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How can I lower my risk for cervical cancer?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

While there are no sure ways to prevent cervical cancer, you can lower your risk by:

  • Getting the HPV vaccine. Infection with the human papilloma virus is a risk factor for cervical cancer. Any female between the ages of 9 and 26 can get the vaccine to prevent it.
  • Also, get regular Pap tests. The best time to get a Pap test is 10 to 20 days after the first day of your last period. Don't have the test done during your period. Also, for 2 days before your Pap test don't have sex or use douches, vaginal medicines (unless your doctor tells you to) or spermicides.
  • Not smoking. Smoking can raise your risk of cervical cancer.
  • Being faithful. This means you and your partner only have sex with each other and no one else.
  • Using a condom EVERY time you have  vaginal, anal or oral sex. Condoms don't always protect you from HPV. But they may reduce your risk of getting genital warts and cervical cancer.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.