Paying attention to ways to keep your cervix healthy should be every woman’s priority, yet most women do not look out for their cervical health. According to the NCCC, More than 13,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, and more than 4,000 women will die.
Cervical cancer is cancer that starts in the cervix, the narrow opening into the uterus from the vagina. The normal “ectocervix” (the portion of the uterus extending into the vagina) is a healthy pink color and is covered with flat, thin cells called squamous cells. The “endocervix” or cervical canal is made up of another kind of cell called columnar cells. The area where these cells meet is called the “transformation zone” (T-zone) and is the most likely location for abnormal or precancerous cells to develop.
The cervix is the lower part of your uterus that connects to your vagina. If it’s not looked after properly, it can lead to conditions such as cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer tends to occur during midlife. this type of cancer is most frequently diagnosed in women between the ages of 35 and 44. It is not very common among women under the age of 20, and more than 15 percent of diagnoses are made in women older than 65. Cancer typically occurs in women who were not taking preventive measures and do not receive regular screening.
Let’s look at some ways to keep your cervix healthy:
Going for regular pap smears can help ease your fears about cervical cancer. The pap smears test screens for all abnormal cervical cells that could turn cancerous. This test should be done regularly.
Every woman who is sexually active needs to go through the pap smears at least once a year but if you’re not sexually active, then you can do it every three years.
Also always check with your health provider that the pap smear also screens for Human Papillomavirus (HPV), as not all tests check for that too.
Boost Your Immunity
A healthy immune system always helps to naturally clear harmful viruses and bacteria from the body and is often able to clear HPV from the cervix too. a good immune boost is always one of the ways to keep your cervix healthy.
Eat well and get enough sleep. Foods that are especially good for your cervix and your immune system include vegetables, fruits, and cooked tomato products.
Practice Safe Sex
Condoms protect your cervix from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Practicing safe sex is one of the ways to keep your cervix healthy as the use of condoms is an effective way to prevent cervical cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, condoms can reduce the rate of HPV infection by about 70%.
And, if you want better results, use a female condom as it protects the inside of the vagina and the vulva from infections.
One very important tip on ways to keep your cervix healthy is to stop smoking. Women who smoke are more likely to develop a case of cervical cancer as smoking can increase changes in cervical cells.
Second-hand smoke can also be worrying, so as you quit smoking, also stay away from places where you’ll be exposed to cigarette smoke from others.
HPV vaccines help to prevent infection from strains of HPV. this is one of the ways to keep your cervix healthy. There are currently over 100 different types of HPV, most of which are considered low-risk and may not cause cervical cancer. However, more than 70% of cervical cancer cases can be attributed to two high-risk types of the virus, HPV-16 and HPV-18.
The vaccine is FDA-approved for young women ages 9-26, with a target age of 11-12, and does not completely provide protection against all cancer-causing types of HPV so routine cervical cancer screening is still necessary. Results from a recent study show its effectiveness in older women, showing promise of expanded use of the vaccine.
Remember to speak with your doctor for more information regarding the strategies and ways to keep your cervix healthy which are mentioned here.