Periods can be pretty darn confusing at times. They surprise you ever month, showing up out of nowhere causing a series of awkward moments for the next 5-10 days. Sure there are plenty of pros about getting to do whatever you want for a week (ice-cream and Netflix, anyone?) coz you can just blame it on your Ps, but there's also a bunch of other stuff which is downright confusing. So let's sort the rubbish from fact:
MYTH #1: You should change your tampon every time you pee
VERDICT: False. Your pee comes out of a different hole than where your tampon sits, so there's no need to change it. However, we all know that gross feeling when the string gets soaked in urine (yeah we went there) so change if it totally disgusts you. And while you don’t HAVE to change your tampon every time you go to the loo, you should be changing it regularly.
“You should change tampons around every four to eight hours, not necessarily every time you go to the bathroom - however, this is a personal preference,” Dr Tara Harris, an OB/GYN told HelloGiggles.
Myth #2: You can't swim in the ocean on your period because sharks will hunt you down
VERDICT: This one's pretty crazy and good thing for beach babes everywhere, totally false. Sharks can't sniff out period blood (lel). They're good but they're not that good. “The amount of blood that is produced during menstruation is so small that it becomes background with all of the other components that are in the water,” Dr Chris Lowe, head of California State University Long Beach’s Shark Lab told Outside mag. “It would be very difficult for a shark to localise that.”
Myth #3: You period stops flowing in water
VERDICT: While swimming or floating, your period still flows as usual however because the water pressure is stronger than your flow, it stops blood from entering the water. Ah gravity. When you stand for a few moments, your period will continue as normal. In other words, this is false and you should always wear a tampon if you're going swimming unless you wanna stand in a red ring.
Myth #4: If you use a tampon, you're no longer a virgin
VERDICT: False. While inserting a tampon may cause the hymen to break (unlikely but can happen), you're still a virgin until you've had penetrative sex. With a human. Period (soz).
Myth #5: Exercise induces your period.
VERDICT: True. Exercise improves circulation which is what your body needs to kickstart the menstruation process. Working the abdominal muscles will particularly help with this.
Myth #6: If you forget to take a tampon out, it can get lost in your body
VERDICT: A tampon has nowhere to go so it won't float up and get lost in your stomach so FALSE! The only other opening inside of the vagina is at the top of the cervix but this is too small for a tampon to fit through.
Myth #7: You can't get pregnant when you're on your period
VERDICT: False. While you'd have to be pretty unlucky for this to happen, the point is it can happen so always think about contraception to prevent pregnancy and STIs. This is because sperm can live in your vagina for up to five days, so if another egg is released during this time you could technically conceive days after you've actually had sex.