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Why douching, fingering expose women to cervical cancer -Expert.

AN expert in cervical cancer, Dr Tosin Awolude has warned women against douching, saying that it can actually increase their risk of developing cervical cancer.

Awolude, a consultant obstetrics and gynaecologist at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, said douching, the process of rinsing the vagina with water-based solutions, has been found to increase a woman risk of infections, pregnancy complications, and other health problems.

The medical experts said genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, the organism that causes cervical cancer lives normally on the skin and as such women who have the habit of putting their fingers into their vagina or douching stand a higher risk of contracting the infection.

According to Dr Awolude, 'Some women have the habit of putting their fingers into their vagina, they can contaminate themselves. Such women form a small portion of those that end up developing cervical cancer.'

The expert said in over 90 per cent of cases, the body clears off the HPV virus, while it persists in about 10 per cent, causing changes in the cervix that will lead to cancer later in life.

He stated that cervical cancer was the second most common cancer in women, but deadlier than breast cancer because the cervix is hidden.

According to him, though the cancer can be said to be s3xually transmittable, when it is detected early, it is 100 per cent curable.

Also, he said it is one cancers that is now vaccine-preventable, adding that the vaccination against HPV, its causative agent, is both for male and female.

Dr Awolude declared that douching is not good, adding that research have found associations between douching and reduced fertility, HIV, yeast infections, pelvic inflammatory disease and other s3xually transmitted diseases.

Besides making them feel fresher, women say they douche to get rid of unpleasant odours, wash away menstrual blood after their period, avoid getting s3xually transmitted diseases, and prevent a pregnancy after intercourse.

Within 10 minutes of douching, some bacteria in the vagina get killed, which upsets the ecological balance. The vagina reverts to normal within 72 hours.

But before it does, bacteria no longer held in check by those that have been eliminated may multiply and cause a variety of ills.

Previously, experts reported that the risk for an HPV infection was linked to numerous characteristics, such as age, ethnicity, education, marital status, cigarette smoking, numbers of s3xual partners, use of other feminine hygiene products and having vaginal problems, in addition to douching in the past six months, and how often a woman douched.

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Publication:Nigerian Tribune (Oyo State, Nigeria)
Date:Jan 4, 2018
Words:472
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