A risk factor for cervical cancer is something that increases your chance of getting this cancer. Having one or more of these risk factors can make it more likely that you will get cervical cancer. But it doesn't mean that you will definitely get it. And many people who get cervical cancer don't have any of these risk factors.
Things that may increase your risk for cervical cancer include:
- Having an ongoing infection with a high-risk type of human papillomavirus (HPV)human papillomavirus (HPV) . HPV is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It is the most common cause of cervical cancer.
- High-risk sexual behaviors. These include having more than one sex partner or having a sex partner who has more than one partner. Safer sex can reduce your risk.
- Having an impaired immune systemimpaired immune system. Some conditions such as HIV can make you more likely to get an HPV infection.
- Smoking cigarettes or breathing in secondhand smoke.