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Too Much Exercise While Pregnant, No More Yearly Pap Smears, And How Success Does Not Equal Happiness? - HER Week In Health

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In this edition of EmpowHER's "HER Week In Health", Bailey Mosier finds out how much exercise is too much for pregnant women, examines a study that claims you may not need that yearly pap smear, and finally if you really want a healthy, happy life, your fancy title and high salary may not deliver.

Hi, I’m Bailey Mosier. This is your EmpowHER HER Week in Health.

It’s hard to argue physical activity is ever a bad idea, but in this week’s edition we learn how much might be too much for women trying to have a baby. We also learn that doctors are no longer recommending a yearly Pap smear and if you really want a healthy, happy life, your fancy title and high salary may not deliver. Have a look.

Researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health administered questionnaires to 3,600 women aged 18 to 40 who were in stable relationships with male partners and planning to become pregnant, but not involved in any fertility treatments.

They found that higher levels of vigorous exercise were associated with lower fertility rates in normal-weight women, but not overweight and obese women.

Their research aligns with previous studies that found intense workouts disturb women's monthly menstrual cycles and lead to a lack of ovulation. High-intensity exercise might also impair implantation when a fertilized egg attaches to the wall of the uterus.

The bottom line of the study is that normal, non-obese women who want to become pregnant should stick to moderate aerobic exercise, otherwise, they may run the risk of becoming less fertile.

Women still need to continue annual visits to their gynecologists to monitor their reproductive health, but doctors are now saying a yearly Pap smear is no longer necessary.

In its first update since 2003, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said an annual Pap smear isn't necessary for women aged 21 to 65, and that women younger than 21 don't need the test at all because evidence indicates screening doesn't lower cervical-cancer rates or deaths in this youngest group.

Pap smears detect abnormalities in cells scraped from the opening of the cervix, but doctors say the highest-risk women for cervical cancer are those who have never been screened or haven't been screened in over five years.

Ambitious people attend the best colleges, have prestigious careers and earn high salaries. And while that may sound like the definition of success, it won’t likely make you healthy or happy.
Researchers at the University of Notre Dame tracked 700 high-ability individuals over seven decades whose education ranged from attending some of the world's best Ivy League universities to those earning only high school diplomas.

Researchers determined that ambition has a weakening effect on life satisfaction and actually a negative impact on longevity, perhaps because the investments people make in their careers come at the expense of the things we know affect longevity: healthy behaviors, stable relationships and deep social networks.

That wraps up your EmpowHER HER Week in Health. Join me here at EmpowHER every Friday as we recap the latest in women’s health.

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