In the U.S., approximately 12,000 people are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, and 4,000 lives are lost. The United States Congress has designated January as Cervical Health Awareness Month to get the word out about HPV, cervical cancer, and the importance of early detection.
Cervical cancer is caused by specific types of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is transmitted through genital skin-to-skin contact, so this includes genital rubbing, fingering, oral sex, sex with toys, and penetrative sex. Anyone with a cervix can contract cervical cancer, and this is an especially critical issue for trans men and genderqueer/gender non-conforming folks.
Cervical cancer is preventable through regular screenings and treatment. Here are some tips for reducing your risk.
- Get vaccinated. If you’re between 9 and 26 years old, you can get vaccinated against most forms of HPV. This vaccine will block the types of HPV most often found with cervical diseases.
- Starting at age 21, or within 3 years of your first sexual activity, get a Pap test every 1-2 years — even if you’ve been vaccinated.
- When recommended, get HPV tests.
- Practice safer sex! Employ condoms, gloves, and other barriers during sex to greatly reduce (but not eliminate) your risk of transmitting HPV and other infections.
- If you have any partners with cervixes, encourage them to take these preventative steps as well. Hey, might as well remind your friends and family while you’re at it!
Discrimination against trans folks is still a big issue with health care providers and insurance plans, but on November 21, 2011, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists expressed its opposition to gender identity discrimination and formally implored Ob-Gyns to provide routine treatment and screenings to transgender patients, including Pap tests. Also, starting in late 2012, most insurance companies will be required by law to cover screenings. If you encounter problems with insurance coverage, learn about filing an appeal here.
A few more resources for you:
- Check It Out Guys (creators of the excellent poster above) is a great resource on cervical health geared toward trans men.
- Planned Parenthood provides low-cost reproductive care.
- Resources PDX includes a medical directory for people of all genders.
- Black Women’s Health Imperative has a helpful page about cervical cancer.
- Our Bodies, Ourselves has a page on cervical tests.
Welcome to She Bop’s blog!
She Bop is a women-owned sex toy boutique specializing in body safe products and education. Our mission is to promote healthy and safe sexuality by offering quality products and educational workshops in a fun and comfortable environment. She Bop welcomes people of all genders and sexual orientations.
- March 1, 2017 – Pleasure, Power, and Pain: An Introduction to BDSM
- March 9, 2017 – BJs with AJ: A Fellatio Workshop
- March 19, 2017 – Dropping the Hint, Not the Ball: Flirting 101 with Andre Shakti
- March 22, 2017 – Fisting & Manual Sex with Andre Shakti
- April 2, 2017 – Introduction to Rope Bondage
- April 16, 2017 – Nasty Naughty Negotiation!
- April 20, 2017 – Sex & Cannabis
- April 26, 2017 – Exploring Burlesque: Striptease Salon
- May 4, 2017 – Beyond Monogamy
- A biodegradable vibrator! Made of starch-based plastic which facilities around the country recognize as recyclable! https://t.co/kqm69QSGzb
- Today is the last day of our sale on @GladRags products! Save 10% on their awesome cloth pads and menstrual cups.… https://t.co/2hdUovrHff
- Locally made leather cuffs, collars, and harnesses? Yes please! Excited to have some new stuff from Switch Leather. https://t.co/7JFLyLuErP
- A lot of this piece resonates with us. Amazon may be easy, but small businesses help our communities thrive. https://t.co/EyR96u5z2d
- Oh hey! We're having a sale on @GladRags menstrual products! Get some cloth pads or one of their new menstrual cups… https://t.co/Ir0Rb7rnBg
- The answer is yes! We are open regular hours today at both locations, 11 am to 7 pm. Come see us!
- This weekend at @Loon_bar: a night of mingling, music, and fundraising for Planned Parenthood (@PPCW)! https://t.co/zeA9yvpr2P
- This Sunday, come celebrate the launch of @GladRags' new menstrual cup! There will be champagne, treats & prizes 🍾 https://t.co/AlDdGyFeZZ
- Did you know we have extended hours through Valentine's Day? 🌹 We're open until 8 pm at both locations! https://t.co/HMEoWo2vRJ
- Feeling spontaneous? 2 spots just opened up in our Joys of Toys class tonight at 7:30! Call us to snag 'em. https://t.co/tbVIWNOXnP
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