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There’s good, bad and better news about women’s health these days.

The good news is since the liquid Pap test was introduced a decade ago, the incidence of cervical cancer has decreased 24 percent.

The bad news: Cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STDs).

The better news: A vaccine that protects against the high-risk strains of HPV will soon be available.

A gynecologist can tell you whether it’s advisable for you to get the vaccine. As for who the best gynecologist is for you, consider the following five factors:

1. What will your needs be? For example, not all gynecologists deliver babies.

2. Has he or she been trained for and well versed in any surgical procedures you may need?

3. Is the doctor someone you can talk to and feel comfortable with asking questions or discussing such things as STDs?

4. Do the office hours suit your schedule so you can be seen within a reasonable amount of time when you need to be?

5. Do you have a good rapport with the staff?

According to a new national survey commissioned by the Vagisil Women’s Health Center, 43 percent of women aged 18 and older have experienced vaginal itching. More than half self-treat before going to the doctor. Fortunately, Vagisil Anti-Itch Creme provides immediate relief of itching and irritation, no matter what the cause, so it can be used alone or in conjunction with prescription medication.

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