Your annual well-woman examination from your OB-GYN is an assessment of your reproductive health as well as the condition of your genitourinary system (the reproductive system and the urinary organs), and for adult women under the age of 65, will routinely include a pelvic exam and Pap smear. Many women mistakenly think that a Pap smear checks for multiple sexually transmitted infections (STI), also known as sexually transmitted diseases (STD), but in reality, this is not the case. In fact, STI testing is not a standard part of an annual well-woman examination.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a widespread sexually-transmitted infection (STI). In fact, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that HPV is the most common STI in the United States, with nearly 80 million people infected. The virus is easily transmitted through sexual contact and occasionally may be transmitted without sexual contact.
Pregnant women and their unborn children are particularly vulnerable to many common infections. While these infections may not normally impact the general population, they are exceptionally dangerous for expectant mothers and can cause serious health problems. There are several steps you can take to prevent prenatal infections in both yourself and your baby. Here is a compendium of critical tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Every year, nearly 13,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with cervical cancer. One of the most effective ways for reducing your chances of developing cervical cancer is to receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. This vaccine can help prevent the vast majority of cervical cancer cases.
In the continuing fight to prevent cancer, there are known and unknown risk factors. For example, we know that certain environmental exposures increase the risk of developing some cancers, like lung and skin cancer. Research has also shown that family history sometimes plays a role in the risk of other cancers, such as colon and breast cancer. Studies have now demonstrated that there is a strong link between infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer.
There is currently no cure for HPV. Fortunately, a vaccine for many of the oncogenic – or cancer-causing – strains of HPV is available. Having your child vaccinated against HPV can significantly reduce their risk of developing several types of cancer, including cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, anus, and throat. Additionally, the HPV vaccine can help guard against genital warts and warts in other locations. Read More