A lot of people think it’s weird to talk about periods, but not us. Menstrual cycles are part of our biology, just like the nervous system or the billions of cells that make up our bodies.
Periods has been ignored by the society so much that most girls are left to find out about their bodies on their own. Here are 10 little known facts about menstruation – and the science behind them.
1. Menstruating makes you hornier
The hormone progesterone is said to lower a woman’s libido. Yet while menstruating women produce less progesterone, which makes them likelier to crave sex during this phase.
2. And less attractive to men
A man’s testosterone levels are directly affected by a woman’s scent, which changes during a menstrual cycle.
One study where men sniffed the T-shirts of women who were ovulating showed the men’s testosterone levels spike, while testosterone decreased when they sniffed T-shirts of women who weren’t ovulating.
Another study showed that strippers make twice as much in tips when they’re ovulating than when they’re on their period.
3. In the olden days, girls didn’t used to get their period until around 16 or 17
Right now, the age of 12 is an average launching pad for a girl and her period pads. She will continue menstruating until around age 50.
In the 1800s, the average girl did not get her first period until well into her teens. It is thought that girls reach puberty earlier these days due to a combination of better nutrition and increased stress.
4. Your periods isn’t just blood
You can tell just by looking – if you cut your finger, the blood appears different from what shows up in your underwear. That’s because what comes out during a period is actually the lining of the uterus, a mixture of blood and tissue.
Your body builds up the lining of your uterus each cycle in preparation for potential pregnancy. But if an egg isn’t fertilized by a sperm, the thickened lining of the uterus is shed through the vagina. This is your period.
5. Your period can change your voice
One study published in the journal Ethology claimed that men who listened to recordings of women’s voices were generally able to tell which women were menstruating.
One would assume that their tone while menstruating was slightly more menacing than normal.
6. You can get pregnant on your period
It’s unlikely, but still possible, since sperm can stay alive inside the vagina for up to a week. The risk of pregnancy is highest when having sex during the end of one’s menstrual cycle.
7. Your body mimics the symptoms of pregnancy in the days leading to your period
In the days leading up menstruate, your body secretes hormones that cause irritability, feeling bloated, acne, and fluid retention—which are precisely the same symptoms one experiences during pregnancy.
8. You think more like a man when you’re menstruating
Lowered estrogen levels during menstruation may actually enhance a woman’s “male cognitive skills,” lending a temporary cognitive advantage in areas such as spatial thinking.
9. You may bleed form other places than your vagina
In a very rare and a little scary medical condition known as “vicarious menstruation,” women on their period may also harmlessly bleed from their mouth, ears, lungs, nose, eyes, and skin. It is not known exactly why this happens, only that it does.
10. You need body fat in order to menstruate
If your body fat plummets below 8-12%, your period will abruptly cease, if it ever began at all. Fat cells are correlated with a woman’s estrogen levels and are thus necessary in both menstruation and procreation.