the results of a study which found out that bears aren’t attracted to menstrual odor at all.
You can’t get pregnant during your period. Although this has a ring of truth to it, having sex during your period does not guarantee that you wouldn’t get pregnant. The probability of getting pregnant during menstruation is low, but this only works for women who have typical 28 to 30 days cycle. Even though the body is in the process of dumping egg cells away, you have to consider that sperm cells can stay in the body for three days, which doesn’t fare well for women who have short periods. There are still lots of period myths out there; some even vary from country to country. With this information at hand, feel free to share this the next time someone tells you any of these period myths. They’ll surely be pleasantly surprised.