Cervical Health Awareness Month is Important

Cervical Health Awareness Month 2020 is January in the United States. This observance encourages us to make an appointment for Cervical Screening, a Pap Test or Pap Smear. Each year, more than 13,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the USA alone.

What is Cervix

The cervix is part of the female reproductive system. The cervix is the lower, narrow part of the uterus (womb). The cervix connects the main body of the uterus to the vagina (birth canal). The cervix is about 3 to 4 cm long. It is made up mostly of connective tissue and muscle.

What does the Cervix do

The cervix has many functions, and its health is essential, which is why regular Pap smears are so important.

The cervix connects the body of the uterus to the vagina. Part of the lining of the cervix contains glands that make and release mucus. For most of the menstrual cycle and during pregnancy, the mucus is thick and stops sperm from entering the uterus.

Every month, except during pregnancy or menopause, the lining of the uterus (called the endometrium) is shed through the cervix into the vagina, then out of the body. This process is called menstruation.

During childbirth, the cervix "widens", allowing the baby to pass through the birth canal.

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cells of the cervix.

Various strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, play a role in causing most cervical cancer.

When exposed to HPV, the body's immune system typically prevents the virus from doing harm. In a small percentage of people, however, the virus survives for years, contributing to the process that causes some cervical cells to become cancer cells.

You can reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer by having screening tests and receiving a vaccine that protects against HPV infection.