January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. This yearly awareness campaign aims to encourage women to talk with their doctor about their sexual health, and to ask about testing, prevention, and treatment options for HPV and cervical cancer.
Each year 13,000 women develop cervical cancer as a result of being infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV). The CDC estimates that 79 million Americans have HPV but don’t know it. For most of these people, the immune system will take care of HPV and prevent an infection. But remember, those who are carrying HPV will not show any symptoms, and it is spread through sexual contact.
Individuals not currently infected with HPV can be vaccinated to protect against two types of HPV strains that cause 70% of cervical cancer and two types that cause 90% of genital warts. The HPV vaccine is recommended for boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 26, and in some instances for women through the age of 45.
Women already infected with HPV and in the pre-cancer stages have several treatment options available. Yearly Pap or HPV tests starting at the age of 21 is the best way to identify an infection early and to seek treatment before cancer develops.
The Importance of Maintaining Sexual Health
Talking with your doctor about cervical health is one of the many important considerations for women of all ages. For women especially, changing sexual health up to and after menopause can interfere with a normal lifestyle, wellness, and feelings of happiness.
While visiting with your doctor, also consider asking about how blood sugar levels, brain health, general pain, heart problems, upcoming surgeries, medication, and alcohol and smoking may affect sexual health.
With a better understanding of your needs, your doctor can recommend potentially beneficial treatment options to help you live the best life possible. Along with more conventional options, you may want to ask about alternative options, such as exploring Ayurvedic medicine, Ancient Chinese Medicine, and even adding supplements to your daily routine.
Supplements For Women’s Health
Estrovera from Metagenics seeks to provide temporary relief from occasional symptoms associated with menopause, such as sleep disturbances, feelings of anxiety or exhaustion, muscle pain, and vaganal dryness. This formula contains an extract of rhapontic rhubarb root extract and may be safe when taken once daily with food and water.
Once Daily Woman Multivitamin from Solaray is a food-based blend with vitamins and enzymes to support the specific needs of women of all ages. Specifically, this formula may provide optimal support for the immune system, healthy-looking skin and nails, and may help to regulate the normal production of estrogen and a healthy metabolism.
Menopause Symptom Support
Natural Progesterone Cream also from Source Naturals is a topical cream with soy that provides progesterone, a female hormone that naturally occurs in the ovaries. Massaging ¼ to ½ teaspoon of cream onto the skin twice daily may be ideal for menopausal and postmenopausal women. Following the guidelines for this formula may help to maintain normal hormone levels inside the body during periods of fluctuation or permanent changes to hormone production.
During Cervical Health Awareness Month, take a moment to note your current feelings of wellness, then call your doctor to check whether you’re due for another appointment. Regular checkups with your doctor, preventative treatments, and a healthy lifestyle with a combination of supplements or other alternative options are the best option for you and your daily health.