Eight Women’s Health Myths Busted

By 2021-06-08 18:24:42

Dr Agnieszka Kucharska Bielewicz from ParkwayHealth dispels eight common myths about women’s health.

Myth 1: Heart disease mostly affects men

Many people believe that heart disease is a ‘man’s disease’, just as how breast cancer is a ‘woman’s disease’. But the truth is, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and disability in women around the entire world.

Between the ages of 45 to 64, 1 in 9 women develop symptoms of some form of cardiovascular disease. After age 65, it is 1 in 3 women, according to the US National Center for Health Statistics.

It’s scary, but the figures are important to know, because heart disease can often be prevented by:

• Exercising regularly
• Maintaining a healthy weight• Not smoking
• Eating a balanced and nutritious diet

On average, women are around 10 years older than men when they are first diagnosed with heart disease. The risk of having a heart attack also increases after menopause. But whatever your age, you should learn to recognise and never ignore the symptoms of heart disease. If you are concerned about symptoms, consult your doctor.

Myth 2: Wearing a wired bra can increase your risk of breast cancer

Some people believe that a bra’s metal underwire restricts the movement of bodily fluids (also known as ‘lymphatic drainage’), which eventually turns the fluids toxic. The truth is, bodily fluids travel upwards and towards the armpits. The bra you choose to wear will not restrict their flow or cause you any internal damage.

Instead, breast cancer risk factors are associated with your hormones, how old you are, the age you have your first child, breastfeeding, as well as your family history. Speaking to your doctor may help to clarify your risk of developing breast cancer.

Remember to check yourself at least once a month! You can do this visually and physically. Using the pads of your fingers, move around each breast from the outside to the center, as well as under each armpit, feeling for lumps, knots or any other unexpected changes. Visually, look for swelling, dimpling, puckering or any changes in the contour of your breast.

If you find anything unusual, speak to your doctor.



Myth 3: You can’t get pregnant during your period

It’s important to know that having sex during your period does not automatically mean you can’t get pregnant.The typical female menstruation cycle is 28 days long. For many women, their period starts on day 1, and ovulation (when the ovary releases an egg for fertilisation) occurs around day 14.

However, the day of ovulation varies widely depending on a woman’s individual cycle. You could ovulate on day 12 of a 28-day cycle, or day 21 of a 35-day cycle.

Plus, sperm can live inside your body for up to 72 hours (3 days), which means having sex during this timeframe doesn’t guarantee your egg won’t be fertilised.

The likelihood is low, but you can never be 100 percent sure that you won’t get pregnant during your period. You should always practice safe sex (unless, of course, you are trying to have a baby!).

For more information about family planning, speak to your doctor.


Myth 4: Women can’t get kidney stones

Kidney stones are calcified material that form inside the kidney and can travel down the urinary tract. These kidney stones are about three times more common in men. However, women can and do get kidney stones – and passing them out of your system can be very painful!

Men are more likely to get kidney stones from the age of about 40 onwards. Women don’t usually develop them until later in life, from age 50 onwards. However, it’s possible to get kidney stones before this age.

Speak to your doctor if you are concerned about kidney stones, or if you experience any of the common symptoms, like back pain, pain when you urinate or blood in your urine.

Myth 5: Morning sickness only happens in the morning

This may make you feel nauseous, or even cause you to vomit. But despite its name, morning sickness can actually occur at anytime of day!

Truthfully, doctors aren’t 100 percent sure why some women experience it and others don’t. Increase of hormone levels in the first few weeks of pregnancy are thought to be a contributing factor. Other factors that may make it worse include:

•Having twins or triplets
•Excessive tiredness
•Emotional stress
•Frequent travelling

No one really seems to know why morning sickness is called morning sickness, apart from it usually occurring earlier in the day. Most of the time, it is totally harmless to you and your baby. If you experience it, drink plenty of water, eat small meals, and nap when you need to.



Myth 6: Eating fat makes you fat

We’re often led to believe that eating any food containing fat is bad for us, when in fact the opposite is true!

Your body needs fat to survive. Healthy fats – like monounsaturated fats in nuts and vegetable oils – help to improve blood cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Avocado, cod, salmon, tuna, eggs, nuts, and seeds are all healthy sources of fat.

Avoid foods that are high in transfat or saturated fat, like doughnuts, pastries, biscuits, cookies, regular cheese, fatty meat, poultry skin, and processed meat.

Myth 7: Only young girls need the HPV vaccine

There are over 100 different strains of HPV, but only 15 of these are known to cause cancer by triggering the growth of abnormal cells in the cervix. The HPV vaccine is designed to protect you from two of these HPV strains, which account for 70 – 80 percent of all cervical cancer cases.

Many women think the vaccine is only for young girls, but the truth is, you can encounter HPV at any age. By getting the vaccine, you reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer.


Myth 8: Drinking cold water is bad for you

Scientific studies have shown that drinking cold water on a hot day or during exercise helps you to stay hydrated and prevent your body from overheating. In addition, drinking a cold isotonic drink can help you to replenish essential body salts lost through your sweat after a long session of vigorous exercise.

Ultimately, it is still much better for your body to drink water – hot or cold – than it is to consume sugary drinks.

Dr Agnieszka Kucharska Bielewicz
Dr Agnieszka Kucharska Bielewicz is a specialist of internal medicine with over 18 years working experience in both Poland and China. She specialises in treatment of hypertension, diabetes and cardiology for both outpatient and inpatient including the emergency ward.

Website: www.parkwaypantai.cn
Telephone: 400 819 6622