Category Archives: Ask the Sexpert

Self Love is Safe Love: A History of Masturbation

grab the Heart.retro photo image.

Today we are re-running an oldie, but so very goodie: Fosgood’s history of masturbation post. Enjoy!

Masturbation has a long and colorful history.  According to some ancient Egyptian myths, the god Apsu created the Milky Way when he copulated with his fist. (This certainly gives star gazing a new twist!) Greek men and women both were known to masturbate and saw it as a gift from the gods. They believed the god Hermes taught his son Pan how to masturbate to help heal his broken heart when he was rejected by the nymph, Echo.

Some took it a bit too far: the philosopher Diogenes masturbated in public stating that no human activity should be seen so shameful that it must be done in private; his fellow citizens disagreed. The physician Galen felt that the retention of semen is dangerous and leads to sickness while Hippocrates cautioned that loss of excessive amounts of semen could result in physical damage, such as spinal cord deterioration.

Women in ancient Athens commonly purchased dildos known as olisbos, made of padded leather or wood. Greek men saw masturbation as a sign of poverty and if you had the money, you would pay someone to do it for you. A few centuries later, Roman boys were encouraged to deplete their sexual energies through philosophy and gymnastics, the Roman equivalent of a cold shower.

Many of the negative attitudes about masturbation are attributed to the Bible, but no mention of masturbation is found; actually, what is referred to is the story of Onan, who  protested God’s commandment to impregnate his brother’s widow, whom he did have sex with but pulled out and “spilled his seed.”  From here, things went way downhill. An early Christian bishop taught that masturbation was a worse sin than adultery, rape and incest because it was “unnatural” and a form of contraception. On and on the debate went for many centuries. By 1729 the “post-masturbation disease” came with a long list of serious and debilitating symptoms and charlatans made a killing selling cures for this dreaded affliction.

Things became so extreme that be the turn of the 20th century parents were encouraged to have their sons circumcised so as not to be aroused when cleaning their foreskins and daughters to have clitoridectomies (removal of the clitoris).  Parents were encouraged to place their children in straightjackets, or wrap the child in cold wet sheets and apply leeches to remove blood and congestion, or burn genital tissue with hot irons to make sure their child had no access to their genitals at night where the evil deed was likely to happen.

There has been much improvement in the attitudes about masturbation, but there is still a long way to go. On a regular basis, health educators today still hear very negative responses about masturbation. (Female masturbation, in particular, is often greeted with something like, “Eww, that’s nasty!”) I’ve frequently asked parent groups concerned about masturbation if they would prefer their child masturbate or be out having sex, possibly causing a pregnancy or contracting a STI. That gets them thinking – though many would just prefer their child have no sexual feelings at all.

We know masturbation is an important way for people to discover their own sexuality, prevent infection (as long as their hands are clean), and prevent a pregnancy – and we would sincerely hope it’s sex with someone you love!

Edit: Historical facts come from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s white paper publication, Masturbation, From Stigma to Sexual Health.

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How to Shop for Condoms

Today we’re reposting an oldie, but goodie. Happy condom shopping!

When you’re standing in the condom aisle, seconds seem like hours. Your eyes dart nervously across the colorful packaging, waiting for some clear sign that you should grab one particular box and make a mad dash for the checkout line. Oh yeah, then there’s that pack of gum to grab.

Condom shopping doesn’t have to be difficult or awkward. If you use my three-point condom shopping system, you’ll be outta’ there and gettin’ busy before you know it.

Step #1 – Material

Condoms are made from three different materials – latex, polyurethane and lambskin.

  • Latex: helps prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections; stretchy, yet durable; ring at base; reservoir tip for ejaculate; inexpensive (or free if you get them at the health department or Planned Parenthood)
  • Polyurethane (fancy word for plastic): helps prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, safe for those with a latex allergy; less stretchy than latex, but still durable, ring at base; reservoir tip for ejaculate; transfers heat better than latex; female condoms come in this material
  • Lambskin: helps prevent pregnancy ONLY (because it is made from animal intestinal lining, it has small pores that bacteria and viruses can fit through, but sperm are bigger, therefore contained by the condom); a bit more eco-friendly than latex or polyurethane; safe for those whose culture or religion dictates the use of a “natural” method of birth control or for those not worried about sexually transmitted infections; no ring at base (more like a drawstring); no reservoir tip for ejaculate; distinct odor; fairly expensive

So, decide which material is right for you and, when you’re shopping, let your eyes wander to the bottom right side of the boxes – that’s where the material type is usually printed. I recommend latex or polyurethane.

