our bodies

Is Period Syncing Real? And Other Period Myths Debunked

April 27, 2021
Team Knix

Recently, we asked our followers on @knixwear to tell us what was the silliest thing they’ve ever heard in response to their period. While some had us truly LOLing at Knix HQ (Can’t you just hold it until you get home? from @hayleydbulmer), most made us remember that there are so, so, so many menstruation myths still floating around and believed to be true. 

Whether these period myths subconsciously seeped into our baby noggins in elementary school playgrounds, or perpetuated by family legends or superstitions— we still have a lot to learn when it comes to distinguishing menstrual fact and fiction.

We think it's so important to get it right! Knowing how our bodies work allows us to advocate for ourselves and our overall health and wellness. So get out your pencil and a pad (get it?), it’s time to debunk 5 of the most common period myths. 

Myth #1: Tampons can get lost inside your body

Definitely not true, all thanks to our good friend— say it with me— the cervix. Your cervix is at the base of your uterus, and it prevents anything you put inside your vagina (tampons included) from being inserted too far. 

Your tampon can get a bit stuck though, but all hope is not lost. You will see that tampon again. Your vagina isn’t as deep as you may think— on average only about 3 to 6 inches, so there’s not that much room for a tampon to disappear. You may have to fish it out with your fingers and search for the string, but that’s just part of the tampon journey, isn’t it? 

Myth #2: You can’t swim on your period 

*Blows whistle like a lifeguard* — WRONG! There are so many water related period myths, so let’s knock them all out here: You CAN swim on your period. No your period does NOT stop when you’re in the water. And once and for all, your period will NOT attract sharks in the ocean! 

Although it may seem like it, your period doesn’t actually stop while you’re in the water. Instead, you’re probably experiencing a reduction of flow due to the water pressure. Your period is still happening, it’s just not flowing out of your body at the same rate (and it'll really spark back up again once you’re out of the water). Good thing there’s Leakproof Swim for that! 😉

And just because there’s still a light flow under the water, that shouldn’t stop you from floating or front-crawling! If anything, being on your period is a good excuse to dive in— your cramps will thank you for it. And so will the sharks. Just kidding! 

Myth #3: You and your besties can sync your periods 

As much as we would love to confirm this as 100% fact, truth, “bible” as Kim Kardashian would say— syncing with your pals/ co-workers/ roommates/ lovers is sadly a myth. 

This may come as a surprise, but there isn’t any concrete scientific proof that “syncing” exists. The phenomenon was first studied in 1971 when psychologist Martha McClintok observed 135 women living in a dorm. She concluded that monthly cycles sync up because our pheromones (chemicals we produce) influence each other when we’re in close contact.  

But a few recent studies have actually proven this to be untrue— with researchers saying, “Sorry babes! It’s not magic. It’s just math”. With the average period lasting 2-7 days and the average cycle lasting 21-35 days, you’re bound to bump into a friend’s cycle eventually. But no matter the reason for the matching menstrual cycle, it’s still a fun coincidence when it happens! 

Myth #4: You can’t get pregnant on your period

It’s not common, but it can certainly happen! 

Health class has taught us that when you’re on your period, you’re not ovulating— which means you can’t get pregnant. This is mostly the case, but not always. 

If you have an unpredictable period, you most likely have an unpredictable ovulation and menstrual cycle— so it isn’t always reliable to trust your body’s calendar. Plus, ovulation can happen before, during and after the bleeding phase. PLUS! You can bleed even when you’re not on your period, it’s calling spotting. And on TOP of that, even if you’re not ovulating when you have sex, sperm can live in your vagina for up to 5 days. Which means that if an egg is released during that time, it can be fertilized.

Long story short: Have safe sex! Love, Knix. 

Myth #5: PMS is all in your head 

Over the last few decades, certain medical professionals have come out of the literal woodwork to try and prove that PMS isn’t real. But forget those trolls. PMS is real, and denying its existence only harms the people who experience it. 

All throughout your menstrual cycle, your hormones are constantly changing. We’re talking varying levels of estrogen and progesterone that affect our bodies and our brains. These changing hormone levels cause everything from cramping, to irritability, to period poops. And if this happens to you— you’re far from alone. Over 90% of people who menstruate have at least one PMS symptom.

It’s important to recognize that the lousiness most of us feel before (and during) our periods is real. It allows us to have a better understanding of what’s happening to our bodies, and also allows us to check in with ourselves during a time where we feel more vulnerable both mentally and physically. 

Are there any period myths or superstitions you (or people around you) want to double check after reading the above? Give them a quick google! Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to menstruation.