When seeing your doctor, gynecologist, dentist, or other specialist, women often get asked some tough questions like, "Do you smoke pot?" or "How many sexual partners have you had in the past year?" Whether it's because we're embarrassed, don't want to get lectured, or don't want to be judged, women tend to bend the truth a little in the exam room. However, it may be at the expense of their own health, since small fibs can sometimes have life-threatening consequences. Here are eight common lies women tell the person in the white coat.
"I'm not a big drinker."
You know you should be sticking to one alcoholic drink a day , but some days, you definitely exceed your quota. Don't lie about it. It's important to be truthful since a high consumption of alcohol is linked to breast cancer . Also, when your doctor prescribes medications, drinking too much alcohol can cause complications or risky side effects. Do you lie about how much you drink?
"I don't smoke."
We all know we shouldn't smoke, so we don't need our doctors telling us not to, right? Or we think, "I only smoke when I drink, so it's not a big deal." Well, it doesn't matter what you tell your doctor, because as soon as she examines you, she'll know you smoke since nicotine stains the inside of your nose. Smoking causes premature wrinkling, asthma, and lung cancer, and it also raises your risk for stroke when using birth control pills, so women need to be truthful with their doctors about this one. Do you lie about how much you smoke?
"I don't do illegal drugs."
Of course you don't want to admit that you smoke pot every once in a while or ate mushrooms at the concert you went to last month, because you don't want to admit to breaking the law. But these drugs can affect your health. Your doctor is only asking you about it because it's their job to make you as healthy as possible. Do you lie about your illegal drug use?
"I practice safe sex."
It's understandable that you don't want to admit that you have casual sex or don't use protection for fear that it may make you seem irresponsible or promiscuous. The problem is, unsafe sex can put you at risk for contracting a slew of sexually transmitted infections and diseases like HPV or HIV. It's important to be straight with your doc so you can be tested. Do you fib about practicing safe sex?
"I exercise regularly."
Working out for at least 30 minutes a day isn't just for people trying to lose weight. Daily exercise makes your muscles stronger, prevents osteoporosis, strengthens your heart (which prevents heart disease), can lower high blood pressure, and decreases your risk of breast cancer and diabetes. So do it for your health, and not because you don't want to disappoint your doc. Do you bend the truth about how often you exercise?
"I floss every day."
Flossing is boring and tedious, but it's so important to do regularly, and not just when you get a popcorn kernel stuck in your teeth. Studies show that those who don't floss are at risk for gum disease, which puts you at risk for heart disease and pancreatic cancer . You can't fool your dentist either, because as soon as they look in your mouth, they'll know you're not flossing when they see your red, inflamed gums. If you start flossing every day, the next time you go to the dentist, you won't have to lie. Do you fib about flossing?
"I'm taking my medication exactly as you prescribed."
Many women don't take prescriptions as directed because they think they know better, or they skip doses or stop taking meds (such as antibiotics) because they don't like the side effects. If patients don't do exactly as their doctor prescribes and they aren't feeling better, they don't want to admit that it could be their fault. The best thing is to openly communicate with your doctor about your medications. Find out if there are alternative medications that have fewer side effects. Are you truthful about how you take prescriptions?
"I perform self breast exams every month."
Checking your girls every month will help you notice changes in your breast tissue. Having your doctor check them once a year at your annual exam just isn't enough. If you're embarrassed about asking what to look for, here's a guide to help . Do you lie about doing monthly self breast exams?