Don’t use deodorant before a mammogram
As if mammograms weren’t nerve-wracking enough, you can’t even protect against sweating! “Mammography advises women to skip deodorant/antiperspirant or powders on the day of the mammogram,” Dr Roth says. “The reason is that many deodorants and powders contain aluminium, which on mammography looks similar to breast calcifications and could be read as a false positive.” You might be worried about B.O., but the techs are used to it. Just shower beforehand and it won’t be that bad. Plus, it’s better than getting incorrect bad news later!
Don’t eat red food before a colonoscopy
Red or purple food can colour your colon. Even those ice pops you’re advised to have while eating lightly the day before the test could be trouble. “We ask that these are not purple or red in colour because they will mask the lining of the colon and could then affect the outcome of the study,” says gastroenterologist Dr Randall Brand. Interestingly, iron supplements can have the same effect. And they can have some other not-so-pleasant consequences. “Iron can also stain the walls of the colon, again having an effect on a successful study,” Dr Brand says. “In addition, iron, for many people, can be constipating and may make it difficult for the pre-colonoscopy laxatives to completely clean out the colon for a successful study.” You should stop taking iron a week before your colonoscopy. Other things that can be hard to clean out are high-fibre foods like raw fruits and vegetables, corn, and beans. Dr Brand says to avoid them for three days before the procedure.
Do go ahead and have sex before the gyno or urologist
Don’t worry: doctors say it’s ok to do the deed before your visit, even though you may think that having sex before a visit to the gynaecologist (for a woman) or the urologist (for a man) is a no-no. “Your doctor’s not going to yell at you for having sex – it’s totally fine,” Dr Minkin says. But again, if you’re going to be nervous about it, skip the sex or reschedule. “It will not affect your physical exam either way, nor will it affect the Pap smear,” Dr Roth says. For men, you might be worried that it will affect any tests you have on your urine, testicles, or prostate, but Dr Davies says that’s not the case. “Normal sexual activity is fine,” he says. “There are no significant abnormalities associated with sexual relations.”