When it comes to periods, there is no ‘normal’. and isn’t it wonderful (if not a little cryptic) that we each get our own individual version of something so vital to human life? No matter how well you know your own, it’s unlikely that we will know EVERYTHING there is to know about periods. To help answer any questions you may have, here are 13 weird facts to add to your existing period knowledge bank!
1 – There are over 5,000 euphemisms for periods
That’s right – worldwide, people in all languages want to avoid calling a period what it is. In fact, people hate talking about periods, SO much that we’ve come up with over 5,000 ways to avoid saying it! We don’t know about you, but we think it’s time to end the period taboo and call a spade a spade (or a period a period).
2 – Cold weather can mean more painful periods
Here’s one more reason to be sad that summer’s over! When the winter rolls around and the days become shorter and colder, you might find your period to be more painful. This is because we’re getting less vitamin D, which is a mood and immune system boosting vitamin. Getting outside for an hour or two on days where your period pain is tough to handle could really help to ease PMS symptoms and leave you feeling better.
3 – Some women bleed through their eyes
For some people, periods don’t just mean bleeding from their vaginas! In fact, an extremely rare condition called vicarious menstruation causes bleeding from other areas of the body, like your eyes, nose, ears, mouth, lungs and skin. Vicarious menstruation occurs when endometrial tissue is present in these other parts of the body.
4 – One pack of conventional pads has the equivalent to 5 plastic bags
In every pack of conventional period pads there is an average of 36g of plastic – that’s the equivalent to five plastic bags! Just thinking of all the plastic waste produced from periods over the world is frightening. Switch to plastic free period products, like ours, to stop your period contributing to plastic in our oceans!
5 – Red hair means you were conceived on your mum’s period!
Ok, so not really. But did you know that people used to believe this to be true? Back in the middle ages it was believed that red heads were conceived during period sex. Seems legit…
6 – NASA thought women use 100 tampons a week
What are your first thoughts when you imagine a space engineer at NASA? Intelligence is one of the first words that come to mind for us, but perhaps not when it comes to period trivia. Back in 1983, when astronaut Sally Ride was preparing to go into space, NASA asked her if 100 tampons would be enough. She was going for a week. Nice one NASA.
7 – Water can temporarily stop the flow of your period
Which means you CAN go swimming on your period – if you so wish! In fact, your period doesn’t have to stop you from doing anything you enjoy, whether that’s having sex, doing some yoga, or lifting weights.
8 – Pill bleeds aren’t real periods
If you’re on the pill, the ‘periods’ you get after finishing each packet and before starting the next are not real periods. They are withdrawal bleeds triggered when you stop taking synthetic progesterone, causing your uterine lining to shed. This also means that we technically don’t need to bleed every month when we’re on the pill!
9 – The texture and colour of your period blood can signal a change in your health
It’s a good idea to keep track of the texture and colour of your usual period blood and take note of any changes that occur. You could do this easily using a period tracker app like Clue, and it could help you to flag up changes in your health.
10 – Periods interrupt girls’ education
Did you know that 49% of girls have missed an entire day of school because of their period? Contributing to this problem is period poverty – some girls and their parents can’t afford to buy period products and so are forced to stay at home during their period. Initiatives like the Red Box Project are trying to reduce period poverty by donating period products to schools across the UK.
11 – The pill isn’t made from real hormones
They’re actually pseudo-hormones that have similar properties and behaviours to your ovarian hormones – estradiol and progesterone.
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