January is Cervical Health Awareness Month

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, an annual observance highlighting the importance of early detection and prevention of cervical cancer, a disease that affects thousands of women each year.  

James Jeakle, MD "Cervical cancer is largely preventable with regular screenings, early detection, and vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV). It is crucial for women to prioritize their health and take proactive steps towards preventing cervical cancer," said James Jeakle, MD, board certified OBGYN physician at Munson Healthcare Charlevoix Women’s Health.  

In recognition of Cervical Health Awareness Month, Drs. Jeakle and Caitlyn Monks have provided several important cervical health and prevention recommendations:  

  • Regular screenings are important in the prevention of cervical cancer, including pap smears and HPV testing. Women are advised to start pap smears at 21 years old and continue as regular intervals as recommended by their healthcare provider.  
  • HPV testing is often done at the same time as a pap smear and helps to identify HPV strains that may lead to cervical cancer.  
  • HPV vaccination is recommended for both males and females, ideally before any sexual activities begins. Vaccination can protect against several high-risk HPV strains and reduce the risk of cervical cancer.  
  • Safe sex practices, including the use of condoms and limiting sexual partners can contribute to overall cervical health.  
  • Healthy lifestyle choices, including a balance diet, regular exercise, and avoid tobacco use leads to a healthy immune system that is better equipped to combat infections, including HPV.  
  • Regular check-ups and discussions with a healthcare provider about sexual health, family planning, and any other health concerns are key to preventative care.  

Caitlyn Monks, MD "As an OB/GYN provider, I emphasize the significance of regular screenings, open communication, and proactive care. By prioritizing cervical health, we empower women to take control of their reproductive health, ensuring a foundation of prevention and early intervention," Dr. Monks said.  

Munson Healthcare Charlevoix Women's Health sees patients in Boyne City, Charlevoix, and Harbor Springs. To make an appointment, please call 231-547-4477.