Here is a useful list of commonly held beliefs about women’s health which are not only untrue, but which may actually be harmful to women:
- Only overweight women need worry about cholesterol. Not true. Overweight women may be more at risk but it does not follow that women with normal weight don’t have to worry about cholesterol; it can strike anyone.
- Sexually transmitted diseases happen only to younger women. Also not true. Even post menopausal women are at risk from STDs; in fact a recent study showed that the numbers of those diagnosed with STDs over the age of 45 has doubled in the past ten years.
- Colon cancer is a man’s disease. Again not true. Colon cancer is the third commonest form of cancer among women. Screening is therefore as important for women as it is for men.
- Heart attacks bring on chest pain. Not true for women. In fact women have very different symptoms of a heart attack than do men.
- If there is vaginal itching, over the counter medication will take care of it. Not necessarily. This could be the sign of an infection, or a sexually transmitted disease even and is required to be properly treated.