Protect Yourself Against Cervical Cancer

The human papillomavirus or HPV is quite a common type of infection especially for women who are sexually active as an adult. Chances are one may have contracted several of the 100 strains of the said virus without knowing it. About 30 strains of HPV are being transmitted sexually. HPV is considered as the number one cause of cervical cancer as well as genital warts.

HPV Protection

There is a promising new vaccine available that now aims to prevent HPV infections from spreading. It would also make the incidence of such infections that might cause cervical cancer and genital warts more scarce in the future. There are also other ways that may help protect women from HPV infection.

Pap Smears

Although most HPV infections may be quite harmless for a majority of people, it still pays to know if you have it. There are a few strains that may lead to cervical cancer or harmless but annoying genital warts. Pap smears may help doctors determine and screen women for cancerous changes. It would be very helpful if more women have pap smears done yearly.

Vaccination

Gardasil is a vaccine introduced in 2006 that proves to be effective in protecting against two strains of HPV likely to cause cervical cancer and on two other strains known to be the main cause of genital warts. It is recommended that girls aged 11 or 12 years old be given the vaccine, the age before women become sexually active. Women who are older may also be vaccinated provided that they have never as yet been infected by the cancer causing HPV virus strains the vaccine aims to protect the women from.

Condom Use

Using condoms and latex barrier may also help prevent the transmission of HPV up to a certain level. Such barriers may only be able to protect the areas that they cover and may not be totally effective. Sexual abstinence and vaccination still remains to be the best way to protect against HPV infections.

 
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