Step #2 – Expiration Date

Condoms are manufactured about 5 years before they expire so if your condoms expire next month, they’re already 5 years old. Age degrades the material, making condoms more likely to break. The expiration date is usually printed on the back or side flap of the box and on each individual condom, as seen below:

condom

Step #3 – “The Extras”

By “extras” I mean lubricant, spermicide, size, texture, flavoring, etc. Here’s the skinny on the “extras”:

  • Lubricant: unless you have a bottle of safe lubricant (water-based, because oil-based breaks condoms) handy, opt for lubricated condoms for vaginal and/or anal sex. For oral sex, either get a dental dam or cut an unlubricated condom up the side.
  • Spermicide: this is often called nonoxynol-9 and is a chemical that helps to kill sperm. The use of spermicides is debatable on several fronts. Do your research before you decide on this one.
  • Size: condoms are basically one-size-fits-all. There are, however, “slim fit” and “extra large” versions. Just remember, condoms are SUPPOSED TO BE SNUG.
  • Texture: ribbed or studded – truth is, it doesn’t matter much, particulary for penis-in-vagina sex. Why? Because the vaginal walls have very few nerve endings, making it hard to feel tiny ribs or studs. Think about it – women can wear tampons for hours and not feel a thing! Really, ribs and studs and such are just marketing tools.
  • Flavoring: If it tastes like strawberries, that means it has some sugar and flavoring to make it taste like strawberries. These condoms are meant for oral sex only. Sugar can cause a yeast infection because it throws off the pH balance in the vagina.

But what about the brand name!!!??? I get this question a lot. Just pick a trusted brand. You might need to try various types of condoms before you find one that you really like.

If going to the store to purchase condoms or going to the health department or Planned Parenthood to get free ones is just too intimidating for you, do your shopping online.

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What are the Symptoms of Pregnancy?

Digital pregnancy tests

Digital pregnancy tests

Knowing if you are pregnant can be an exciting, scary, or an anxious time for various reasons depending on the individual. Many people have thought they might be pregnant when they have a period that is late or symptoms that seem unusual for their bodies. They may also experience symptoms that are very similar to the ones they have during or right before their periods. It is important to remember that if someone thinks they are pregnant, all alcohol and drugs should be avoided. They should also consult with their doctor if they are taking a prescription medication or have an illness that requires them to take an over-the-counter medication. The only accurate way to know for sure if you are pregnant is to take a pregnancy test. Below is a list of the most common signs that someone could be pregnant.

Missed Period – A missed period is the most common sign that someone could be pregnant. However, some people may have a late period because of stress, a medical condition, or a medication.

Cramping – This is another misleading sign of pregnancy because many women will dismiss the possibility of pregnancy. Cramping alone does not necessarily mean that someone is pregnant, but if it is in combination with a missed period it is a definite possibility.

Nausea (aka morning sickness) – Feeling nauseous is another telltale sign that someone could be pregnant. Some people will feel sick or vomit just in the morning, but many women will feel sick at different times of the day or throughout the entire day. Thankfully most women who experience nausea will usually experience relief after the first trimester; some women will have it for the entire pregnancy. These symptoms and duration can vary for each pregnancy and are caused by the increase in estrogen and HCG hormones that the body produces during pregnancy.

Spotting (light bleeding) – Some women experience spotting for a day to a few weeks after implantation and may dismiss the potential of pregnancy as a light period.

Tiredness (decrease in energy) – All of us feel tiredness from stress, not getting enough sleep, etc., but if all of a sudden someone feels a big decrease in their energy level, they should look into it. If they are pregnant and experiencing a decrease in energy it is from all of the body changes that are occurring: increase in blood production, drop in blood sugar, or increase in progesterone levels.

Breast Swelling and/or Tenderness – Some people will experience breast swelling or tenderness of their breasts or nipples.

Peeing (more often than usual) –  If you haven’t changed your intake of fluids, but are finding that you are going to the bathroom more than you usually do, you could be pregnant. It is important to rule out a urinary tract infection which can also cause someone to pee more often than usual. Peeing more often usually occurs during the first 6 weeks of pregnancy and most people don’t even know they are pregnant. Approximately half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned.

