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11 Women’s Health Myths to Stop Believing

Cease your obsessive Googling, get your mother off the phone, and learn the truth about our most common health misconceptions straight from the docs.

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Think Fast: Where do you turn for quick, reliable health information? If your answer is not “my doctor,” you are not alone. Despite our Digital Age, or maybe because of it, myths about women’s health continue to float around, often misrepresented as truth. cool stuff for guys cool stuff to buy cool stuff for kids cool stuff to make

In addition to the Internet’s lack of a medical degree, friends and family are also sources of erroneous information and advice regarding your health, and they’re often more than willing to share it with you. Dr. Katherine Gurchak of Allina Health Mercy Women’s Health Clinic says that the close bonds women often maintain with other women in their lives make it “very safe and easy to trust the opinions of these women and mistake some of the myths that get perpetuated for fact.” cool stuff for guys cool stuff to buy cool stuff for kids cool stuff to make

Long-held cultural beliefs, passed down from one familial generation to the next, can compound the fact-or-myth challenge, too. “Regardless of factual basis, some women may still regard a traditional belief with a certain degree of respect,” says Dr. Carrie Ann Terrell, medical director of the Division of General Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. cool stuff for guys cool stuff to buy cool stuff for kids cool stuff to make

For a calming dose of clarity, here are 11 of the most common and recurring women’s health myths our Twin Cities doctors encounter among their patients, along with the truths that debunk them. Our blood pressure’s feeling better already. cool stuff for guys cool stuff to buy cool stuff for kids cool stuff to make 

MYTH 1

“Once you turn 35, pregnancy is much more risky and unlikely.”

Truth: There is no biological alarm that makes pregnancy suddenly much more hazardous the minute a woman turns 35 years old, though various risks do increase with age. “Every year a woman ages, the risks of infertility, miscarriage, and chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus increase slightly, but there is no dramatic increase at 35,” explains Dr. Annelise Skor Swigert, partner at Southdale OB/GYN. cool stuff for guys cool stuff to buy cool stuff for kids cool stuff to make

As proof, reproductive endocrinologist Dr. Bruce Campbell of The Center for Reproductive Medicine cites national IVF success rates per cycle: “At age 34, the success rate is about 38 percent. At age 35, it is about 34 percent. At age 36, about 30 percent. At age 40, about 20 percent, and so on.” cool stuff for guys cool stuff to buy cool stuff for kids cool stuff to make

The unnecessary attachment to age 35 resides in the fact that women ages 35 and older are offered testing, like amniocentesis, to evaluate the risk of chromosomal abnormalities. At age 35, the baseline risk is 1/200 or 0.5 percent, compared to 1/600 or 0.17 percent at age 25. cool stuff for guys cool stuff to buy cool stuff for kids cool stuff to make

MYTH 2

“A pregnant woman needs to limit her exercise.”

Truth: Though your penchant for naps may have grown, a baby bump needn’t slow you down completely. “Staying physically active in pregnancy has many benefits: relief of low back pain, improved endurance during childbirth, decreased rates of gestational diabetes, and long-term health,” says Dr. Leigh Koidahl of Southdale OB/GYN. In fact, women in good physical condition before pregnancy are encouraged to get 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day, provided they do not have medical conditions that make it unadvisable. cool stuff for guys cool stuff to buy cool stuff for kids cool stuff to make

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