GO WITH THE FLOW

30 Why you should keep mov­ing dur­ing your pe­riod.

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The birth con­trol pill is bet­ter than you think The most per­sis­tent myth about the pill is that it will make you gain weight. “Many stud­ies have dis­proved this,” Dr Brauer says. Some high-oe­stro­gen pills can in­crease hunger, but most women take lower dosages to­day. An­other mis­con­cep­tion is that the pill can cause breast can­cer. “Some stud­ies ob­serve very small in­creases,” Dr Brauer says. But once women stop tak­ing the pill, the in­creased risk seems to dis­ap­pear. Plus, the pill has been shown to re­duce the odds of en­dome­trial and ovar­ian can­cers. If you have con­cerns, talk to your doc­tor.

There’s a sim­ple way to pre­vent uri­nary tract in­fec­tions (UTIs) Skip cran­berry juice. Stud­ies about its use­ful­ness for UTIs are con­flict­ing, Dr Brauer says. The key is drink­ing enough wa­ter and other bev­er­ages. Women who in­creased their to­tal fluid intake to about three litres per day were half as likely to get UTIs as oth­ers, a study found. The ex­tra liq­uid means fluid is con­stantly mov­ing through the blad­der, keep­ing bac­te­rial growth at bay.

In­trauter­ine de­vices (IUDs) are an ex­cel­lent form of birth con­trol IUDs are super-ef­fec­tive, Dr Brauer says. The fail­ure rate is un­der 1 per cent, com­pared with 9 per cent for the pill and 18 per cent for male con­doms. Once an IUD is in­serted, it pre­vents preg­nancy for three to 10 years, depend­ing on the type, with lit­tle room for user er­ror. There are dif­fer­ent sizes as well as hor­monal and non-hor­monal op­tions, so you can find one that’s best for you.

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