Changes in Mood – This is very common in the first trimester, but many people experience changes in mood throughout their entire pregnancy. It is important to know that your body is rapidly changing and to give yourself permission to feel a range of different emotions. Some people also notice that they are more sensitive and may cry or feel strongly when they see or hear about a sad situation. It is ok to feel this way, but if they think they are experiencing depression or severe changes in mood it is important to consult with their doctor.

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Can a Pregnancy Test Detect Testicular Cancer?

check lemonsA recent Facebook post claimed that a man took a pregnancy test and it came up positive. He thought it was funny but after mentioning it to a better informed friend, realized there may be something amiss. He went to his family doc and was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Is this legit? Apparently, yes. According to WebMD certain types of cancer produce hormones. There are several types of testicular cancer but some make hormones. One of these hormones can be hCG, the same hormone produced by embryotic tissue during pregnancy, which is detected by a pregnancy test.  Another type of marker is an enzyme called alpha-fetaprotein or AFP, which a pregnancy test may also detect. And some types of testicular cancers don’t produce any markers at all.

So if a man gets a positive result on a pregnancy test does it mean he definitely has testicular cancer? Not necessarily. HCG is not unique to males having testicular cancer. Other cancers can also produce this hormone. False positives are common too. More testing is definitely called for.

online-doctor-cancerAlthough testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer found in males between 15 and 34, it’s still relatively rare. There are only 5.4 cases per 100,000 men each year. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends against any routine testing for testicular cancer. Most testicular cancers are self-detected or found by a sex partner. There’s no evidence that regular self-exams or doctor exams catch these cancers any earlier. Even in advanced cases, the cure rates are high. Regardless of the stage, more than 90% of all newly diagnosed cases of testicular will be cured. If a lump of any size is detected, or things just don’t feel normal, get it checked out by a professional. Self-awareness is still the best way to know something is wrong. For more information about testicular cancer check out the resource here, here, here, and here.

 

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Why Young People Should Still See a Gynecologist Before Their First Pap Smear

Nurse Meeting With Teenage Girl And Mother In Hospital

Nurse Meeting With Teenage Girl And Mother In Hospital

Many people now know the new guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) do not recommend pap smears until the age of 21. This can be a bit confusing and frustrating for parents and teens that still have sexual and reproductive health care needs and are unsure if they should visit a gynecologist or sexual and reproductive healthcare provider (SRHP) who specializes in this area.

Here are some of the most common reasons young people should go to a SRHP.

STDs – Many young people and their partners need to be tested or treated for STDs. They may also want to talk to their parent/guardian and their medical provider to determine if they should receive the Human Papilloma Vaccine. The Gardasil Vaccine is recommended for boys and girls ages 11 or 12. The vaccine is recommended for people ages 9 to 26. According to Merck pharmaceuticals, the Gardasil vaccine helps protect against 4 types of HPV that cause 70% of cervical cancer cases, 70% of vaginal cancer cases, and up to 50% of vulvar cancer cases. In males and females ages 9 to 26, GARDASIL helps protect against about 80% of anal cancer cases and 90% of genital warts cases.

Vaginal Infections – Infections can occur at any time during our lives and many times have nothing to do with whether we are sexually active (i.e. urinary tract infections, bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, folliculitis).

Menstruation – Some teens have irregular periods, PMS, painful cramps or heavy bleeding that keeps them home from school or work, acne or other medical conditions like endometriosis or abnormally large ovarian cysts that may require medication, procedures, or an office visit.

Birth Control – A sexual and reproductive health care provider can discuss the benefits and potential side effects of each birth control method and help the patient determine which method is best for them.

Pregnancy – Young people can receive pregnancy tests, options counseling, and preconception health if someone is planning to become pregnant in the future.

Safer Sex – Education can empower people to make safer choices and know their risks if and when they decide to be sexually active.

LGBTQ Health Concerns – Specific information can be given on how to be safer with a partner, medical concerns that impact LGBTQ individuals and referrals to additional resources.

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Helpful Sexual and Reproductive Health Websites and Apps

Alcoholism-FAQs1More and more people look to the internet to find information concerning their health, which is a good thing when they find accurate information that may empower them to take control of their health. However, the internet can be a dangerous place – there’s a lot of misinformation out there. Here are a few trustworthy websites and apps that you may find useful.

