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From bosses to family members—we all have men in our lives, most of whom have massive misconceptions about the menstrual cycle and how it works. As a culture, we still get freaked when women talk about their periods openly. In fact, we still have taboos about women who are menstruating, with ideas about “uncleanliness” and “impurity”. The few times it is openly discussed, the subject of menstruation is riddled with misogyny.
And so on behalf of all women, we want men to know these few simple things about menstruation:
1. Period blood is not dirty blood
Period blood isn’t rejected bodily fluids or toxins. It is just an evolved vaginal secretion with a little bit of blood, uterine tissue, mucus lining, and bacteria.
Period blood is very different from the blood that moves continuously through the veins. It’s less concentrated and has fewer blood cells than ordinary blood.
2. Periods are not like a water pipe gone loose
Our period flow doesn’t involve gushing blood. The clotting action of the blood and the shedding of the uterus lining ensures that the blood flow and texture differ considerably throughout the five to seven days of the period. So, don’t worry, the women in your life aren’t going to leave a trail of blood behind or explode upon using a tampon or a menstrual cup.
3. Yes PMS is real but that doesn’t mean women go crazy during this time Premenstrual syndrome or PMS is an authentic problem caused by hormonal fluctuations through the course of the menstrual cycle. During this time, women also experience chemical changes in the brain, including fluctuations in serotonin levels. And even then, it differs from person to person and menstruating women don’t become unreasonable blood-sucking monsters misogynist films make us out to be.
4. Not all periods are the same
Period pain and symptoms differ across the female population. While some women will experience severe cramps, others will complain of terrible backaches and tender nipples.
There are different kinds of contributing factors starting from hormonal levels and weight to medications and age. So, even though you thought you are a pro in the period game, thanks to your ex, your current girlfriend might beg to differ.
5. Yes, period sex can truly be amazing but that doesn’t mean she’s always in the mood
During the menstrual cycle, women experience increased sensitivity in and around the vagina. And even though this can help women orgasm easier, a lot of women don’t like the idea of period sex.
6. Even during periods, unprotected sex can lead to pregnancy
The sperm can survive for a week inside the vagina which means it is possible that you could get pregnant during your period, that’s why, if you’re not ready to have babies yet, it’s better to use condoms. While the possibility is very low, it’s still a possibility.