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7 popular, but totally wrong, health myths debunked. Beware, you can get pregnant on your period

Health myths: There are several health myths linked to women’s health which may not be strictly true. Like breastfeeding, for instance, does not cause breasts to sag. There are many other health myths that can cause you harm.

fitness Updated: Aug 02, 2018 16:15 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Health,Health myth,Fitness
Health myths: There is very little scientific backing to the notion that exercise is a taboo during menstruation.(Shutterstock)

Women’s health is a crucial topic, but you should not believe everything that you hear. Conventional wisdom is not necessarily scientifically accurate. And while they may have been valid based on earlier research, they no longer hold true. Some of the most common beliefs include the idea that breastfeeding may affect your physique, deodorants can lead to breast cancer and that obesity is a part of pregnancy. Another common misconception is that it’s not possible to get pregnant on your period and that women have small bladders but urinary incontinence is only an old ladies problem. Here are 5 such myths that you need to be aware of:

Breastfeeding promotes bonding, reduces the child’s risk of asthma and cancer, and helps the baby fight viruses and bacteria. It does not, however, cause breast sagging as commonly believed. (Shutterstock)

Breastfeeding can cause breasts to sag

There are multiple benefits to breastfeeding, be it promoting bonding, reducing the child’s risk of asthma and cancer, and helping the baby fight viruses and bacteria. However, a common misconception is that breastfeeding can make women’s breasts sag. Research has debunked this myth and shown that the real reason is multiple pregnancies, age and smoking which caused sagging.

You can’t get pregnant on your period

Unprotected sex at any point of time can lead to pregnancy, even when you are on your period and think you are safe. Studies have shown that sperm stays active in the body for up to five days and there is a possibility that t it can reach the egg while ovulating post-period as well.

Pregnancy is not an excuse to eat unhealthy foods and gain weight. (Shutterstock)

You need to gain weight during pregnancy

Obesity and a healthy pregnancy weight are not one and the same thing. And pregnancy is not an excuse to eat whatever you want, especially if it is unhealthy for you. Research shows that you only need to eat an extra 300 calories a day when you are pregnant. And that is available from healthy sources as well, such as nuts and dried fruits. Too much of weight gain during pregnancy can cause complications such as gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.

Deodorant cause breast cancer

While there has been a lot of debate on whether deodorant use causes breast cancer, there is no scientific confirmation on it. Some caution against applying it close to the breast tissue.

You don’t need to avoid exercising during periods unless there is debilitating pain. (Shutterstock)

You should avoid exercise during periods

If you do not suffer from debilitating pain or a reproductive issue, there is no reason for you to be homebound or sedentary during period. There is very little scientific backing to the notion that exercise is a taboo during menstruation. Exercising has, in fact, been shown to reduce menstrual cramp pain and boost the mood. If it tires you out too much, opt for walking instead.

Urinary incontinence only happens in old age

Stress incontinence, which happens when a bit of urine comes out when sneezing, coughing or laughing, is not restricted to elderly people. It can also happen to women who have children by the age of 40.

Women have a smaller bladder than men

No, women do not have a smaller bladder. If they seem to pee very often, it is because the bladder pushes against the uterus and fills up faster because of added pressure.

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First Published: Aug 02, 2018 09:00 IST