Period Tracker (Fertility & Ovulation tracker and Period Calendar) by Sevenlogics, Inc. This app can track your periods, daily moods, health symptoms, notes, and even the weather, so you can see how they correlate to your cycle days. The app also helps you predict your most fertile days.

Bedsider – Birth Control and Doctor’s Appointment Reminders Do you wish you could have an extra birth control reminder for your pill, ring, patch or shot? The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy has developed a site called Bedsider that allows you to set up a reminder for birth control by texting “MyBC” to 42411 from your U.S.-based mobile phone. An appointment reminder can also be setup through their website that is sent to you a few days before so you won’t forget your doctor’s appointment ever again.

Planned Parenthood – Planned Parenthood has a ton of information on sexuality and reproductive health as well as frequently asked questions on each topic. The topics include women’s health, STDs, birth control, parent resources, teen resources and other sexuality information. Planned Parenthood also has text services available if you’ve have health questions that you want to get answered right away. To text, send a message to 774636 for more information.

Baby Center – Baby Center has an app called My Pregnancy Today. It is a fun way to track the development of the pregnancy and to see how big the baby is by comparing it to the size of a fruit or vegetable. The website also provides a basic guide on nutrition and helpful tips during each trimester. It also has a contraction timer when you are in labor.

WebMDGeneral Medical Information – This website or app can give individuals information on a wide variety of medical topics in easy to understand language while still being medically accurate. I would just caution people not to start self-diagnosing or assuming that they have a condition without consulting with a medical provider. It is a great source for information if someone is looking up a specific health-related topic.

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Sex Education and Your Preschooler

I am a mother of two daughters, ages 3 and 5, I have a Master’s degree in Public Health Education, and I have over ten years experience as a sex educator. Yes, I’m that mom who can’t wait until her kids ask where babies come from.

The term “sex education” is widely misunderstood. What most people don’t understand is that sex education is built upon a foundation of anatomical and emotional vocabulary, self-respect, self-exploration, body image, family values, communication and negotiation skills – and that’s just in the toddler/preschool years!

Sex education begins when you look into your baby’s eyes, meet their basic needs, and start to build a safe and secure attachment. The baby will cry, communicating the only way it knows how, and you’ll meet its needs, which is how your child starts to trust you.

woman-changing-diaper-photo-450x400-ts-75677441Diapering is another of those early opportunities you have to create positive experiences and foster brain development. Use gentle touches. Use positive language. Don’t use words like gross, disgusting, and stinky because remember that you are applying those words to their genital area and they need to have a positive relationship with their private parts. If they reach for their genitals while you’re changing them, don’t swat their hand away because that gives them the sense that there’s something wrong with them, that somehow touching their own body is wrong. Instead, gently move their hand to the side.

Before you know it, your 12-18 month old seems to be picking up a new word every day. By this time, you’re asking her where her nose, elbows, ears, and toes are so why not include the rest of the anatomical parts? Your son doesn’t have a “birdie” or a “ding dong,” he has a penis, scrotum and testicles. Your daughter doesn’t have a “vajajay” or a “potty maker,” she has a vulva and a vaginavagina. Your daughters can’t see their vaginas so it is best to use the correct term for the part they can see and touch (vulva). You may feel weird saying these words especially if your parents didn’t raise you using these words, but practice makes perfect. An elbow is an elbow, a back is a back, and a penis is a penis. Send the message that you are comfortable talking about their bodies because after words come sentences. And questions. Oh, the questions.

Seize questions and teachable moments like they are winning lotto tickets floating from the sky. If you aren’t sure how to answer their questions, follow these tips.

Using that technique, here’s a conversation I had with my almost-three year old:

Daughter: “How did the baby get out?”

Me: “How do you think it happened?”

Daughter: “It boomed out of her mouth.”

Me: “Well, that’s interesting.”

And maybe you’re wondering why the sex educator mom didn’t tell her daughter the whole truth… well, I know my child best. I knew her body of knowledge and vocabulary about the topic and she was still 2 years old. I did not think it was age-appropriate to tell her the whole truth at that time. Lucky for me, she asked me again recently and I told her that a baby comes out either through the vagina or by surgery. Children ask more sexuality-related questions by 8 years old than they will the rest of their childhood and adolescence. Take advantage!

My two year old is starting to sit up on the changing table with legs spread apart to examine her vulva. I let her. I say, “that is your vulva.” She repeats after me. And just like that, a valuable teachable moment occurs.

