Speaking at a workshop held at a local Masvingo hotel two weeks ago, Linda Hwenga of the Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council said it was cultural for women to insert herbs in their vag*na so that they can tighten the canal to give men maximum pleasure in bed.
Hwenga urged women to stop this as it has been found to cause cervical cancer which is now a deadly disease among Zimbabwean women.
Cervical cancer is a disease in which the cells of the cervix (mouth of the uterus) become abnormal and start to grow uncontrollably. The real cause of cervical cancer is not known. However the human papillomavirus (HPV) is the closely linked agent as it facilitates progression to cervical cancer disease. HPV is transmitted sexually and it infects cells of the cervix which results in precancerous lesions and invasive cancer.
The workshop was hosted by the National Aids Council (NAC). Hwenga said the practice of herb insertion allows HPV to penetrate women's bodies through damaged tissues."Cervical cancer develops slowly over a long period of time. Herbs insertion damages vag*nal tissues. Some of the herbs used with the intention of tightening the vag*nal canal causes swelling of tissues in the canal. The delicate swollen tissues will then be bruised during sex allowing the HPV to get into the body. Women go to their extremes in trying to please men in bed. Muscles are tightened through exercise therefore l urge ladies to do kegel exercise for the vag*nal muscles," said Hwenga.
Men were also urged to get circumcised to prevent the spread of HPV. Hwenga said men with many sexual partners are a risk as they are likely to transmit the virus from one woman to another.
"Therefore we encourage circumcision for men and use of condoms by both sexes "added Hwenga.
Other causes of this disease include indulging in sex at an early age, having multiple and concurrent sexual partners, dietary factors, stress, family history of cervical cancer, drug abuse and failure to receive cervical cancer screening and vaccination.
Women were urged to go for screening to make sure they are safe and to make sure they receive treatment at an early stage if early diagnosis is done. Early symptoms of cervical cancer include pain during sex, bleeding after sex, bleeding after menopause, leg pains and smelly discharge.
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