6 Common Myths And Misconceptions About Women's Health That Can Lead To Serious Consequences

Date March 28, 2018

No, cold weather doesn’t give you colds. No, cracking your knuckles won’t give you arthritis. And no, cranberry juice cannot cure a UTI. These and plenty of other myths about health in general and women’s health in particular still persist, despite the opportunity to disprove them in a matter of minutes by doing a simple Google search and finding a reliable source of information.

Below, we list six popular myths about women’s health that people need to stop believing.

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1. It’s impossible to get pregnant when on a period.

Many women assume they can have sex when they are on a period without using birth control and avoid getting pregnant. But it’s a dangerous myth that can lead to an unplanned pregnancy. It’s highly improbable, but it CAN happen because sperm can survive in a woman’s body for up to five days, and the conception is possible when the period is over.

2. Leaky bladder is a problem exclusive to old folks.

Urinary incontinence is more common in older people, but it doesn’t mean it can’t affect younger populations. Stress incontinence (happens when there’s pressure on the bladder, such as when you are laughing, coughing, sneezing, or exercising) affects about half of women who have given birth by the age of 40. Also, urinary incontinence is common in pregnant women.

3. You’ll gain lots of weight after you reach menopause.

A drop in estrogen levels after you hit menopause can predispose you to weight gain, as can a natural slowdown in your metabolism that comes with aging. But the amount of weight you gain depends mostly on your diet and physical activity levels. If you’ve been eating healthy and exercising regularly before menopause (and continue with the same routine), you won’t experience a significant weight gain once you stop menstruating.

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4. A normal mammogram is a 100% guarantee that you are cancer-free.

According to Cleveland Clinic, 10 to 15 percent of breast cancers go undetected on a mammogram. This is especially true for women who have dense breasts. If you have dense breasts, ask your doctor about additional tests, such as ultrasound and MRI, and whether they are recommended for you. If you notice any suspicious changes in the way your breasts look or feel, or there’s nipple discharge, tell your doctor as soon as possible.

5. You absolutely need to get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily to benefit from it.

Here’s what the CDC recommends:

For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or an equivalence combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes, and preferably, it should be spread throughout the week.

But if you have a busy schedule, it may be hard to follow the CDC guidelines regarding exercise. So, your goal should be to stay as physically active as possible. Taking stairs instead of elevator, carrying groceries, gardening, and doing housework all counts, as it keeps you moving. To get the benefits of physical activity, your exercise routine doesn’t have to be very elaborate. Simply doing calisthenics on most days of the week can go a long way.

6. Using deodorants and antiperspirants will give you breast cancer.

This one may sound believable and is not entirely disproven. But, to this day, there is no conclusive evidence that commercial deodorants and antiperspirants can increase the risk of breast cancer and other cancers. According to the National Cancer Institute, “No scientific evidence links the use of these products to the development of breast cancer.”

Source: Cleveland Clinic, Best Life, Women's Health Network

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This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.

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