5 menstruation myths you must leave behind

Approximately half of the world’s population experiences, will experience, or has experienced menstruation, and yet myths about this biological process still abound. In this Spotlight feature, we debunk some of the most widespread menstruation misconceptions.

As of 2017, the world’s population numbers 7.53 billion people, of which 3.73 billion are born with female genitalia.

Virtually all of them do, have, or will go through menstruation (period), the part of the menstrual cycle in which the uterus sheds mucosal tissue alongside blood through the vagina.

Periods can last between 3 and 7 days and usually occur every 28 days, though menstrual cycle lengths can vary.

Although this biological process affects about half of the world’s population, many myths and misconceptions about it persist.

Cultures around the world still vilify menstruation, and consider period blood “dirty” and “impure,” and menstruation itself as a taboo topic.

For instance, although this practice is now mostly illegal, some communities — as a series of recent tragedies in Nepal suggest — still have the so-called menstruation huts, in which women on their period spend the days in which they bleed in complete isolation.

Though this is an extreme example, there are many smaller myths and misconceptions related to menstruation that remain in circulation across the globe.

Read this Spotlight feature to find out what some of the most popular misconceptions are, and why they are untrue.

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