EXPRESS.CO – Cervical cancer is cancer found anywhere in the cervix – the opening between the vagina and the womb.
It mostly affects women under the age of 45, and nearly all cases are caused by an infection from certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV).
You can get HPV from any skin-to-skin contact of the genital area, vaginal, anal or oral sex, and sharing sex toys.
As January marks Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, intimate wellbeing brand INTIMINA has shared crucial insights into cervical health, exploring what it is, how it happens, and, most importantly, how to stay protected.
It’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of cervical cancer to help aid early detection.
Dr Susanna Unsworth, gynaecology expert for INTIMINA, shared four symptoms to keep an eye out for:
1. A change in your normal vaginal bleeding: bleeding that occurs in between your normal periods, after sex, or new bleeding that occurs after your periods have finished (after menopause).
2. Changes to your normal vaginal discharge. If you feel your discharge has changed, such as becoming thicker, changed in colour, change in smell or appears blood stained, see your doctor for advice.
3. Painful sex: if you are finding sex is painful, and it is not improving with simple measures such as increasing use of lubrication, I would encourage you to speak to your doctor about it.
4. Other pain: pain in the lower back or pelvis should be checked out if it does not resolve quickly (eg two to three weeks), especially if there is no obvious reason for it and it is impacting on your normal daily activities.