When my oldest was three she had some questions about pregnancy. A well-intentioned friend told her that her baby was in the tummy, but she knew the tummy to be the stomach, where food goes. I clarified for her, “the baby actually grows inside of a very strong muscle called the uterus.” Teachable moment.

Messages about privacy and self-exploration are now working their way into conversations with my four year old. She has discovered that it “tickles” when she touches herself. I tell her it is ok as long as she does it in private. We also teach her that other people want privacy when they are in the bathroom and changing rooms.

My husband and I avoid using the f word. Not the swear word, the FAT word. We are both aware that early adoption of a healthy body image will directly influence her sexual decision making later in life. If she values and respects her body, she’ll hold her future partners to the same standard.

bodyimageA lot of the messaging about family values at this age is unspoken. Do you shower or get dressed in front of your little one? Do you show affection to your spouse and/or extended family members? Do you look at yourself in the mirror with appreciation or disdain? What role does your faith play? Do you and your spouse argue respectfully or not? And much of it is spoken, hopefully loud and clear. 

So the next time someone tells you that your child is too young to receive sex education, tell them they are wrong. In the beginning, sex education isn’t about sex at all. It’s about giving your child a solid foundation to stand on. Help them learn to love, respect, and trust during the early years because it’ll make a huge difference during their adolescence. Be open, be honest, and don’t fear THE BIG TALK. You know you’re doing it right if you’re having many little talks. You can do this!

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New Pill to Increase Female Libido

As we told you a few months ago, a little pink pill was in the works to improve women’s sex lives. Well, the FDA has officially approved the first female libido pill called Addyi, and the generic known as Flibanserin. The medication was developed by Sprout Pharmaceuticals and will be available on October 17th for women to increase their libido. Does it sound too good to be true???? Well, sort of.

flibanserinThe pill touted as the Viagra for women apparently comes with a slew of side effects and doesn’t work for a large percent of the women who take it. According to information cited by Rob Stein, the FDA is requiring the company and doctors to warn women not to drink alcohol while taking Addyi, to cut the risk they’ll faint or wake up woozy. Women should also avoid taking Addyi with certain other drugs, including some medications used to treat yeast infections and antidepressants. It also cannot be taken right before sex, needs to be taken on a daily basis and still may or may not work.

The medication has been approved to treat premenopausal women suffering from hypoactive sexual desire disorder (unexplained loss of desire). It is supposed to work by affecting the brain, unlike male Viagra, which affects blood flow to the genitals. Sprout Pharmaceuticals’ CEO touts the medication as a victory for women’s sexual health. The company and its supporters have placed a lot of pressure on the FDA for rejecting the drug claiming that the governmental agency was being sexist. The reason the FDA did not approve the drug on two separate occasions is because there wasn’t a lot of evidence that it worked.

The other issue is in assuming that a pill will be the panacea for helping women increase their sexual desire. As humans, we are all complicated and have many factors in our lives that affect our libido. If someone is experiencing a decrease in sexual desire they should first assess whether it is from something currently occurring in their lives. Some of the most common things that affect women’s libido are: depression, lack of sleep, unhealthy relationship with partner, a hormonal imbalance, and body image or self-esteem issues. Whatever the case, if you are unable to “fix” the issue, we encourage you to seek help from a professional.

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Miscarriage: Let’s Talk About It

grievingwomanRecently a heartwarming video of a husband revealing his wife’s pregnancy to her went viral. Just a few days later, with tears in their eyes, they announced that she suffered a miscarriage. They were criticized for staging the whole thing. Critics claimed that their emotions and pregnancy math were too “off” to be believed. And that made us think, how is someone supposed to feel? Regardless of their story, what about everyone else’s story of miscarriage?  Many people suffer in silence, but more and more, people are opening up and talking about their loss. Just this year, I’ve had two friends announce their miscarriages on Facebook, and both times, people filled the comments with their own stories of pregnancy loss. We think it is time to stop suffering in silence, time to open up and share, and time to normalize the medical and emotional event that is miscarriage. Here’s what we can do to help…

How do you define a miscarriage?

