Difficulty eating, urinary issues, and irregular menstruation are a few of the many signs of ovarian cancer in its later stages, wherein the cancer grows and spreads to the abdomen and pelvis. Unfortunately, the early stages may not show any symptoms that can be perceived as alarming.

It is for this reason why most women are diagnosed with the cancer at a later stage. It is best to know the different risk factors of ovarian cancer, the two most common being genetic mutation and family history. However, there are some other factors, too, which are beyond one’s control. Thus, one should know how to prevent this illness. Here are a few factors that can lower the risk of ovarian cancer:

1. Oral contraceptives

Studies show that the longer one takes oral contraceptive pills, the better guarded they are against ovarian cancer. After a woman has taken these pills, the protection will last for a few years. However, the pills do pose some risks. So, before one starts taking oral contraceptives, they must communicate with the doctor to know whether they are a good idea.

2. Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Breastfeeding and giving birth to one or more children, especially before 35 years of age, is known to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.

3. Avoiding carcinogens

Carcinogens are substances that cause cancer. There are several types of carcinogens that can lead to cancer, especially if one is susceptible to it. One should avoid using products like talcum powder, vaginal deodorants, and makeup. These aggravate their susceptibility to ovarian cancer. Some women tend to use these products around the genital area, which puts them at a high risk for ovarian cancer. Knowledge and awareness about carcinogens and consciously taking measures to avoid using them are vital prevention methods for ovarian cancer.

4. Tubal ligation

Getting the fallopian tubes tied also reduces one’s risk of developing ovarian cancer. However, experts suggest that this procedure should only be performed to avoid pregnancy and not to lower ovarian cancer risk.

5. Lifestyle changes

To prevent ovarian cancer, one needs to maintain an active lifestyle, and consume a balanced and healthy diet. Working out for half an hour everyday alone reduces the risk by about 20 percent. Further, one can also make some dietary changes to lower the risk of ovarian cancer. Adding foods that are rich in vitamin A and D can be beneficial. Strictly avoiding exposure to and the use of tobacco and tobacco-related products reduces the risk of ovarian cancer. One also needs to quit alcohol or at least curtail its consumption.