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Fun facts about women's "freaky & fabulous" bodies

Ladies, did you know that sleeping on your chest can alter the shape of your breasts over time?

I did not -- until I read "What the Yuck?!," a book, published Tuesday by the folks at Health Magazine and Health.com, that tells "the freaky and fabulous truth about your body." There's a bit more freaky than fabulous going on here. But flip through a few pages and you're bound to learn a thing or two.

For instance:

  • That foul-smelling "gunk" in your belly button is "a mixture of lint, dirt, dried sweat, and dead skin cells. If you have an innie (and 90 percent of us do), the belly button is an area that can trap moisture and bacteria....It starts to smell when bacteria eat sweat and release an odor."
  • "Tingling Thigh Syndrome" can occur when the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve that runs across the outside of your thigh is compressed by too-tight jeans.


  • Historically speaking, it's not that unusual for a woman to have 19 kids a la Michelle Duggar. "Though few of us test the limits of our fertility anymore, our bodies are still capable of amazing things, like having 19 kids."

  • The questions posed throughout this chatty tome are answered by Roshini Raj, an MD who contributes to the magazine, and Lisa Lombardi, Health Magazine's executive editor. Her presence adds weight to the book, and she's got a frank way about her that stops short of the cutesy tone that characterizes many similar books.

    For someone who reads as much about health as I do, "What the Yuck?!" doesn't deliver too many surprises. But there is a lot of information here, much of it practical and useful, if not sometimes a bit obvious.

    For example, to keep your breasts from changing shape while you sleep, the book suggests flipping onto your side and supporting your breasts with a pillow. Sounds simple -- but have you ever tried changing your accustomed sleep position? It's easier said than done.

    Still, the book gets you thinking about things you might ask a doctor if only you weren't too embarrassed. How about you? What would you ask if you didn't have to look the doc in the eye?

    By Jennifer Huget  |  August 3, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
    Categories:  Women's Health  
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