HELPFUL HEALTH HINTS

Good advice to keep you and your loved ones fighting fit

Cervical Screening
Ladies are offered cervical screening (smear tests) every 3 years from the age of 25 and every 5 years from the age of 50. Screening has improved over the last year or so, and screening now tests for the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Ladies found to have high risk types of HPV are automatically referred for colposcopy; this ensures prompt treatment and less time spent returning for unnecessary repeated tests.

HPV is passed on during sexual contact. Low risk types are not harmful and are cleared through our immune system; however, high risk types can go on to cause abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix (womb) in later years; it is these changes that can cause cancer.

Think of cervical screening as just another simple check up to reduce your health risks and maintain good health. Appointments can be booked with the Practice Nurse via the Medical Centre Reception on ext 7799. If however, you have your test performed elsewhere, then please let us know the result, so as we can update your records.
For further information, take a look at the following websites:
www.jostrust.org.uk/
www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk/cervical/

Seasonal Flu
The flu virus spreads rapidly through small droplets by coughing or sneezing into the air by an infected person. We live in a small community at RAF Coningsby and tend to congregate in large numbers in communal areas at work and in the Mess where the virus can thrive. Flu can rapidly spread amongst Unit personnel and cause sickness and absence, thus, effecting operations.

Some people are at greater risk of developing serious complications of flu, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. The flu vaccination is offered from October onwards during the winter season, to people in ‘at-risk’ groups. If you are deploying on certain Operations, you will also be offered the flu vaccine.

Can I avoid catching flu?
Short of isolating yourself from everyone, it is difficult to avoid encountering flu viruses. Preventing the spread of germs is the most effective way to slow the spread of flu.
• Catch it – Bin it – Kill it! – always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Bin the tissue and wash your hands with soap and water.
• If you share communal working areas, such as desks, computers and telephones, periodically wipe all these areas down.
• Do not share Crew Room cups unless they are thoroughly washed in between use.
• Keep your immune system strong by eating a healthy diet, taking regular exercise, getting enough rest and relaxation and not smoking.
For more information visit:
http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Flu/Pages/Introduction.aspx

Sexual Health Advice
Many people do not always have symptoms when they have a sexually transmitted infection (STI), however, if you do have any of the following symptoms or have started a new relationship, then you should get tested.

• pain when you pass urine
• itching, burning or tingling around the genitals
• blisters, sores, spots or lumps around the genitals or anus
• unusual vaginal discharge
• bleeding between periods or after sex
• pain during sex
• lower abdominal pain
If you have symptoms, contact the Medical centre, RAF Coningsby. Alternatively contact the Lincoln Sexual Health Services, specializing in Genitourinary Medicine and Contraceptive Health on 01522 539145. Opening times Mon – Thurs 0830-1930, Fri – 0830-1630. Please note that this is a free and confidential service.
Free condoms are available upon request at the Medical Centre, RAF Coningsby and machines are located in the Messes.

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