Your Bod

Fact check: Don't believe these five period myths!

With everything we hear from our friends, TV and social media, it’s hard to know what’s what when it comes to our periods. Turns out, a lot of "facts" about that time of the month are seriously false. Check out five common period myths—and find out what the real deal is.

Myth #1: You should get your period by the time you’re 12.

Here’s the truth: There’s no cutoff age for having your period. You’ll probably end up getting your period around the same time your mom and other women in your family got theirs, but even that isn't foolproof. The average age ranges from 9-15, so don’t worry if you’re the last of your friends to get your period. That said, if you’re 15 and haven’t gotten your period, it might be time to talk to your doc.

Myth #2: Toxic Shock Syndrome can never happen to you.

We’ve all read the terrifying warnings on the side of the tampon box. While TSS sounds a little too farfetched to be real, it is a serious illness that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Be sure to change your tampon every 3-4 hours and avoid high-absorbency tampons when you don’t need them. Typically, TSS occurs when high-absorbency tampons are kept in for days, though—so don’t freak if you keep yours in for five hours instead of four. 

Myth #3: Your period will attract sharks at the beach.

This one seriously makes us laugh out loud. We promise, having your period at the beach will not result in a Shark Week-like tragedy. But while sharks won’t be attacking you if you’re on your period in the ocean, be sure to wear a tampon while you’re swimming to prevent any unwanted leakage.

Myth #4: You can lose your tampon in there .

Wrong! The vagina ends at the cervix, and it is impossible for a tampon to get past that point. If you can’t find your tampon’s string or forget if you’ve taken it out or not, it’s not the end of the world—but be sure to check it out ASAP. Just lay down and, with clean fingers, reach into the vagina. If you can’t pull it out yourself, get the help of a doctor or a nurse.

Myth #5: PMS is a figment of our imagination.

Don’t let anyone tell you that PMS, or premenstrual syndrome, isn’t real. In fact, about 50% of women experience emotional and physical PMS symptoms. These symptoms, which include changes in appetite, anxiety, dizziness, bloating and so much more, typically occur in the five days before your period starts. Cramps and other symptoms becoming too much? Try an over-the-counter pain med or exercising before seeing a doctor for more options.

What period myths have you heard? Let us know in the comments below!

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by Mallory Walker | 2/1/2016