4 Ways to Protect Yourself from Cervical Cancer

While these recommendations will not completely prevent cervical cancer, they will lower your risk and help protect you from the disease.

Get an HPV Vaccine
Human Papilloma Virus, HPV, is the main cause of cervical cancer. There are two vaccines (Gardasil and Cervarix) that can help protect young girls against HPV. These vaccines are licensed, safe, and effective. Girls aren't the only ones who need to be protected against HPV. While HPV doesn't affect boys, they can be carriers. The Gardasil vaccine can be given to boys to help stop HPV from spreading. These vaccines are most effective in preteens, but can safely be administered until age 26.
Get Regular Pap Tests
Regular pap tests help your doctor find and treat any changing cells prior to turning into cancer. Even after getting the HPV vaccine, women should still see their doctor for regular exams.
Be Monogamous
Monogamy means that you only have sex with one partner and no one else. Not having sex at all is the best way to protect yourself. However, having sex with only one person does lowers your risk of getting HPV.
Use Condoms
Condoms do not prevent HPV or cervical cancer, but when used correctly and consistently, they can lower your risk of getting cervical cancer.
Last reviewed: 
August 2017

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