Risk Factors

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main risk factor for vaginal and vulvar cancers. About 65% of vaginal cancers and about 50% of vulvar cancers are linked to HPV.

Other risk factors include—

  • Immunosuppression (for example, HIV/AIDS).
  • History of cervical pre-cancer, cervical cancer, or anal cancer.
  • For vaginal cancer, in utero exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES).
Knowledge Check

Answer the question on your own and check your answer.

Answer: Persistent vaginal itching, pain with intercourse, and abnormal vaginal discharge or bleeding.

  • Persistent vaginal itching
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge or bleeding
  • Bloating
  • Gastrointestinal upset
Page last reviewed: August 27, 2015