Debunking Period Myths
Can you get pregnant on your period? Does Alcohol reduce period cramps? How much blood do we lose on our period?
These are some questions that I answer in this week video
The beauty of our period is the fact that every woman experiences it differently; as there is often no one size fits all when discussing issues around women’s menstrual cycle
Drinking Alcohol Reduces Cramps
Alcohol might seem like the perfect solution to help one run away from pain, but sadly does more harm than good in the long run. Alcohol could help thin the blood, resulting in lighter periods or no periods at all but it also leads to dehydration. This dehydration leads to more bloating that increases your cramps and discomfort.
Some women, however, report that having a glass of wine or a bottle of their favorite alcohol relaxes them and aids them to sleep.
It is important to note that alcohol temporarily increases your estrogen and testosterone levels, which can alter when you ovulate and your menstruation cycle.
You Lose a Lot Of Blood On Your Period
It is easy to believe that your period translates to you losing a huge amount of blood because of what you see on your tampon or sanitary pad, but this is false.
Our period flow contains only 36% blood; the other 64% are filled with other elements such as –
- Blood Cloths
- Uterine Lining
Ideally, the average woman loses about 2 to 3 tablespoons of blood during her period, but for heavy bleeders, it could go up to 4 tablespoons. But, if you find yourself using 6 to 7 pads a day or losing so much blood that you become anemic (tired because blood does not have enough iron) please consult a doctor.
You can’t get pregnant on your period
In as much as your chances of getting pregnant on your period is low, it is still quite possible as it all depends on your cycle and ovulation days. If you ovulate early in your cycle or your period lasts longer than the typical 5 days, you stand a chance of getting pregnant.
Ovulating early in your cycle are typical to women with shorter cycles of 21- 24 days. Contrary to popular beliefs, not every woman ovulates on day 14. Our fertility window starts 5 days before we ovulate, so if you ovulate on day 14, it opens on day 9. Hence shorter cycles that ovulate on day 8, have their window open from day 3- right in the middle of their period.
Also, remember, that sperm once deposited can live for up 5 days, so if you have sex at the end of your cycle you may still be able to conceive 4 or 5 days after.
Period Stops in the Shower
This is completely FALSE. Your period does not stop in the water. It may seem that way because we don’t see blood on the floor but when you keep in mind that we lose only 2-3 tablespoons on our periods, you might only see one or two drops.
The vagina is also filled with water in the bathtubs, causing the blood to be watered down rendering the blood not visible.
ChildBirth Stops Period Cramps
Some women say that after childbirth, their cramps reduced or stopped completely. This is not the case for every woman, however, there’s a science behind this.
After childbirth, the uterus is stretched and the cervix is dilated allowing for easier flow and less painful contractions; as the cervix dilates to 1cm during our period to allow the flow of blood but opens up to 10cm during childbirth.
Another theory is that childbirth resets the hormones.
When the womb muscles contract, the blood vessels in the womb compresses cutting the oxygen and blood supply to the womb. This lack of oxygen forces the womb to release chemicals that trigger pain such as Prostaglandins, which increases the contractions of the womb muscles leading to pain.
Childbirth has been said to reset the hormones and reduce cramps by eliminating some of the receptor sites of the hormones in the uterus.