How can I reduce my chances of getting cervix cancer?

The best way to avoid cervical cancer is by steering clear of the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is the major cause of cervical cancer and one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STI). Luckily there are now two vaccines available that can prevent HPV infection.

A woman as a higher risk of developing cervical cancer if she:

Starts having sex before age 18
Has many sex partners
Has sex partners who have other sex partners
Has or has had a STI
Did not have to HPV Vaccine

What does an abnormal Pap Smear results mean?

It is scary to hear that your Pap smear results are “abnormal.” But abnormal Pap smear results usually do not mean you have cancer. Most often there is a small problem with the cervix .
Abnormal results indicate that there are cell changes caused by HPV. The changes can be mild, moderate or severe. Most women with abnormal cells do not have cancer, but more severe abnormal cells may progress to cancer over time. Abnormal results can be referred to as dysplasia, cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) or squamous intraepithelial lesions (SIL).

Low-grade SIL (LSIL) or CIN1: mildly abnormal cells that usually go away on their own.
High-grade SIL (HSIL), CIN2 or CIN3: moderate to severe abnormal cells. CIN3 also may be referred to as carcinoma in situ.
If the Pap smear results are abnormal your doctor may recommend:

Follow-up testing with a Pap smear and and HPV test in 3 to 6 months
Colposcopy examination by a oncogynaecologist on our team (This is a procedure that involves looking at the cervix using a microscope)
If there is an area of abnormal skin on the cervix, a tiny piece is removed and is sent to the laboratory to be evaluated. This is called a biopsy.
The biopsy can help determine if you need treatment to remove the abnormal cell

What should I know about the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)?

Human papilloma viruses (HPV) are a group of more than 100 different viruses.

About 40 types of HPV are through genital contact during intercourse or just through touching.
Some types of HPVs can cause cervical cancer when not treated.
HPV infection is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STI).
About 75 to 80 percent of sexually active people will get HPV at some point in their life.
Most women with untreated HPV do not get cervical cancer.
Some HPVs cause genital warts but these HPVs do not cause cervical cancer.
Since HPV rarely causes symptoms, most people don’t know they have the infection.
There are two vaccines available that can prevent to most common HPV infections which cause most of the cervical cancer and genital wart cases.

What should I know about the HPV vaccine?

There are two kinds of HPV vaccines available; Cercarix and Gardasil:

Cervarix: protects only against the most common viruses that cause cervical cancer.
Gardasil: protects against the most common viruses that cause cervical cancer as well as genital warts.
You need three injections over a 6 months period
Once you have chosen to have a certain vaccine, you can not switch to the other kind – you have to complete the course to make it effective
You will most likely need a top-up after about 5 tot 10 years, but we are not sure about that – the research is not out yet
The chance of a serious complication due to the vaccination is very slim – less than 1/10 000.
You can expect pain at the injection site for a few days as well as a possible mild fever.
To get the vaccine for yourself or your daughter, please us at 086 7272 950 to make an appointment.

What is bacterial Vaginosis(BV)?

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the name of a condition in women where the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina is disrupted and replaced by an overgrowth of certain bacteria. It is sometimes accompanied by discharge, odour, pain, itching, or burning.
BV is the most common vaginal infection in women of childbearing age.

What causes Bacterial Vaginosis?

Any woman can get Bacterial Vaginosis. But there are certain things that can upset the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina, increasing your risk of developing Bacterial Vaginosis:

Having a new sex partner or multiple sex partners
Not using a condom
Although sexual activity can increase the risk of developing Bacterial Vaginosis, Bacterial Vaginosis can occur in women who have never had vaginal intercourse.

Bacterial Vaginosis is not thought to be a sexually transmitted infection.

What are the signs of Bacterial Vaginosis?

Women with Bacterial Vaginosis may have an abnormal vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odour. Some women report a strong fish-like odour, especially after sex. The discharge can be white (milky) or grey. It may also be foamy or watery. Other symptoms may include burning when urinating, itching around the outside of the vagina, and irritation. These symptoms may also be caused by another type of infection, so it is important to see a doctor. Some women with Bacterial Vaginosis have no symptoms at all.

How is Bacterial Vaginosis diagnosed?

The diagnosis of BV is based upon a physical examination and laboratory testing. The physical examination usually includes a pelvic examination, which allows your doctor to observe and test vaginal secretions. Your doctor may take a sample of fluid from your vagina and test it.

What are the complications of Bacterial Vaginosis?

In most cases, Bacterial Vaginosis doesn’t cause any problems. But some problems can arise if Bacterial Vaginosis is untreated.

Having Bacterial Vaginosis can increase a woman’s susceptibility to HIV infection if she is exposed to the HIV virus.
Having Bacterial Vaginosis increases the chances that an HIV-infected woman can pass HIV to her sex partner.
Having Bacterial Vaginosis has been associated with an increase in the development of an infection following surgical procedures such as a hysterectomy or an abortion.
Having Bacterial Vaginosis while pregnant may put a woman at increased risk for some complications of pregnancy, such as preterm delivery.
Bacterial Vaginosis can increase a woman’s susceptibility to other STIs, such as herpes simplex virus, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.
All pregnant women with symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis should be tested and treated if they have it. This is especially important for pregnant women who have had a premature delivery or low birth weight baby in the past. There are treatments available at any stage of your pregnancy. Be sure to talk to your doctor about what is right for you.

How can I lower my risk of Bacterial Vaginosis?

The best way to prevent Bacterial Vaginosis is not known. However, a few basic recommendations can be made.

Do not douche. Douching is the use of a solution to rinse the inside of the vagina. Some women douche to feel “clean”, although there is no proven benefit of douching. The vagina is normally able to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria; douching can upset this balance and potentially flush harmful bacteria into the upper genital tracts (uterus, fallopian tubes).
Limit the number of sexual partners. Women with multiple sexual partners are at higher risk of developing bacterial vaginosis and sexually transmitted infections.
Finish the entire course of treatment for Bacterial Vaginosis, even if the symptoms resolve after a few doses.about what is right for you.

How is Bacterial Vaginosis treated?

Bacterial Vaginosis is treated with antibiotic medicines prescribed by your doctor. In our clinic we usually use four tablets of Fasigyn (Tinidazole) that should all be taken at the same time, to treat Bacterial Vaginosis. It does not have such a big effect when it is taken with alcohol than the tradition treatment for Bacterial Vaginosis which is Flagyl (metronidazole) but it can still give you a headache or nausea if alcohol is used within a few days of taking it. If the Fasigyn is not effective we use Metrogel (metronidazole gel) that should be inserted into the vagina for 5 consecutive nights.

Generally, male sex partners of women with Bacterial Vaginosis don’t need to be treated. However, Bacterial Vaginosis can be spread to female partners. If your current partner is female, talk to her about treatment. You can get Bacterial Vaginosis again even after being treated. Please let us know if you feel that your symptoms did not resolve from the treatment that you have received.