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Busting 7 Common Women's Health Myths

Posted on April 18, 2023 at 2:30 PM by Gabrielson Clinic

From old wives’ tales to internet health advice, you’ve likely heard many myths about women’s health and wellness. Knowing what’s fact and what’s fiction is critical to preventing and treating a variety of conditions and avoiding common misconceptions about your health. 

Learn what’s true and false about these 7 popular women’s health myths.

Myth #1. Cranberry juice can prevent or cure urinary tract infections (UTIs)

While cranberry juice is a delicious beverage that does contain a substance that can inhibit bacteria’s ability to function inside of the bladder, it’s not the UTI cure-all many believe it to be. While a tall glass of cranberry juice certainly won’t hurt if you have a UTI, antibiotics are the best way to get rid of a UTI. In fact, leaving a UTI untreated (or treating it solely with “home remedies”) can actually lead to serious complications.

Myth #2. You can’t get pregnant if you’re breastfeeding  

While you may not ovulate for several months after giving birth, breastfeeding your baby does not prevent the possibility of getting pregnant again. Even if you haven’t gotten your period yet after giving birth, you could start ovulating again at any time without knowing it. That means it's possible to get pregnant before your period returns. That being said, it is important to use another form of birth control if you want to avoid getting pregnant while breastfeeding.

Myth #3. If you don't have any STI symptoms, you must not have a sexually transmitted infection (STI) 

Many sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can have no symptoms. STI symptoms can also vary from woman to woman, making it difficult to know if you have one. Gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HPV are common STIs that have few to no signs/symptoms (asymptomatic). If you’ve had unprotected sex, it’s always a good idea to get tested for STIs. 

Myth #4. Shaving makes your hair grow back thicker & quicker

Many women have heard that shaving your facial hair and body hair makes the hair grow back quicker and thicker. Shaving leaves the hair with a blunt tip that can make the hair feel more coarse, but shaving does not actually change the time it takes to grow hair back or how thick the hair is once it grows back.

Myth #5. There’s nothing you can do to prevent cancer

Lifestyle changes and routine cancer screenings can help prevent many common types of cancer. Routine women's health screenings, such as Pap smears and mammograms, can help detect early cellular changes so they can be treated before they progress. Lifestyle changes such as staying active and cutting back on smoking and drinking can also help cut out common risk factors that lead to cancer. 

Myth #6. You don’t have to worry as much about heart disease if you’re a woman

While it’s true that men do have a higher overall risk of heart disease, heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. Staying healthy and active and monitoring factors that impact heart disease (such as blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol) can help you prevent and/or catch heart disease sooner.

Myth #7. You only need to see a gynecologist if you’re pregnant or having a problem

Routine reproductive health check-ups are an important part of women’s healthcare for all women regardless of age, sexual activity, or other individual factors. Preventive screenings are vital to detecting cancers and other health conditions before they progress. 

In addition to routine women’s health screenings (like Pap smears and mammograms), your OB-GYN is there to provide you with personalized health advice and guidance on anything related to women’s health. From finding the best birth control for you to education and resources on your reproductive health and helping you through menopause, your OB-GYN is there to answer any questions you may have.

Knowing The Facts: The First Step

Knowing what’s fact and what’s fiction about common myths in health is just the first step in understanding and improving your health. With so many myths about women’s health out there, it’s important to have a reliable OB-GYN who can provide you with accurate answers, resources, and treatments.  

For routine screenings to customized contraception, prenatal care, and everything in between, count on a trusted women’s clinic. Count on The Gabrielson Clinic for Women for the best women’s health services in Iowa!

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