You can treat early cervical cell changes
(dysplasia), which can reduce your risk for
cervical cancer. You can also reduce your risk for abnormal cell changes.
Have regular Pap test screening
The recommended Pap test schedule is based on your age and things that increase your risk. For most women, it is best to have a Pap test every 1 to 3 years. Talk to your doctor about when to have your first Pap test and how often to have this test.
Did You Know?
Under the Affordable Care Act, many health insurance plans will provide free women’s preventive services, including mammograms, birth control and well-woman visits. Learn more.
If you are age 26 or younger, you can get the HPV vaccine. The vaccines Cervarix(What is a PDF document?) and Gardasil(What is a PDF document?) protect against two types of human papillomavirus (HPV) that cause cervical cancer. The series of shots is recommended for girls age 11 or 12 and can be given to females ages 9 to 26. You can get either vaccine. For more information,
see the topic
Reduce your risk of a sexually transmitted infection (STI)
STI, including HPV, is easier than treating an infection after it occurs. HPV infection usually doesn't cause symptoms, so
you or your partner may not know that you are infected.
To reduce your risk:
Talk with your partner about STIs before
beginning a sexual relationship. Find out if he or she is at risk for an STI.
Remember that it's possible to be infected with an STI without knowing
it. Some STIs, such as
HIV, can take up to 6 months before they are detected
in the blood.
sexual contact if you have symptoms of an STI or are
being treated for an STI.
Avoid all intimate sexual contact with
anyone who has symptoms of an STI or who may have been exposed to an
The fewer sex partners you have in your lifetime, the better it
is for your health. Your risk for an STI increases if you have several sex
partners or if your sex partner has more than one partner.
female condoms to reduce the risk of getting an STI.
Using male condoms when you have sex has been shown to reduce your risk of
getting HPV.5 Female condoms may help also, although
there has been less study of this type of protection.
Not having sexual contact is the only certain way to
prevent exposure to STIs. Sexually transmitted infections such as human
papillomavirus (HPV) can be spread to or from the genitals, anus, mouth, or
throat during sexual activities.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
February 22, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this