Post 2020, the relationship between viruses and humans will never be the same! As the world struggles to stand on its feet post the latest COVID attack, are there any lessons to be learnt for those of us fighting a war against the menace that has plagued the society for centuries, the Human Papilloma Virus?

Approximately 80% of sexually active women have been exposed to this nasty virus, known as the HPV for short, at some point or the other in their lives. This virus attacks the cells of the outer layer of the skin of the body cavity e.g., the skin inside the vagina or mouth. There are 100+ strains of HPV. 14 of these may cause cancer, especially if there is a sufficient viral load with prolonged stay of anywhere from 5 to 15 years in the body. The body's immune system can usually clear HPV on its own, especially in the early years of infection. 

Having stated these facts, some questions arise: Can we strengthen our immunity to defeat the HPV faster? Are there other factors that affect how long the HPV stays in the body? How do we deal with an infection in such an unreachable part of our body?

In this short note “Keys to a Healthy Cervix”, we bring to you some answers.

As our immune system is the first line of defence against any virus, boosting it can help fend off the HPV naturally. A meal that is rich in green, yellow, orange, red, & cruciferous vegetables has been shown to be the best way to incorporate key nutrients naturally into the diet. Sea food contains iodine, magnesium, calcium, boron, selenium, and zinc, minerals that are essential for maintaining a healthy immune system. Stocking your kitchen with naturally healthy ingredients is a good idea!

Apart from a healthy, nutritious diet, women in the age groups of 25 to 65 years must seek routine cervical exams from their gynaecologist. After all, your reproductive system is one of the most complex works of art by Nature and yet so delicate! We owe this system a little TLC as it works hard to maintain our body clock for more than 35 years! A routine cervical exam can be done in a single visit in your gynaecologist’s OPD with a painless, digital Smart Scope® test. Just 5 minutes every year will save you a life-time of worry.

 

An HPV infection can linger if secondary bacterial infections are present. Such infections – although seemingly harmless or less annoying (only mildly symptomatic) – can render your cervical skin cells weak and vulnerable to a viral attack. A Smart Scope® test can be used to detect such infections and help your gynaecologist to identify the right antibacterial treatment to quash them in time. Something as simple as an antibiotic can go a long way in preventing cervical cancer!

Take care of your cervix and keep those nasty infections at bay!