How can you help prevent cervical cancer?

Knowing how to help prevent HPV, the world’s most common STI, is the first step towards helping protect yourself against cervical cancer. Really, prevention is the new protection.

Get regular
pap tests, girl.

True, pap tests do not prevent the HPV virus, but they can help your doctor catch abnormal cells before they develop into cervical cancer. So book that appointment.

Talk to your doctor about vaccination. stat.

Although vaccination doesn’t protect everyone (and only protects against those types of HPV that are contained in the vaccines), vaccination is the best protection against certain types of HPV. Side effects and allergic reactions may occur. Vaccinated women should still get routine cervical cancer screening. Ask your doctor about getting vaccinated.

Do your best to limit sexual partners.

Life is full of all kinds of relationships – some committed, some a little more casual. And there’s nothing wrong with being sexually active! But, the fewer partners you ultimately have, the lower your risk of contracting HPV. The most effective way to prevent HPV – or any other STI – is to of course, abstain from sexual activity altogether, even skin-to-skin sexual activity without penetration.

Always use condoms.

Condoms drastically help reduce transmission of HPV, and other STIs, period. However, the skin that is not covered can still pass and receive HPV through skin contact.

Quit smoking.

If you haven’t quit smoking already, here’s one more reason to add to your “must quit smoking immediately” list. Need some help? Check out these great resources:

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