Can you get a perfect score on this period fact or myth quiz? Because stigmas around menstruation still exist, conversations about periods are largely hush-hush, keeping many of us in the dark. Find out how much you really know and learn a thing or two in the process!
1. The average number of periods in a lifetime is 400.
From the time you get your first period to when you reach menopause, you’ll have a whopping 400 periods, spanning over 40 years. That’s 400 opportunities to rest, sip tea, and enjoy some chocolate!
2. There’s no scientific basis to back up your chocolate cravings during your period.
It’s not just chocolate's deliciousness that soothes. When you crave chocolate, it’s a signal that your body needs magnesium, a nutrient that helps to relax your body’s muscles and reduces cramping. Dark chocolate that’s 80% cocoa or more is the most beneficial and contains health-boosting antioxidants as well. So have some chocolate! Because science.
3. While it may feel like the Red Sea in your pants, the average period only produces just under 3 oz (about two shot glasses) for the entire cycle.
This is true. While some will experience an extremely light period of only a couple of teaspoons, others may soak through their period care due to medical reasons—if you find you need to change your pad or tampon in less than two hours or are passing blood clots the size of a quarter or larger, you may have a medical condition and a doctor can help you.
4. Period cramps can be as painful as a heart attack.
In 2018, Dr. John Guillebaud, a reproductive health professor at University College, London, asserted that period cramps (technically called dysmenorrhea) can be “almost as bad as having a heart attack.” At the same time, Dr. Jen Gunter, a prominent OB/GYN and pain medicine physician says the comparison isn’t useful because cramps can be more painful than a heart attack—and heart attack symptoms can be misleadingly vague or mild. So this one is both a fact and a myth.
5. Ten percent of people in Canada and the United States report not being able to afford period care at some point in their lives.
The percentage is much higher. About 40% of those who need period care have experienced what’s called period poverty at some point. This causes millions of people to miss school, work, and other opportunities just because of an involuntary bodily function. At joni, we believe adequate period care is a human right. #endperiodpoverty
6. Only women menstruate.
Simply put, gender is a social construct and does not determine who gets periods. Trans, non-binary, gender-fluid, and two-spirit people can menstruate. At the same time, not everyone who identifies as a woman menstruates. At joni, we use gender-inclusive language and talk about people who menstruate to create a safe place for all. That’s period equity.
7. Let’s sync up! When those who menstruate work or live together their cycles happen at the same time.
Anecdotally, this one seems true, yet menstrual synchrony has not been proven. When cycles do sync, it’s more about coincidence, according to the studies to date anyway.
8. The first applicator tampons were invented by a man.
Dr. Earl Hass invented the first applicator tampons in 1929 and they were later launched in 1936 after he sold the patent to Tampax. He designed them with applicators because the thought of young women touching their genitals was scandalous! Meanwhile, in Germany, Dr. Judith Esser-Mittag invented the first applicator-free tampons—which today is still the most common type of tampons found in Europe.
9. Menopause only lasts for one day.
Menopause—the end of your bloody period—is a one-day event! Those night sweats, hot flashes, and hormonal outbursts you hear about are a part of perimenopause, which can last up to 10 years. By the way, you know you’ve reached menopause when you go one full year without a single period.
10. It’s not exactly a mood ring but your period blood can tell you what’s going on in your body.
Your period blood can’t predict the future but your period blood can give you insight into what’s going on. The spectrum of bright red to dark red indicates where you are in your cycle. But other colors may indicate health concerns, from anemia to infections. It’s a good idea to track your period and get to know your period blood color cycle. Any concerns at all? Don’t hesitate to talk to your medical specialist.
11. It’s medically impossible to get pregnant on your period.
Technically, yes, you can get pregnant on your period. Even if you’re not on birth control, getting pregnant on day one of your period is unlikely. But—and this is a big but—sperm can live up to five days in your uterus/vagina. So if you have sex on your period and ovulate a few days later, that sperm can fertilize that egg, resulting in pregnancy. Some also confuse mid-cycle spotting with their period.
12. Period poops are totally a thing.
Thanks to a little old hormone called prostaglandins the body releases to help the uterus shed its lining (basically your period), period poops end up being looser, smellier, more frequent, and sometimes more painful, too. Thanks, prostaglandins!
13. Sex helps with period pain.
Technically true but more specifically, orgasms help with period pain by releasing three main ‘feel-good’ endorphins—dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin—that diminish period pain, mood instability, and discomfort, increasing period pain thresholds by 75-100%. Friendly reminder: you don’t need sex or a partner to experience an orgasm!
14. It takes 300+ years for conventional plastic period pads to break down in a landfill.
Plastic-lined pads and plastic tampon applicators also produce off-gasses and microplastics. Reusable period care (like cups and period underwear) is helping to make this environmental disaster history, alongside organic and biodegradable disposable pads and tampons like joni—because reusables aren’t for everybody or all of the time. #bodilyagency #plasticfreeperiods
Congratulations, you made it to the end! Did you learn anything new?
Start the conversation and challenge your friends, because talking about periods is the first step toward dismantling period shame and achieving period equity.
Do you like quizzes? Keep the fun going >>> What's Your Period Style?