Keeping your Cervix Healthy

What is Prevention?
Prevention means reducing or eliminating harmful factors, enabling body natural defenses to work. Pap test is a screening test that shows if there appeared an abnormal process. But these tests have nothing in common with the things that affect our health. Regular Pap tests are very important for every woman.

Factors to Consider to Prevent Problems with Cervix
There are some factors that can affect your cervix and overall health, including:

  • Your immune system
  • Lifecycle changes
  • Stress
  • Smoking and second hand smoking
  • Diet

Immune System
Take care of yourself. Healthy immune system positively affects your ability to clear HPV from our bodies in a natural way. Get enough sleep. Eat well. Discuss the ways to improve your immune system with a pharmacist or health practitioner. Consider herbal supplements, medicines and vitamins.

Lifecycle Changes
Cervical cells become the most vulnerable to abnormal cell growths during puberty, first pregnancy and a couple of weeks after the birth of a child. As it was mentioned earlier, it is very important to pass regular Pap tests, which can timely show if there are any abnormal changes.
Male and female condoms can provide protection from STIs. Female condoms offer better coverage, than regular condoms. Using female condoms you can protect both vagina and vulva from HPV and other sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia that are linked with cervical cancer. Male condoms can also protect your cervix. Make sure to cover sex toys with condoms as there can be HPV and other infections on them.

Stress
Most of us live lives that have lots of daily stress. Some women may get abnormal Pap results only because of major negative life events. Being positive about life is important. Use the following tips to cope with stress:

  • Talk with your family and friends
  • Consult your physician or psychologist
  • Consider particing meditation and other relaxation techniques.

Smoking
Nicotine concentrates in the cervical mucus of smokers. Women smokers, especially those who have HPV are predisposed to develop abnormal changes in the cervix. Former and second hand smokers are also more likely to develop these changes, compared to non-smokers.
If you can’t stop smoking, try to decrease your intake of nicotine and think about how to better deal with stress. Also, try to stay away from places filled with second hand smoke.

Diet
Some foods are known to include vitamins that can nourish both the cervix and the immune system. These are:

  • Beta-carotene (you can find it in yellow-orange fruits and vegetables)
  • Vitamin C (citrus fruit)
  • Folic acid (dark green leafy vegetables & asparagus)
  • Vitamin E (whole-grain cereals, breads)
  • Lycopene (cooked tomato products, watermelon, rosehips, pink grapefruit)