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What not to do during menstruation: truth and myths
What not to do during menstruation: truth and myths

The life hacker checked popular myths and asked the gynecologist Tatyana Rumyantseva to answer some questions.

What not to do during menstruation: truth and myths
What not to do during menstruation: truth and myths

Having sex

When it comes to sex, researchers have long concluded that it is okay to have sex during menstruation. Once upon a time, when people did not have a tap with clean hot water at hand (and these times have passed quite recently and not everywhere), it was unhygienic to combine menstruation and sex, although it hardly always stopped. During menstruation, the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections is higher, but there are condoms for protection.

The popular belief that sex during menstruation leads to endometriosis has not been confirmed.

Until now, no one knows for sure what exactly causes this disease. Immune system malfunctions, atypical organ structure, genetics are suspected, but sexual contacts during menstruation are not on the list.

There is no evidence that sex during menstruation leads to endometriosis. At the same time, the reflux of menstrual blood into the abdominal cavity is not uncommon. Obviously, it is not fundamental in the development of endometriosis. Therefore, we do not yet know what exactly provokes its development.


To begin with, sport itself is beneficial during your period. Movement and physical activity can help to cope with ailments that often occur in women, such as pain.

Menstruation is a reaction to a sharp drop in the level of progesterone in the blood. It is during this time that the level of estrogen - another female hormone - is also very low.

It is during menstruation that a woman's body "looks like" a man's.

That is, menstruation is the period when you can engage in short and intense workouts, since hormonal changes make it easier for the body to "get" to fuel. Even short workouts will be effective enough.

A separate issue is strength training with weights. They say that they can lead to the prolapse of internal organs, in other words, to prolapse of the uterus or vagina. Prolapse is possible because the muscles supporting the internal organs are weakened and are most affected by age, hormones and childbirth.

In general, constant hard physical work is indeed a risk factor for prolapse, but far from the most important one. In addition, such hard work does not imply a gradual increase in workload, safety precautions and everything that is in sports.

There is no strict prohibition against lifting weights during your period. However, it should be borne in mind that regular lifting of weights (more than 20 kg) over several years of life actually increases the risk of some gynecological diseases, including prolapse of the pelvic organs.

Tatiana Rumyantseva

It's another matter if you don't feel well and don't want to think about any gym, then you don't need to overload the body. Better to sit in some yoga position - it relieves menstrual pain.

Follow a diet

If a diet is understood as a healthy diet, then it must always be followed. Menstruation is not a reason to gorge on junk food. If a diet means a half-starved existence on several products for the sake of quick weight loss, then it should never be followed (we have already written why), menstruation has nothing to do with it.

During your period, it makes sense to lean on foods that are high in iron, such as liver or meat, to compensate slightly for possible anemia. So don't give up on a good beef steak.

Take a bath and go to the bathhouse

during menstruation: go to the bath
during menstruation: go to the bath

In fact, a bath is not only acceptable, but even necessary. First, hygiene must be maintained. You can wash yourself first, and then go to the bath, if you are confused by the blood in the water. Secondly, due to blood loss and dysmenorrhea (the so-called painful periods), a woman can get very tired, and a bath and a bath help to relax.

Heat and sweating alone won't do much harm during your period. You will have to focus on your feelings: with a lot of blood loss and deterioration of health, unnecessary loss of water and being in a hot room is useless. With perfect health and the use of tampons or bowls, anything is possible.

Tatiana Rumyantseva

Drink alcohol

Alcohol is not contraindicated during your period. Drinking or not drinking is always a matter of general health and personal decision, menstruation has nothing to do with it, but there is one interesting pattern.

Alcohol affects a woman's condition in different ways, depending on the phase of the cycle. Despite the fact that the level of ethanol in the blood is standard when taking the same amount of alcohol in different phases of the cycle, tolerance (alcohol tolerance) changes in different phases.

Tatiana Rumyantseva

This change is especially significant for women, who usually have good tolerance, that is, they can drink a lot and not get drunk. They have a sharp decrease in tolerance precisely during menstruation. Tatyana Rumyantseva warns: if you drink as much alcohol as a week before your period, you can be much drunker.

