We spend more than half our lives dealing with a monthly period, but do we really know everything there is to know about it? Sure, we’ve been up close and personal with cramps and PMS, but here are 7 things you probably never knew about your monthly cycle:
- That whole chocolate craving thing is a myth. Sometimes our bodies are legit trying to tell us something, but sometimes we just use that as an excuse to do what we want. Eating chocolate during our periods is one of them. A study performed by Megan Apperson McVay of Louisiana State University found that women before their period don’t actually crave chocolate any more than we do at any other time. Weird, right?
- Period sex can relieve some of your discomfort. Some women feel far from sexy when they’re bleeding, but there are some who are up for period sex. An increase of fluid in the area means you need less lubrication, if that’s your thing, but it gets better. Research published in Cephalalgia found sex can help with migraines and cluster headache pain, as well as cramping, so why not get some action?
- Girls who like sugary drinks tend to get their periods a little earlier. For those who prefer sodas and sweet juice, they might grow up faster. This Growing Up Today study found that girls who drink 1.5 sweetened drinks a day get their period 2.7 months earlier than those who don’t. At least the difference isn’t dramatic.
- Missed periods don’t always mean you’re pregnant. Sure, if you’ve missed your birth control pills (or don’t take them to begin with) and you’ve been having unprotected sex, you could be pregnant, but there are plenty of other reasons you could skip a period. According to What to Expect, changing your schedule, exercising excessively, medication, hormonal imbalance, stress, diet, and much more contributes to keeping a regular cycle, so don’t jump to conclusions.
- You shouldn’t have to change your pad or tampon every two hours. Some women’s periods are heavier than others, but you definitely shouldn’t have to change your pad or tampon every two hours, according to Women’s Health. If that’s happening, or your period is lasting more than seven days, you should check in with your OBGYN to make sure nothing’s up.
- Cramps are actually not normal. Having your period can seriously suck, particularly if you suffer with cramps. Many women get them, and many times they’re totally harmless, but they could also be your body’s way of trying to tell you something. According to Dr. Jennifer Burns (via Daily Makeover), they can be a sign you’re having too much sugar, or a sign of a cyst or fibroid in the uterus.
- Women’s menstrual cycles syncing up hasn’t ever been proven. We’ve all heard about this happening among women who spend a lot of time together. The idea was introduced in 1971 by Martha McClintock, but no one has ever been able to replicate her findings that pheromones cause this to happen. Plus, there were errors found in her original sample selection. If you do get your period at the same time as your friend, it might be just a coincidence.