Cervical Health Awareness Month

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month!

Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer. Even so, up to 13,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year.

Cervical cancer risk can be minimized through the HPV vaccine. HPV, also known as Human Papillomavirus, is a cause of cervical cancer. The Center for Disease and Control (CDC) currently recommends that both boys and girls from the ages 11-12 should receive the vaccine to help protect themselves against the virus.

In addition, cervical cancer can be detected in its earlier stages through Pap-Smear testing. Pap-Smears are recommended for women 21 years of age and older. From age 21 to 29, the CDC recommends that you get a Pap-Smear every three years.

So, what could you do to help protect yourself?

1. Get the HPV vaccine if you haven't already! The vaccine is a 3 shot series that is injected over 6 months. Women can actually receive the vaccine up until age 26, and men can receive the vaccine until age 21.

2. Know that HPV is spread through many different ways. Men and women can still contract HPV even without penetration.

                                                                                                                     Courtesy of Giphy

3. Go to your gynecologist! No one wants to be lying spread eagle with some stranger’s hand you-know-where. I mean, unless you’re into that sort of thing. But getting regular pelvic exams and Pap-Smears is so important, so take the few minutes of embarrassment like a pro and be proactive about your cervical health.

4. Lastly, talk to your friends! Just tonight over dinner, I was reminding my roommates of how important gynecological exams are. They definitely are sick of hearing about all of the details, but I want them to be healthy, so I will pester them until they set up an appointment.

5. Make time! Even the busiest person in the world can take aside an hour for their own cervical health!

                                                                                                                    Courtesy of Giphy

So go forth and live your best Cervical Health Awareness month!

                                                                                                                         Courtesy of Tenor