There are many things that women can do to for cervical cancer prevention. The most common form of cervical cancer begins with precancerous changes to the cervix. So there are ways in which women can help to prevent themselves from developing cervical cancer.
The first thing that women can do to help prevent ever getting cervical cancer is to avoid being exposed to the HPV virus. Certain sexual behavior INCREASES the chances that girls will be exposed to the HPV virus. These risky behaviors include:
- Having sex at a young age
- Having several sexual partners
- Having a partner who has had several sex partners
- Having sex with uncircumcised males
Some other steps that women can take so they can avoid getting cervical cancer are:
- Delay sex: Delaying sex means that you will help limit the number of sexual partners you have.
- Use condoms: Condoms do not provide 100% protection against the HPV virus or against cervical cancer, but they do provide about 70% protection.
- Don’t smoke: Smoking increases the risk of getting all kinds of cancers. Don’t start smoking, and if you already smoke, quit….NOW!
About three years after a woman becomes sexually active, she needs to begin having cervical cancer screening by having a pap test done at least once a year. After a woman is 30 years old and has had at least three normal pap test results, she can then decrease the screening to once every 2 to 3 years.