5 Women’s Health Mistakes You Should Stop Making

Listen up, ladies! It’s time to talk about our feminine health. Unfortunately, much of the medical advice we hear seems to be disproven as hearsay years down the road. It can be hard to separate gimmicks and trends from proven, solid health advice. The truth is, sometimes less is more when it comes to health. Many women make crucial mistakes when it comes to personal self-care. Here are a few things to stop doing, pronto:

Douching/Over-Cleaning

In case you haven’t heard, douching and over-cleaning have long been disproven by science. Here’s the thing: Our vaginas are perfectly capable of keeping themselves clean, thank you very much. Lubrication and vaginal discharge exist partially to keep the vagina clean and ever-renewing. Trust me, your vagina is at no risk of becoming dirty or infected because you don’t douche.

In fact, the exact opposite is true. According to U.S. Office on Women’s Health, douching can push infectious bacteria up into the uterus, causing pelvic inflammatory disease. It can also disrupt the balance of healthy bacteria that keep the vagina healthy.

“A healthy vagina has good and harmful bacteria,” the Office on Women’s Health states. “The balance of bacteria helps maintain an acidic environment. The acidic environment protects the vagina from infections or irritation. Douching can cause an overgrowth of harmful bacteria. This can lead to a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis.”

To keep your lady parts clean, just wash your external genitalia with gentle soap and warm water when you shower. It’s literally that simple. If you feel a little grimy, keep feminine wipes on hand to clean the outer labia in a pinch.

Eating Soy Regularly

Guess what, vegans and vegetarians (and even meat eaters who want to cut down on their meat consumption)? There are plenty of ways to get protein without turning to soy products.

Here’s why you should be concerned. Soy is one of the top three most genetically modified crops in the United States. If that wasn’t enough to freak you out, there’s more: Soy is an estrogen mimicker. That is, it acts like estrogen in the body, and disrupts the hormonal balance of the reproductive cycle and other hormonal systems. One of the worst impacts of this trait is that estrogen mimickers and hormone disruptors have been strongly linked to breast cancer.

So what about those healthy Asian communities that often consume tofu and edamame? Well, even cultures for whom whole soy is a staple food product probably eat less of it than most modern Americans. Soy is a hugely and widely used ingredient that proliferates in U.S. food markets—and we’re not talking about wholesome soy products here. We’re talking about the highly processed, often genetically modified soy products of modern America. It’s in our condiments, our personal care products, our breads, our cereals, our snack foods, our beverages … don’t consume it any more than is absolutely necessary.

Not Urinating After Sex

Women should always head to the restroom not too long after having sex. This is because, with all that goes on down there, there is a chance bacteria can get into the woman’s urethra, leading to a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). Peeing after sex helps cleanse the urethra, getting rid of any bacteria that may have entered the tract. It doesn’t always work (having a lot of sex can unfortunately sometimes come with a UTI), but it’s a crucial step not to skip.

Not Taking Time for Yourself

According to the American Psychological Association, women are much more likely than men to report high levels of stress. Even further, they are much more likely to report physical associations with stress, such as crying, tension headaches, weight gain and other problems.

Women have a different stress response than men do. The stress hormone cortisol is a big factor in women’s stress response cycles, which peaks during the early stages of menopause.

Women should make sure to take time for themselves to de-stress and relax. Whatever floats your boat—whether it’s a night out with friends, a solitary afternoon, a deep tissue massage or a regular exercise routine—make time for it. It’s a matter not only of happiness, but also of health.

Not Lifting Weights

Finally, women should always include some form of weight lifting or resistance training in their exercise routine. It doesn’t have to be a massive portion or your routine, either—something as simple as light yoga or holding 3-pound weights while you walk through the neighborhood will definitely do the trick.

Resistance training is important because the more muscle mass you have in your body, the higher your metabolic rate will be. This means you’ll burn more calories even when resting. Even if you’re not concerned about weight loss, muscle mass is crucial for healthy aging, as it will impact mobility, flexibility and strength into your senior years.

76 comments

Sarah Hill
Sarah Habout a year ago

thanks

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallusabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for the article.

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Anne P.
Anne P1 years ago

I don't agree about soy. Organic soy milk, tofu and tempeh have been a mainstay of my diet since I went veg in 1990, with no adverse effects to my health. Epidemiological studies have found that soy protein may reduce the risk for cancers including breast, colon, and prostate. Studies show that women who include soy products in their diet, especially starting early in life, are less likely to develop breast cancer, compared with other women. The Women’s Healthy Eating and Living Study showed that women previously diagnosed with breast cancer gain a major advantage by incorporating soy products into their diets. For more, check out this article from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, "Soy and Your Health:"
http://www.pcrm.org/health/health-topics/soy-and-your-health

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Sara G.
Sara G1 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Tatjana Jancic
Tatjana Jancic1 years ago

I am curious about soy. I usually drink soy milk, almost every day, am not from the US and use Vitalia products from FYROM that are said not to have been made from GM soy. Does using non-GM soy reduce risk of estrogen mimicking or it's the same?

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Darlene Buckingham
shawn arscott1 years ago

Time to buy weights and add weight-lifting to the exercise routine.

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Margie FOURIE
Margie FOURIE1 years ago

I try to abide by the above.

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France Ruch
France Ruch1 years ago

Thank you for explaining

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Debbi -.
Debbi -1 years ago

No problem with any of those, especially over eating soy.

Flagged: Past Member, Alice N.,

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