It’s a brand New Year, one full of hope for an awesome 2019. You probably have a list of things you want to accomplish and, well, going to your gynecologist might not be one of them. We don’t blame you! But, it is an important “to do” every year and we want to make sure you remember to do just that.
In fact, you might be one that runs from any and all medical appointments whether it’s the dentist, the podiatrist, or your Gyno. January doesn’t only mark the start of fabulous new year, but it’s the month for cervical cancer awareness. According to the American Cancer Society, cervical cancer affects roughly 13,240 women a year on average and approximately 4,170 women have died from it.
What Causes Cervical Cancer?
To keep it simple, cervical cancer forms when the cells in the uterus develops abnormally. Ladies in their 20s or 30s tend to get diagnosed with precancerous cells in the uterus. But the average age a woman is diagnosed with cervical cancer is in her mid-50s. Cervical cancer is most likely to be caused by the HPV virus. A whopping 70 percent of cervical cancer cases are caused by two types of HPV viruses, types 16 and 18.
What Is HPV?
To give it to you straight, Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common viral infection in the reproductive tract. But, what exactly is HPV anyway? The human papillomavirus is a group of viruses and super common across the globe. It’s basically a sexually transmitted infection that tends to peak after sexual intercourse. The use of condoms are a recommended preventive measure from healthcare professionals against contracting HPV. Ladies, this is a good reminder to not rely solely on birth control pills since they may protect you from pregnancy, but doesn’t protect you from getting an STI.
Signs & Symptoms
Usually, HPV doesn’t really give you symptoms, which can be a little scary cause you might not know you have it. However, if you do have HPV, here are some symptoms you may experience:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding post-sex
- Irregular periods
- Weight loss, loss of appetite, fatigue
- Odorous vaginal discharge
- One swollen leg, while the other is normal
Multiple sexual partners where there’s unprotected sex tend to increase the risk of getting HPV. In 2015, there were approximately 257,524 cervical cancer cases in the U.S., and cervical cancer is the fourth most frequent cancer in women.
HPV Screening & HPV Vaccine
HPV screenings are super important and are usually done at the same time as your Pap smear. As a precaution, the HPV vaccine is available, and can be given to kids as early as 9 years old through adults up to 45 years of age. Recently, the FDA changed the age bracket in terms of who can receive the vaccination, whereas the age cut-off used to be 26, adults 27 to 45 can now get the HPV vaccination also. Talk with your doctor to see if the HPV vaccination is right for you.
Don’t Skimp On Your Gyno Appt!
Here’s the thing, while you might prefer to be getting your nails done or shopping. Anything other than having to fit a Gyno appointment in with work, school, and your busy life in general. But your health should not be put on hold. A cancer of the vaginal or cervical kind can affect your whole body’s health and your mental and emotional state, too. Don’t procrastinate and take your personal health seriously.
Make Your Menstrual Health Part Of Your New Year Health Goals
Speaking of vaginal health, put your menstrual health on your healthier New Year plan, too. What touches “down there” should be made with ingredients you trust. After all, it only takes 26 seconds for your skin to absorb harmful chemicals, and if you’re using conventional tampons made with rayon, other synthetics and chemicals, then you’re putting your super sensitive girl parts at risk for infections.
Veeda hypoallergenic tampons, pads, liners and fem-wipes are made with non-toxic, natural cotton and other natural ingredients for a healthier period. For optimal vaginal health, try alternating from tampons to pads. When it’s that time of the month, use a pad for a day or two, then switch to a tampon to allow your outer skin a little room to breathe. Then, switch back to pads to give your inner vaginal wall a break. Cervical health, and menstrual health go hand-in-hand, and seeing your Gyno for regular check ups and bringing up any menstruation or cervical health concerns, is always an important “to do,” this month, or any month of the year.