Preventive gynaecology involves regular gynaecological examination and screening. With the help of screening, it is possible to identify any risk factors or signs for the development of a disease. It is very important for women to regularly undergo systematic gynaecological examinations as that helps to identify and deal with any health issue early on.
Visiting a doctor regularly for health checkups is important for your overall gynaecological health. Regular appointments with your gynaecologist can ensure the wellbeing of your physical, sexual and reproductive health. Regular health checks can help you understand the difference between what is normal and what is not. It can also help you get answers about menstruation and other gynaecological issues.
Pap Smear/ Liquid Based Cytology:
A Pap Smear is a screening procedure done for cervical cancer. It is done to diagnose the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells on your cervix. For the procedure, cells from your cervix are gently scraped and examined for abnormal growth. The procedure can be mildly uncomfortable for some women but doesn’t cause long-term pain. Pap test should be done regardless of your sexual activity status as the HPV virus found in the cervix can be dormant for years and become active suddenly
Cervical Cancer Vaccination:
Cervical cancer vaccination is also known as the HPV vaccine. This vaccination is important for protection against infection with human papillomaviruses or HPV. HPV is a group of 200 related viruses out of which more than 40 can be spread through direct sexual contact. From these types of virus, two HPV types cause genital warts and a few others can certain types of cancer such as cervical cancer, anal cancer, oropharyngeal penile cancer, vulvar cancer and vaginal cancer.
As there are different types of gynaecological cancer, you should know that each of these has its causes and risk factors. Regular cancer screening plays a crucial role to detect cervical cancer in its earliest stage. Cervical cancer arises as an infection from the HPV virus. The HPV virus is very common and can spread through sexual contact. It is also the only gynaecologist cancer that can be detected with regular screening.
Breast examination is a screening method used to detect breast cancer early on. The self-examination of breasts involves you to look and feel each of your breasts for any possible lumps, distortions or swelling. The self-breast exam should be 3 to 5 days after your menstruation begins and it should be done at the same time every month. If you have gone through menopause, you can do a self-breast exam on the same day of every month.
How to do a Breast Self-Examination?
Start by lying on your back as it is easier to examine breast tissue while lying down
- . Place your one hand behind your head and use the middle fingers of your other hand to gently yet firmly press your opposite breast in small motions to examine. Do this for both the breasts.
- . While checking your breast, feel your armpit too as breast tissue goes into that area too.
- . Gently squeeze your nipple and check for discharge. Do this for both the breasts.
After doing the above steps, stand in front of a mirror with your arms by your side.
- . Look for any changes in your breast such as changes in the skin texture, dimpling, indentations, puckering or for skin that looks like orange peel.
- . Note the shape and outline of each breast and check if your nipple turns inwards.
- . Do the same with your arms above your head.
The goal of this self-examination is to get you used to the look and feel of your breasts while also helping you to find anything new or different. If your breasts feel different, call or visit a gynaecologist right away