Oops, period you say? I bet most of you cringe at the very thought of a girl on her period. They probably become super sensitive, moody or downright irritable. Maybe the thought of being on the period disgusts you.

Or, if you’re a mother whose daughter just got her first period, and are confused as to what exactly to tell her about it, this week’s FYI will take care of it. Here are some Facts and Myths about Menstruation For Your Information.

MYTH: Daughters always tell their mothers when they start their periods
FACT: She may but, then again, she may not. Girls may feel shy or too embarrassed to discuss their periods with their mothers. Mothers need to let their daughters know that they welcome discussions and questions about intimate subjects. It’s important that a daughter feels she can trust her mom with such personal information.

MYTH: You can’t get pregnant during your period
FACT: It’s not likely, but there’s always a chance. Ovulation can be unpredictable and so can menstrual cycles.

MYTH: Bathing or washing your hair during a period will increase your flow
FACT: This is an old one and it’s not true. You can feel free to keep clean and fresh throughout your period.

MYTH: No exercise, you should always rest during your period
FACT: If you feel like exercising, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t. It’s actually a great way of controlling Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and cramps because it increases the supply of oxygen to the muscles.

MYTH: Your period should last for exactly one week
FACT: Everyone’s period is different. It’s perfectly natural for a period to last anywhere between three to seven days. Your period may be irregular especially when it first begins. If after the first year of having your period, it’s typically longer or shorter than a week, you can talk with your doctor about it.

MYTH: Eating sour foods will worsen menstrual cramps
FACT: While there is no correlation to eating sour foods and menstrual cramps, it is important to maintain a healthy diet during your period, and eat plenty of brown bread, rotis, beans, daal and yoghurt.

MYTH: Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is all in the mind
FACT: PMS symptoms are related to the way your body’s hormones change through your monthly cycle. Symptoms can be emotional (like irritability, depression or fatigue, and physical (cramps or headaches).

MYTH: Talking to your daughter about periods before she starts will only scare her
FACT: It’s always a good idea to be open and honest with your daughter. Because girls typically begin menstruation any time between the ages of 9 and 16 (for most girls, between 11 and 13), it’s hard as a parent to know when to broach that topic. You should look for signs in your daughter’s development like budding breasts, an increase in perspiration, pimples and underarm hair. These clues can help you to know that she has entered puberty and you should continue (or open) the dialogue. If you don’t talk to her first, she may be scared when she starts bleeding.

MYTH: You can’t go swimming when you’re on your period
FACT: There is no reason to not go swimming when you have your period. Using tampons, and changing them regularly, your period is secured whatever activity you take on.

MYTH: You can’t have sex when you’re on your period
FACT: Sex during your period is fine as long as you and your partner are both consenting, but remember that having your period doesn’t prevent the risk of pregnancy.

MYTH: You lose a lot of blood during your period so you need to lie down and rest
FACT: You lose about four tablespoons of blood during your period. So, no need to panic or lie down.