There are various risk factors associated with cervical cancer. Some of them include:
- Pregnancy: Women who have had three or more full-term pregnancies, or who had their first full-term pregnancy before age 17, are twice as likely to get cervical cancer.
- Family history: Women with a sister or mother who had cervical cancer are two to three times more likely to develop cervical cancer.
- Sexual history: Certain types of sexual behavior are considered risk factors for cervical cancer and HPV infection. These include: sex before age 18, sex with multiple partners and sex with someone who has had multiple partners. Studies also show a link between chlamydia infection and cervical cancer.
- Smoking: A woman who smokes doubles her risk of cervical cancer.
- Oral contraceptive use: Women who take oral contraceptives for more than five years have an increased risk of cervical cancer, but this risk returns to normal within a few years after the pills are stopped.