Women hear and read so many "facts" and anecdotes about our health, especially on the internet. What's left is a bunch of misguided information all jumbled up, like the final play in a game of telephone. When it comes to your health, though, these facts better be backed up and legit. You've probably heard most of the following myths, and hopefully now, you'll know they're just that.
Periods sync up when living together. This myth came from a psychologist in 1971 when she observed a group of female students living in a dorm. From fall to spring, their periods crept closer and closer together. But this observation was repeated decades later and totally debunked. The facts of cycle length, days spent menstruating, timing of ovulation or skipping ovulation all came into play. The overlapping is actually random and coincidental. Think of it like two swings on a playground going back and forth in sync with each other. It might work for a short time, but there's no grounds for it to stay that way. (via Scientific American) Click here to find out what can really mess with your period.
You can't get pregnant on your period. There's a very low chance that you could. The cycle works like this: ovulate, wait 10-12 days then menstruate for 4-7 days, then ovulate 14 days or so after the period begins. But if you have a long period and a short cycle, chances of you having sex on your period while very close to ovulation is high. Sperm can live inside the woman for up to five days, and it can get into the uterus and wait those five days for an egg to drop. Persistent little guys. (via American Pregnancy Association)
>> Read more: 15 Things That Could Be Causing Longer Periods
A nursing mother cannot get pregnant. Wouldn't that be handy, though? The timing of the first postpartum period varies from weeks to years, nursing or not. Even if you haven't seen the return of Aunt Flo, you can still be ovulating. Most mothers with infants under 6 months of age without a period are successful in using the lactational amenorrhea method, or LAM, as a form of birth control. But to be careful, use a backup method. (via BabyCenter)
>> Read more: Breastfeeding 101: A New Mama's Guide
Women reach their sexual peak in their 30s. Psh. What determines this, anyway? A slew of things can affect sex drive and ability, from hormones to medication. There is no biological "peak" for sexual performance or desire that can hold true for the entire population. It's very much individually based. Much of it is based on finding the right partner. A study showed that people answered they might be having the "most sex" of their lives, but that didn't correlate with it being the "best sex." (via Women's Health) Read more here about postpartum sex, and what they didn't tell you.
With a pelvic exam, a doctor can tell if you've had sex. Yes and no, if you've had sex in that last 24 hours or so, a doctor can notice the vaginal tissue is more swollen or red than usual. If you had sex without a condom and the man ejaculated inside, there will likely be traces of it still. Can a doctor tell if you're a virgin? Not really. Most pre-adolescent girls will still have an in-tact hymen, but once you hit puberty, that's not always the case. (via Scarleteen)