Drink ascorbic acid

There are instructions on the internet on how to use vitamin C, known as ascorbic acid, to help bring your period closer. In high (it is not known what, but high) doses, it is even recommended as a means of emergency contraception.

The myth that ascorbic acid should not be taken during menstruation is most likely associated with the use of once high doses of vitamin C to stimulate labor (now this method is not used). Probably, the fear of ascorbic acid during menstruation is associated with the fear of getting more abundant and longer menstruation (if vitamin C can cause childbirth). However, according to some reports, women taking vitamin C have slightly shorter periods.

Tatiana Rumyantseva

Drink aspirin

Aspirin thins the blood, so one of its side effects is increased bleeding. Due to the risk of internal bleeding and side effects, it should not be drunk by children, the elderly, pregnant women and ulcers.

During your period, it can increase the amount or duration of bleeding. If you are prescribed aspirin for regular use and you know you have long and heavy periods, talk to your doctor about this.

Use other medicines, such as ibuprofen, to relieve menstrual pain.

Depilate with wax

There are scientific studies that prove that during and before menstruation in women, the perception of pain increases (although these are small studies). It is logical that at this time you should not consciously sign up for painful procedures, including depilation, so as not to suffer more than necessary.

Perform surgical operations

Of course, menstruation is blood loss, like many surgical procedures. But the total volume of bleeding is not so terrible - 50–150 ml is lost during menstruation. Menstruation is not a contraindication to surgery. In any case, if the operation is urgent, then there is no time to wait, and if it is planned, then this can be discussed with the doctor.

In the vast majority of studies, no association was found between the risk of postoperative complications and the phase of the menstrual cycle. Therefore, when planning the operation, there is no need to strictly exclude the period of menstruation.

Tatiana Rumyantseva

At the same time, Tatyana Rumyantseva advises taking into account several factors:

  1. The severity of the pain syndrome … If a woman experiences significant pain during menstruation, then you should not add postoperative pain to them.
  2. Blood loss. If with each menstruation a woman loses a large volume of blood, then you should carefully choose the time for operations that are associated with large blood loss, so as not to aggravate your condition.
  3. Hygiene … If a long period of rehabilitation is expected after the operation, it may not be worth planning it for the same period when the woman should pay special attention to her hygiene. And just lying without menstruation is more comfortable than during it if a woman uses pads.

Be a donor

During menstruation and for another five days after, blood should not be donated. About 500 ml of blood is already taken from donors. If you lose even more, there can be dangerous consequences for your health.

In addition, during and after menstruation in women, hemoglobin levels may be lowered, and this is very important for the donor. By the way, they say that it is precisely because of menstruation that women tolerate donations more easily.


during menstruation: sing
during menstruation: sing

It is said that hormones change the vocal cords. They become thicker, the voice is more difficult to extract, and as a result, singing during your period can lead to loss of voice. One study tested the artists of the Sydney Conservatory of Music. It turned out that women notice that it is more difficult for them to sing in the first days of the cycle, that their voice becomes worse. The listeners (vocal teachers) did not see the difference.

And in a study that measured the characteristics of voices, they really found a difference: during menstruation, the voice decreases, it is more difficult to hit high notes. You can still sing (otherwise, how would professional vocalists work), but you should be careful: drink chamomile tea and not overstrain your ligaments, postponing the experiments for later.

Conduct breast ultrasound and mammography

The menstrual cycle affects the breast, so the picture of an ultrasound examination of the breast during menstruation and after is different. Moreover, if your chest usually hurts, then the changes will be more noticeable on the ultrasound. Therefore, such a study is best done after the end of menstruation, but in the first half of the cycle.

Mammograms can be done in the first week of the cycle, and the cycle begins on the first day of your period. But this is not a guarantee of an ideal result and is not a prerequisite for the examination. So if you're being referred for a mammogram and your period isn't coming soon, then don't wait for the perfect day and just get tested.

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