Four Insider Secrets of Women Gynecologists

When it comes to gynecological health, women often turn to their gynecologists for guidance. While new methods and approaches are not always immediately shared with patients, that doesn't stop women gynecologists from secretly using their insider knowledge for themselves.

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Secret #3 – Vaccine to Prevent a HPV Infection

The human papilloma virus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection transferred from an infected person via oral, vaginal or anal sex or any skin-to-skin contact. It is a group of viruses that can cause a wide range of conditions such as genital warts and cancer of the cervix, vagina, anus, penis and throat. Infections are usually acquired during adolescence and young adulthood and the infection can persist indefinitely. Over time, the infected cells can undergo a transformation; sometimes changes can develop into cancer.

Today there are vaccines that can prevent infections from 4 types of HPV, the 2 types that cause about 75% of cervical cancer cases, and 2 types that cause 90% of genital warts cases.

The vaccines are approved for girls and boys under the age of 26. The reason for the 26 year cut off is that the vaccine is most beneficial to people who haven't yet been exposed to the virus. Most women over 26 have had sexual relations and most likely have HPV exposure.

However, many women who are older, who have had few or no sexual encounters and suddenly find themselves sexually active, could become exposed to the virus if they aren't protected. Although the vaccine is not approved for women over 26, gynecologists are giving the vaccine to this newly active group.

Pluses: Can prevent many deadly cancers caused by HPV with a series of vaccines.

Minuses: Does not protect against current HPV infections or cancer underway.

Secret #4 – Estrogen Cream for Vaginal Lubrication

During menopause and treatment for certain types of breast cancer, the load of estrogen in the body is greatly reduced. And that shrinks the vaginal cells that produce mucous, causing atrophic vaginitis, an uncomfortable and sometimes extremely painful drying condition.