Multiple sexual partners and Cervical cancer

What you need to know about the link between having multiple sexual partners and Cervical cancer…
Join the conversation here.

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Hello good evening!

I’m excited to be a part of this conversation tonight.:partying_face::partying_face::partying_face::partying_face:

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Hello guys

Its nice being here too and I’m excited about the topic!:dancer:t5:

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How many of us have heard or know what cervical cancer is?

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Excited to be here! Looking forward to the conversation!

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Let’s just get right into it then.

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the cervix.

The cervix is a hollow cylinder that connects the lower part of a woman’s uterus to her vagina.

Most cervical cancers begin in cells on the surface of the cervix.

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I have heard about it.

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It has some Early Warning Signs. Although not limited to these, some of them are:

•Vaginal bleeding (either after intercourse, between periods or post-menopause)

•Abnormal vaginal discharge (heavy or with a foul odor)

•Pain during intercourse.

•Pelvic pain.

•Lower back pain.

•Pain and swelling in legs.

•Unexplained weight loss.

•Decreased appetite.

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I think it’s important that we have more conversations around Cervical cancer because it is the second most common cancer in women worldwide, next only to breast cancer. In 2007, it was reported that 36.59 million women aged more than 15 years in Nigeria are at risk of developing cervical cancer.

There are 9,922 cases diagnosed annually with 8,030 deaths. This prevalence is quite a lot and for a disease that is preventable hence the need for conversations like this

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Risk Factors

Almost all cervical cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus that can be passed from one person to another during sex.

There are many types of HPV. Some HPV types can cause changes on a woman’s cervix that can lead to cervical cancer over time, while other types can cause genital or skin warts.

HPV is so common that most people get it at some time in their lives however HPV usually causes no symptoms so you can’t tell that you have it.

For most women, HPV will go away on its own; however, if it does not, there is a chance that over time it may cause cervical cancer.

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Other things can increase your risk of cervical cancer—

  1. Having HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) or another condition that makes it hard for your body to fight off health problems.

  2. Smoking.

  3. Using birth control pills for a long time (five or more years).

  4. Having given birth to three or more children.

  5. Having several sexual partners.

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I would like to dwell a bit on the last risk factor mentioned which is “having multiple sexual partners”

Because HPV is a sexually transmitted infection, then just like every other STI, the more sexual partners you have, the higher your chances of contracting the virus.

The only difference is that this particular infection predisposes you to cervical cancer which is the second deadliest Cancer in women. If you ask me, I think this makes HPV one of the most dangerous sexually transmitted diseases

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To help prevent cervical cancer the following actions could be taken. They include:

  1. Delaying first sexual intercourse until the late teens or older

  2. Limiting the number of sex partners

  3. Avoiding sexual intercourse with people who have had many partners

  4. Avoiding sexual intercourse with people who are infected with genital warts or who show other symptoms

  5. Quitting smoking

  6. Most importantly, Practicing safe sex by using condoms and dental dams. (Barrier methods of contraceptives.)

Barrier methods are the only forms of contraceptives that work by preventing both pregnancies and STDs.

Like earlier mentioned the most important risk factor or cause of cervical cancer is a sexually transmitted virus called the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

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Other methods of preventing cervical cancer is are vaccination and screening

Vaccines are designed to be preventive and do not serve therapeutic purposes i.e they prevent but do not treat.

Since the goal is to prevent HPV which is sexually transmitted, the vaccination is targeted at girls between the ages of 9 and 26 (before they become sexually active) and also boys (since they have the capacity to contract and transmit the virus). The recommended dose for the vaccine is 2 doses at 6-months interval for girls aged 9-14 or 3 doses of the vaccine over a 6-month period for those aged 15-26

The HPV vaccine is generally reported to be well-tolerated with only minor side effects such as pain and swelling at the site of infection.

However, before anyone who is already sexually vaccinated, it is essential to do a pap smear (which is the screening test) to detect the presence of an ongoing infection. If a person who already has the virus takes the vaccine, it could worsen the situation.

For women above between the ages of 30-65, they should be screened every 3yrs. Screening i.e Pap smear helps to detect the HPV so it can be treated early and it does not have to end up becoming cervical cancer

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Finally, we would be touching of the treatment of cervical cancer. Please note that all forms of treatment must be administered by a doctor.

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Treatment options are dependent on the stage and advancement of the disease.

Majorly, there are three forms of treatment.

  1. Radiation Therapy
  2. Surgery
  3. Chemotherapy

Based on the doctors assessment,the most ideal form of treatment plan, suited to each individual will be followed.

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In Conclusion,

Cervical cancer is a preventable disease and the earlier it is detected, the higher the chances of better and more effective treatment.

It is therefore imperative that regular screening and vaccination is encouraged for women in the reproductive age group.

It is also important to as much as possible avoid having multiple sexual partners or sex with multiple sexual partners.

Also when having sex, it is advisable as a means of prevention to use barrier methods of contraception.

Thank you for you time this evening and we wish you a beautiful, safe and healthy sex life.

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I already had all my vaccination doses :heart_eyes:

Pap smear too.
A bit uncomfortable, but worth it.

Awwwnnn

It can truly be a bit discomforting

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