Finding the truth about women’s health myths is critical to promptly ensure women get proper medical care. This article debunks nine common women’s health myths regarding cancer, pregnancy, and infections.
Bras Can Cause Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most typical cancer among Singaporean women. Many women believe that wearing a bra or underwire bra can cause breast cancer. This myth, however, is false and has no basis in science. This myth was originally introduced back in 1995 in a book entitled Dressed to Kill, co-authored by Soma Grismaijer and Sydney Ross Singer. The authors claimed that women who put on underwire bras for twelve hours every day are at a much higher risk of developing breast cancer than those who do not use bras.
Nevertheless, the American Cancer Society refuted this claim and stated that there is no scientific proof that lymph nodes’ compression due to bras can lead to breast cancer. Moreover, body fluids do not move towards the underwire, but instead, move up and into the underarm’s lymph nodes. Similarly, there is not enough evidence supporting the myth that going braless can decrease breast cancer risk.
All women are at risk of breast cancer, and the odds of developing it increases with age. Women above fifty years old are especially at a higher risk of developing it. Therefore, women aged fifty years and above should schedule regular health screenings for breast cancer or mammograms at a reliable women’s health clinic Singapore. Carrying out a breast self-examination every month also keeps women aware of any changes to their breast.
Breast Cancer Only Happens in Women With a Family History
Women with a family history of breast cancers indeed have a higher chance of developing breast cancer, but almost 90% of women diagnosed with breast cancers do not have a close family history of said cancer.
Cancer is Inevitable
Practising a healthy lifestyle and opting for regular cancer screenings help protect women from the most common cancer types. For instance, colonoscopies and Pap smears help gynaecologists detect and eliminate pre-cancerous cells in women’s colon and cervix. Women can also reduce the risk of breast cancer by maintaining a healthy weight, staying fit and consuming a diet rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
Also, even if the mammogram showed normal results, women should continue to perform monthly breast self-examination and go for a regular mammogram once every two years for early detection of breast cancer.
Certain Foods Can Get Women Pregnant
Some women believed that some foods, such as yams or soy, can help them to conceive. However, eating specific foods, from goji berries to chocolate, will not get them pregnant. Women who plan to conceive should instead see a gynaecologist who will perform examinations and determine if they need to take medication or undergo treatment to boost fertility.
Cranberry Juice Cures Urinary Tract Infections
Women are more likely to get a urinary tract infection or UTI, an infection affecting any part of the urinary system comprising the kidneys, bladder, ureters and urethra. The most typically UTI type is cystitis or bladder infection. Infection affecting the kidney is more severe, and the condition is known as pyelonephritis.
For years, many women believed that they could use cranberry juice to prevent and treat UTI. However, there is limited evidence about this treatment method. Although cranberries contain an active ingredient which can prevent bacteria adherence to the bladder wall, most studies found that supplement and juice do not have sufficient amounts of this active ingredient for them to be functional.
Women who often get UTIs should consider seeing a gynaecologist who can prescribe proper medications and recommend appropriate treatment to lower their chance of getting the infection.
Women Showing No Symptoms Do Not Have STIs
Many STIs or sexually transmitted infections, including HPV and gonorrhoea, may show no symptoms. For instance, three in four women diagnosed with chlamydia will have no symptoms; even without any symptoms, chlamydia can damage a woman’s reproductive system. Therefore, women who just had unprotected sexual intercourse should get tested for STIs even if they have not experienced any symptoms.
Nursing Mothers Will Not Get Pregnant
Breastfeeding is well-recognised as nature’s contraceptive. Similar to other types of birth control methods, it can be highly effective when used properly. However, while chances are low, nursing mothers can get pregnant during this period. The chances to ovulate or conceive during this time increases the longer the time has passed since a woman gave birth.
Women Who Just Gave Birth Should Rest for One Month
New mothers should get enough rest after delivery. However, they will only need at least a few days of complete rest. They need to walk around as soon as they can. Movements help prevent the formation of harmful blood clots.
Moreover, women should not wait one full month to return to their gynaecologist. They visit their doctor for follow-up two weeks after childbirth, particularly if they feel sad, pain, or bladder issues.
Myths about women’s health can put your health and wellness at risk. Therefore, determining the truth about these myths is critical to making sure your body gets the right medical attention promptly. Be sure to consult with the doctors when having any medical problems or concerns.