False myths about menstruation and puberty spreads because people don't know the truth; they need to be educated in order to be aware of the reality. Wrong information is also passed down through communities, and become known as the truth. Here are some myths or beliefs we came across.
> Menstruation is a sickness that you have to overcome
> If someone sees your menstrual blood, you will never be able to become pregnant
> If someone sees or touches the cloth or pad you used, you will never have children
> You have to have a baby to cure menstrual cramps
> You have to have sex when you have a wet dream or you won't function properly (for boys)
> Talking to your daughter about menstruation will mess up your connection so it's better to have someone else do it for you
> Menstruation is not something the school has to deal with; it is a family matter only
> In the past, menstruating girls were hidden behind bushes and were made to remain squatting there until their period ended.
Children are often getting their periods earlier now a days, meaning they are confronted with problems earlier. Children need to receive the right information at the right time to help them cope socially, physically, and function well in life (including school).
Solutions to Straightening the Myths
Much of these myths are not under scientific hypothesis, but old-time stories. In order to clarify things;
- schools need to begin teaching their students from early on about the truth
- for this the government needs to be encouraged to place more importance into education about sensitive topics such as this
- mothers need to get over their fear of talking to their daughters about menstruation
- peer tutoring; teach a group of girls, get them to teach what they know/spread the word to others in their community.
- educate children now so that when they become adults they will teach the right thing to their children.