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HPV, Pap tests and vaccination: what’s the difference?

About 70 to 80 per cent of the population gets a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection at some point in their life. Most of the time, a person’s body reacts to the virus and fights it off without even showing symptoms. However in some cases, HPV can develop into cervical cancer. […]

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LGBTQ women need Paps too

Cervical cancer screening saves lives. In the decades since the widespread adoption of the Pap test as a regular screening tool, deaths from cervical cancer have dropped dramatically. Cancer Care Ontario guidelines recommend a Pap test every three years for women between the ages of 21 and 70 who have […]

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Managing incontinence

Incontinence is the involuntary leakage of urine from the bladder. “Urinary incontinence is a very common symptom that affects both men and women,” says Frances Stewart, advanced practice nurse and nurse continence advisor at Women’s College Hospital. “Despite being very common, it often goes unreported,” Stewart says. “People with incontinence […]

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Missed or infrequent periods

Your period can be considered a vital sign. It’s a sign that your body is in a healthy enough state to support a pregnancy. Cycle length and flow vary widely from one woman to another, so there is a range of healthy menstrual patterns. A regular menstrual cycle is usually […]

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Painful periods: causes and care

Painful periods and menstrual cramps are called dysmenorrhea. They are common problems, but affect some women more seriously than others. “Some women don’t have much trouble at all with their periods, while others have so much pain they need to miss work or school,” says Dr. Yolanda Kirkham, a gynecologist […]

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Pap test guidelines for cervical cancer screening

A Pap test is a screening test for cervical cancer. It can detect early, precancerous changes to the cells of the cervix. These precancerous changes are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is spread through sexual contact. Regular Pap screening is a crucial defence against cervical cancer. Cancer Care […]

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Sexually transmitted infections and safer sex

There are many infections that can be passed from one person to another during sex. These are called sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Although sex is never risk-free, it can be safer. Safer sex means using a condom and taking care to protect yourself and your partners from infection. Honest communication […]

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Treating hot flashes and night sweats in perimenopause

Perimenopause is the transitional time leading up to menopause, which occurs on average at 51.5 years of age. During this time, fluctuations in hormones can cause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, difficulty concentrating, irritability and memory changes. “Some women may have no symptoms,” says Dr. Yolanda Kirkham, a […]

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When to seek fertility help

It’s not always easy to get pregnant. “Some people are shocked to find out that for young, healthy couples under age 35, who have no fertility problems, the chance of conceiving every month is only 20 per cent, or one in five,” says Dr. Sony Sierra, a gynecologist at Women’s […]

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Birth control options: male condoms

Condoms are the best way to protect you and your partner against sexually transmitted infections when having intercourse. When a woman also uses a spermicide, condoms are 98 per cent effective at preventing pregnancy if used correctly. Traditionally, male condoms were the only condoms available. More recently, female condoms have […]

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