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3 Reproductive Health Misconceptions Every Woman Needs To Know

Understanding how the female reproductive system works is invaluable for everyone, especially women. Some people continue to believe misconceptions about the female reproductive system, which can lead to unexpected pregnancies or delayed cancer detection.

You Had Your Period, No Worries

Not every pregnant woman will skip their period, especially during the early months of pregnancy. If you are pregnant, you will not have a "true" period, which is cyclic bleeding as a result of ovulation. Just as women who are not pregnant can have anovulatory bleeding, so can pregnant women. Never rely on the presence of your period as an indicator that you are not pregnant.

If you are experiencing pregnancy symptoms, but had a negative home pregnancy test, you should consider speaking with your gynecologist or a family planning center to have a blood pregnancy test performed. Although home pregnancy tests are fairly accurate, their ability to detect pregnancy hormones in urine will depend on the sensitivity of the test and how much of the hormone (if any) is excreted in your urine.

You're Too Old To Conceive Naturally

There is no definitive age when a woman can no longer conceive children naturally. The length of her reproductive years are purely dependent on when she no longer has viable eggs, which is once menopause has occurred. In general, the average age for menopause is 51. For some women, menopause happens earlier or later in life. It is never safe to assume you cannot conceive naturally. You should consult your gynecologist for testing to determine if you have viable eggs left.

Unless menopause has been confirmed, you should continue to use a birth control method if you do not intend to have children. Without protection, you may be more susceptible to unexpected pregnancies during your perimenopausal years because your ovaries are often releasing multiple eggs at each cycle. Additionally, many women begin to skip periods as they approach menopause, making it difficult to notice the difference between signs of menopause and an early-stage pregnancy.

You Can Skip Gynecological Exams Post-Hysterectomy

Most types of gynecological cancers are more prevalent as women age, and this is the same age group that is more likely to had a hysterectomy. Some of the misconceptions regarding the need for gynecological examinations is based on inadequate understanding about which organs are removed during a hysterectomy and the multiple types of hysterectomies. A complete hysterectomy is when all of the internal reproductive system is removed, which includes the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. In many cases, the cervix remains intact.

Some women may have a partial hysterectomy where the uterus is removed but the ovaries and fallopian tubes remain to prevent a premature menopause. Another type of partial hysterectomy occurs when half the uterus is removed, along with one ovary and fallopian tube. Gynecological cancers can occur anywhere within a woman's reproductive system. This also includes the vaginal canal and external genitalia. Although your cancer screenings may change after a hysterectomy, your cancer risk has not been eliminated completely.

Good reproductive health starts with being knowledgeable about your reproductive system. Avoiding misconceptions about female reproductive health can help you be proactive when you notice changes in your body and not rely on false information. For more information, contact a company like Bayview OB GYN Women's Care Florida.