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Debunking Common Women’s Wellness Myths

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Chances are, you’re constantly inundated with health information from friends, family, and social media: what you should eat, how you should exercise—the list goes on. This brings about many myths around women’s bodies, from periods syncing to bras causing breast cancer. Not sure which myths hold a grain of truth and which ones don’t hold up at all? We’re here to help!

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The myth: you can’t get pregnant on your period

The facts:  people who menstruate are generally considered less fertile during their periods, but it is possible to become pregnant during this time. Sperm can last in the body for approximately three days after sex, which could result in pregnancy. It’s also possible to mistake vaginal bleeding during ovulation for the start of a period, meaning you could be at your most fertile if you have sex during that time.

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The myth: bras can cause breast cancer

The facts:  if you’ve heard that wearing a bra can increase your risk of breast cancer, rest easy: although there has been speculation that bras may restrict lymph flow and therefore put you at risk, there is no scientific research to back this claim. So, keep wearing that bra—or don’t—but you likely won’t be putting yourself in harm’s way.

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The myth: periods can sync up

The facts:  ever been told that spending too much time around other people who menstruate can result in your period cycles syncing up? Science tells us this simply isn’t the case. Although an irregular cycle, or even one that shifts by a few days, may cause yours to eventually line up with someone near you, your cycle is based solely on your own body and not your proximity to someone else’s.

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The myth: You can’t get pregnant while breastfeeding

The facts:  although consistent breastfeeding helps prevent ovulation, there is still a possibility of getting pregnant. The lactational amenorrhea method (LAM) of birth control, which relies on frequent breastfeeding to prevent pregnancy, can be effective. However, there is still the risk of becoming pregnant if you don’t follow LAM exactly. Consult your health care practitioner to see if LAM can be an effective form of birth control for you.

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The myth: cranberry juice can cure a UTI immediately

The facts:  research does suggest that certain properties in cranberries may help prevent future urinary tract infections (UTIs) by stopping bacteria from sticking to urinary tract walls. However, there isn’t conclusive proof that cranberry juice will be effective for everyone, and it has not been shown to cure a UTI immediately.

If you want to try cranberry juice as an extra step toward UTI prevention, reach for pure, unsweetened cranberry juice or ask your health care practitioner about cranberry supplements and other treatments for UTIs.

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