Women’s bodies are amazing, but unfortunately, they come with a few extra health risks. One of the most dangerous ones is the risk of cervical cancer.
As a woman, what do you need to know about cervical cancer? What does cervical cancer prevention look like? How often should you visit the gynecologist?
We’re going to tell you everything you need to know with our top five cervical cancer prevention tips. Let’s get started.
Can You Prevent Cervical Cancer?
The good news is that cervical cancer is preventable. If you are proactive with your health and catch any indications of cervical cancer early, you can prevent it or deal with it before it goes too far.
Sadly, even though it’s preventable, over 4,000 women die from cervical cancer every year, according to the CDC. Why does this happen? The biggest problem is a lack of knowledge about cervical cancer prevention.
Additionally, many women do not see their doctor or gynecologist enough, which is where they would learn about the risks of cervical cancer.
If more women knew how to prevent cervical cancer, there wouldn’t be so many women dying from a preventable disease. That’s why it’s important to share this information with the women in your life. Tell them about the following tips to decrease their risk of cervical cancer.
1. Get Screened for Cervical Cancer
Getting a pap smear is the best way to get screened for cervical cancer. The test looks for cells that could turn into cervical cancer so that you can prevent the disease before it forms.
Sexually active women younger than 30 should get a pap smear at least every three years. Women older than thirty should get them every five years. Learn more about how often you should see the gynecologist from 67streetobgyn.com.
Along with the pap smear, you can also screen for cervical cancer with the HPV test. It screens for human papillomavirus, which can make cells precancerous.
Ask your gynecologist if they advise the HPV test along with your regular pap smear.
2. Get the HPV Vaccine
Did you know that HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer? If you are under 26 years old, the CDC recommends getting the HPV vaccine. Along with preventing the virus, it also prevents cells from becoming precancerous. It can prevent cervical, vaginal, vulvar cancers.
If you’re over age 26, you can still get vaccinated, but it is not as effective. The vaccine cannot treat existing cervical cancer. It’s most effective when teens get it before they are sexually active.
3. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Studies show that a healthy lifestyle can help lower your risk of cancer. Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and maintain a healthy weight. In fact, studies show that the nutrients in produce can help prevent the HPV virus and stop cells from becoming cancerous.
Here are the nutrients to prioritize:
Fruits, vegetables, and beans are all high in these nutrients. Eat a variety to make sure your body is getting what it needs.
Smokers are more likely to get cervical cancer. In fact, the risk factors double when you are a heavy cigarette smoker. Giving up your smoking habit will have amazing benefits, especially when it comes to preventing cervical cancer.
4. Use Condoms During Sex
Using condoms during sex can lower your risk of getting cervical cancer. They won’t prevent it completely, but it’s important to do whatever you can to reduce your risk.
Plus, condoms can also protect you against other types of sexually transmitted diseases, as well as unplanned pregnancy.
You should also consider your other birth control methods. If you currently have or have had cervical cancer, you should not take hormonal contraceptives.
5. Limit Your Number of Sexual Partners
The fewer people you have sex with, the lower your HPV exposure and risk of developing cervical cancer. However, this advice is not always practical, which is why it’s important to follow the other cervical cancer prevention tips above.
It’s still worth mentioning that people in monogamous relationships are at a much lower risk of cervical cancer. Since they are monogamous, their partner is also limiting their sexual partners, which reduces the risk even more.
If you are having sex with multiple partners, always use condoms and keep up with your screenings.
Share These Cervical Cancer Prevention Tips With Other Women
It’s a shame that so many women don’t know that cervical cancer is preventable. Plus, you can also catch it early when you keep up with your OBGYN visits and screenings.
Make sure you share these tips with other women you know so that more people are educated about cervical cancer prevention. All women deserve to know how their bodies work and how to take care of them. Unfortunately, most women don’t get the education they need.
Along with sharing these tips, you can encourage the women in your life to go to the gynecologist. They should not wait until they are having health issues or get pregnant. All women should begin seeing a gynecologist when they are sexually active.
Final Thoughts on Preventing Cervical Cancer
Hopefully, you feel empowered to take charge of your health and prevent cervical cancer. The good thing about cervical cancer prevention is that it is not hard. If you keep up with your screenings and get the HPV vaccine, you are already doing a good job.
However, you can also add in lifestyle changes to lower your risk. A healthy diet and eliminating smoking can go a long way. Lastly, practicing protected sex and limiting your sexual partners will reduce your exposure to HPV.
For more health resources, check out the rest of the blog.
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