TEMPLE, Texas — Alisa Vitti is the women's hormone expert behind best-selling books "Womancode" and "In The Flo." She's also the founder of Flo Living where she helps women all around the world balance their hormones.
According to Vitti, period myths hold us back from taking charge of our health, so she broke down some of the biggest ones out there.
"We are given a really difficult starting point. As young girls, the education women get around their bodies is very fear-based," she said. "You're told, all that mythology, that pain and suffering is part of being female and your hormones are to blame."
Myth 1: Period problems aren't a big deal. False.
"In 2015, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists decreed that your cycle is your fifth vital sign. What this means is, anytime you have a symptom associated with your cycle - breakouts, PMS, difficult periods, right, or a diagnosed condition - you want to take that as seriously as you would take having an elevated temperature, having a fever, having elevated blood pressure... those other four vital signs that they take when you go to the emergency room," she said.
Myth 2: Periods are supposed to be painful. False.
"The problem is, we've been told a story that we believe, which is, oh, you know, periods are supposed to be painful, which is not scientifically accurate. We have a lack of understanding and that trickles down to you believing that your period should be painful when it should not be. Pain is a myth, cramps are not necessary," Vitti said.
Myth 3: PMS is the norm. False.
"PMS is not normal, any symptom of PMS that you have - the breakouts, bloating, headaches, you know, moodiness, breast tenderness - all of that can be absolutely traced back to the fact that you are making too much estrogen and you're not making enough progesterone," Vitti said.
Myth 4: If you have a diagnosed condition like PCOS of endometriosis, you're stuck with it forever. False.
"It's also a myth, you can absolutely take massive action with diet with supplements with lifestyle and put symptoms into remission, for the most part, and you can do that safely and naturally if that is your preference," she said.
Myth 5: When you take hormonal birth control you still have a period. False.
"You do not. You do not ovulate, and you do not menstruate. You only have some occasional breakthrough bleeding," she said.
Myth 6: The pill fixes period problems. False.
"It absolutely does not do that, it simply just shuts off all your own internal hormonal production, supplying you with a low continuous dose of hormones, and does not address the root causes of what is going on with the rest of your hormones that are causing you to have cycle issues."
Vitti said the key here is recognizing these myths and moving forward by taking your health and your period, seriously.
"Many, many myths about periods, really keep us in a victim mode, as, as opposed to what we should be which has which is having full understanding of what is happening in our body so that we can take appropriate action as needed."