You know what to eat when you’re on your period. You know what underwear to put on when you’re on your period. But do you know why these five common period myths are totally false?

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Myth: PMS is all in your head

The truth: Some uncompassionate souls (of the male variety) seem to think that PMS is a convenient excuse for a sour mood. Not so, says science. Premenstrual syndrome is very real for up to 90 percent of women and can rear its ugly head in the form of bloating, headaches, fatigue and, yes dear God, those mood swings.

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Myth: You shouldn't exercise on those days

The truth: You might think your period gives you license to post up on the couch and rewatch 30 Rock from the beginning, but it's actually not an excuse to skip the gym. In fact, working out can often relieve some of the pain of cramps. Plus, exercise releases endorphins, which produce feelings of euphoria--and talk you down from committing crimes

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Myth: You lose a lot of blood

The truth: It may seem like you’ll need a transfusion around day six, but on average, women only lose between three and four tablespoons of blood during each cycle. That said, it’s not the worst idea to up your iron intake (by eating foods like chickpeas, pumpkin seeds or spinach) on those days.

period myth tracking

Myth: You should get your period on the exact same day each month

The truth: Every body is different, so every period is different. Cycles typically last anywhere between three and seven days, and it’s totally normal for your period to change from month to month. Download an app like Period Tracker, which does a great job approximating your schedule, since it takes into account your ovulation history instead of assuming you're on a 28-day cycle.

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Myth: You can't get pregnant when you have your period

The truth: While it’s uncommon, it is possible to get pregnant while on your period. This is more likely in women with cycles shorter than 28 days and women who experience intermittent spotting, which makes it difficult to know where exactly you are in a menstrual cycle. Here's another time a period tracking app like the one mentioned above could come in handy. 

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