Gifty Damsongor, a Public Health Nurse at the Upper East Regional Hospital’s Reproductive and Child Healthcare Unit, has encouraged women to cease using vaginal tightening creams, gels, and lotions. According to her, using such products may result in cervical cancer.
Madam Damsongor was speaking on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show. She was creating awareness about the disease as part of the Regional Hospital’s activities to mark Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.
In 2020, an estimated 604,000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer worldwide and about 342,000 women died from the disease. The main cause of cervical cancer is persistent infection with high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV), an extremely common family of viruses that are transmitted through sexual contact. Vaccines exist that protect against high-risk HPV types, and screening programs can detect signs of disease at an early stage, allowing for effective treatment and management of the condition.
Madam Damsongor said, “even though the HPV has the highest percentage of causing the disease, you also have the chemical part of it. There are some organisms in our private areas. They are there to provide protection to that part of the body. These organisms are found on the cervix. When you use these chemicals, they kill these organisms that serve as soldiers on that side of the body. When these organisms die, it gives way for foreign organisms to fight.”
“If you are a fan or using chemicals, [you would be affected]. I am told some even use lime, dettol and all those things [to wash their vaginas]. It is not advisable. We are not supposed to wash the vagina. We are only supposed to wash the vulva,” she said.
According to Madam Damsongor, the vagina has a self-cleaning mechanism. She advised women under the age of 20 to avoid sexual contact because it predisposes them to the disease.
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana