Many period-related “don’ts” come from traditional times when menstruation was considered a disease and sometimes even a curse. Sadly, some of them are presented as health-risks and still live in modern times. Nevertheless, the menstrual cycle is just a natural process that a woman’s body has to go through every month and many of the menstruation “taboos” are in fact myths with no scientific background to support them.
1. Working out
Performing physical exercise during menstruation is something that many women avoid because it is considered unhealthy. Actually, the truth is it’s completely safe to work out or do anything that involves physical effort while on your period, unless you have health issues which may prevent you from doing that.
The only problem is that lots of women experience excessive blood flow and/or severe cramping in the first days of period, which may lessen their ability of performing physical activities. On the other hand, it is well known that exercise helps reduce dysmenorrhea and water retention, common menstruation symptoms.
2. Taking a bath
Bathing and swimming are also completely safe while on period. In fact, thorough hygiene is recommended for women during their menstrual cycle to prevent infections. If you decide to go swimming make sure you use a tampon or a menstrual cup to avoid blood leaking into the water. Like in many other cases, common sense applies here too.
3. Dyeing your hair
There are also myths floating around concerning washing and dyeing your hair while on period. The most important thing you should know about your hair is that the only “living” part is its follicle (the organ that produces the hair and is found in your dermis). So the hair above the epidermis, the one we wash and dye is not alive, there are no nerves and no biochemical activity present whatsoever. That is why menstruation cannot affect it and the outcomes of washing or dyeing will be the same as they are during the rest of the month.
4. Having sex
No evidence has been found that can prove sexual intercourse during menstruation has negative health effects. So it is completely safe as long as both you and your partner feel comfortable doing it. Nonetheless, there is another myth that says you can’t get pregnant during your period. This is false, there is no safe time in a month when you can’t get pregnant and you should still use protection.
Waxing is a popular way of removing unwanted hair, preferred by many women. Research studies have shown that women are more sensitive to pain during the low-estrogen phase of their menstrual cycle (before and during the period). As long as you accept the possibility of dealing with more pain than usual, waxing during the menstruation is completely safe.
Taking a sauna while on your period poses no health threats, but heating of the lower back area can increase the blood flow temporarily. On a positive note, the heating effect of sauna can alleviate cramps and water retention through the sweating it induces.