Pregnancy loss (AKA spontaneous abortion) is a pregnancy that ends on its own during the first 20 weeks. Most miscarriages occur during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, about 10-25% of all medically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage. About 50-75% of all miscarriages occur very early on in the pregnancy, shortly after implantation. Many of these women didn’t even know that they were pregnant. There are different terms used for pregnancy loss, but in the grand scheme of things the terms used really aren’t that important. The most important thing to realize is that it is not your fault. Most miscarriages are due to a chromosomal abnormality (a damaged egg or sperm). Some women can also miscarry because of hormonal problems, age, trauma, improper implantation, exposure to toxic substances, radiation, substance abuse, or severe malnourishment.

What are the signs of a possible miscarriage?

  • Weight loss
  • Contractions occurring every 5-20 minutes
  • White-pink mucus
  • Brown or bright red bleeding (not occurring after sex or a pap)
  • Clot-like material coming out of the vagina
  • No fetal movement (see kick counts for more details)
  • What can family and friends do to help?

DO:

  • Ask what you can do to help.
  • Listen and don’t give any advice, unless she asks for it.
  • Reassure her that whatever she is feeling emotionally (crying, numbness to emotion) or physically (loss of appetite, tiredness, sleeplessness, no energy) is normal and OK.
  • Let her know that she should take as long as she needs to grieve. Everyone is different and may need more or less time and support from family and friends.
  • Nothing you say is going to change the fact that she had a loss, but it does help to hear that you are there for them if they need you.

DON’T:

  • Minimize their loss because it was before the first trimester.
  • State that it was “meant to be” or God’s plan.
  • Talk about your own loss unless she asks.
  • Give advice without being asked.

What Can a Woman Do to Heal After a Miscarriage?

  • Remember that you are not alone and there are support groups or counselors available to help you during this difficult time. (Call your insurance provider or Employee Assistance Program for more information.)
  • Never blame yourself. There was nothing you could have done to prevent it from happening.
  • Whatever you are feeling is perfectly normal – you shouldn’t compare your grieving process to anyone else’s experience.
  • Journaling can be cathartic for some women who have had a loss.
  • Finding a special way to commemorate the loss can also be helpful.
  • Don’t feel pressured to talk about with friends, family, or your partner if you are not ready.
  • Don’t feel pressured to put on a happy face and be the life of the party. You are allowed to feel whatever emotions you are experiencing and may need some alone time.
  • Do you have any tips that helped you, a family member or friend heal from the loss of a pregnancy? Please feel free to share your tips in our comments section.
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Cultural Menstruation Myths

“Contact with [menstrual blood] turns new wine sour, crops touched by it become barren, grafts die, seed in gardens are dried up, the fruit of trees fall off, the edge of steel and the gleam of ivory are dulled, hives of bees die, even bronze and iron are at once seized by rust, and a horrible smell fills the air; to taste it drives dogs mad and infects their bites with an incurable poison.” Or so said Pliny the Elder around A.D 77 in his book Natural History: A Selection.

I sure feel sorry for the women in his world since he was a respected “elder” and apparently thought of as an authority on the natural world, which apparently included the female menstrual cycle.

Historically and in some cultures worldwide even today a menstruating woman is feared and sometimes shunned or isolated. It wasn’t until 1871 when the connection between menstruation and failure to conceive was clear. Unfortunately, many myths pertaining to menstruation still exist. Here are a few:

  • Hair washed during your period will not hold a curl but will hang limp.
  • Fillings put in during your period will fall out.
  • Fruits or vegetables canned during your period will spoil.
  • Females should avoid visiting wineries during their periods because the wine will turn to vinegar.
  • Females shouldn’t swim during their periods.
  • Fruit will rot on the tree, meat will rot if butchered, jelly won’t set and dough will fail to rise if touched by a menstruating woman.
  • Females shouldn’t have sex during their periods.
  • While menstruating, a female is more likely to be attacked by bears or sharks. (Actually sharks are attracted to ALL body fluids not just blood.)
  • You can catch a cold more easily, so avoid cold water and cold drinks.

On the positive side, menstrual blood has been said to cure gout, goiters, hemorrhoids, epilepsy, worms, and headaches. It has also been used as a powerful ingredient in love potions. It’s been said that a few drops put in the object of your desire’s food or drink will bind him to you forever. In some primitive tribes the apron worn by a girl during her first period was coveted by relatives who wanted to wear it themselves to ensure good health. There are more fascinating myths to read about here and here. And if you want to see a woman boldly testing the boundaries of menstruation, check this story out about a woman who ran a marathon without a pad or tampon.

Origin-of-Menstrual-Myths-and-Taboos1

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