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    New Delhi: In the fast-paced world of business, where deadlines and targets often take precedence, it’s easy to neglect our health. One area that often goes overlooked by women is cervial health. Maintaining optimal cervical health is important for women and there are many proactive measures to prevent problems. With regular cervical screenings including Pap smears and HPV tests, most women can avoid cervical health issues at the right time. In addition, practising safe sex, getting the HPV vaccine, and adopting a healthy lifestyle can contribute to overall cervical well-being for women. In this article, we’ll explore how to prevent cervical problems and highlight five warning signs that you should not ignore.Preventive Measures for Cervical Health:
    Regular Screenings: Women should undergo regular Pap smears and HPV tests as recommended by their healthcare providers. These screenings can detect abnormal changes in the cervical cells at early stages allowing for timely intervention and prevention of problems like cervical cancers.

    HPV Vaccinations: The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a risk factor for cervical cancer. Getting vaccinated against HPV can contribute to reducing the risk of developing cervical cancer. It is advised for girls and boys to receive the HPV Vaccine at the recommended age.

    Safe Sex Practices: Practicing safe sex can reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections including HPV. It lowers the chance of being exposed to infections that can affect cervical health.

    Healthy Lifestyle Choices: One must adopt a healthy lifestyle to positively impact cervical health. This includes maintaining a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, and avoiding tobacco use. A strong immune system is also equipped to fight off infections that can lead to cervical health problems.
    Avoiding Smoking: Smoking is often linked to an increased risk of cervical cancer. The harmful chemicals in tobacco can damage cervical cells and make them more susceptible to the effects of HPV. It is advised to quit smoking to ensure optimal cervical health.

    Five Warning Signs Women Should Not Ignore
    Unusual Vaginal Discharge: Any changes in colour, consistency, or even odour of vaginal discharge can indicate an infection or an abnormality in the cervix. If the discharge is persistent or unusual then there must be a prompt visit to a healthcare professional.

    Abnormal Bleeding: If women experience abnormal bleeding whether between periods, after engaging in sexual activity, or post-menopause then that must be investigated. This could be a warning sign of various conditions including cancer or cervical dysplasia.

    Pelvic Pain: Persistent pelvic pain or any discomfort in the cervix can be a symptom of a cervical problem. It is important to address and investigate the cause properly.

    Painful Urination: Any pain or discomfort during urination can be indicative of an infection affecting the urinary or reproductive system. It is important to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.

    Changes in Urinary or Bowel Habits: Any changes in urinary or bowel habits including increased frequency, difficulty, or urgency must be evaluated. These changes may be linked to cervical issues to other pelvic conditions.

    Related to awareness about all these issues, recently, GenWorks Health organised a round table discussion on Cervical Health Awareness Month. The discussion was organised to raise sensitisation on the importance of cervical health problems. “Cervical Cancer is the second highest cause of mortality in women accounting for 18.3 percent of all cancers. It is the highest-scaling disease and is attributed as the cause of one woman losing her life every 8 minutes. As it is preventable, we must make efforts to make regular screenings crucial for women,” Dr Priya Ganesh Kumar, Medical Director Sainiwas Healthcare, Chairperson of Gynaecologic Oncology Committee FOGSI, advised. “The high-quality cervical images can be extremely helpful in decreasing the death rate. We encourage women to get their cervix checked with the latest tech like EVAPro so that any precancerous conditions can be avoided,” Dr Kumar added.

    Doctors also advise women to undergo screening starting at 30 years of age. “I usually encourage women to go for regular screenings after they turn 30 by educating them about CINs (Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia), pre-cancer lesions, and how advanced medical products treat these problems in just one sitting with devices such as ThermoGlide,” Dr Bengia Chirchi, Obstetrics and Gynaecological Associate consultant Rama Krishna Hospital, Itanagar, said.

    Prioritising cervical health issues involves a combination of preventive measures and awareness of potential warning signs. Regular screenings with advanced medical devices such as EVAPro and ThermoGlide and vaccinations along with a healthy lifestyle can go a long way in protecting women against cervical health problems. It is important to be attentive to any unusual symptoms and seek prompt medical attention to ensure early detection and effective management of potential problems. Proactive care is key to maintaining optimal cervical health throughout life.

    • Published On Feb 2, 2024 at 04:42 PM IST

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