Dr Aryeetey explained that about 90 per cent of cervical cancers were caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) that also caused genital warts.
According to her, the transition zone, which is an area in the vagina, must be fully developed before females can have sexual intercourse, and the zone, she added, only develops after 13 years.
She, therefore, recommended that women could have sex after 18 years. HPV Background
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), HPVs are a group of more than 150 related viruses and more than 40 of these viruses can be easily spread through direct skin-to-skin contact during vaginal, anal and oral sex.
More than half of sexually active people are infected with one or more HPV types at some point in their lives.
Recent research from NCI indicates that, at any point in time, 42.5 per cent of women have genital HPV infections.
However, most high-risk HPV infections occur without any symptoms, and may disappear within one to two years. These transient infections may cause abnormal cell changes that go away on their own.
She explained that some of the HPV infections, however, persisted for many years which could lead to more serious abnormalities that if untreated, may progress to cancer.
She said failure to keep the vagina clean was a factor that contributed to 10 per cent of the risk of HPVs, and advised females to keep their private parts hygienic by washing it regularly with water, adding that it was not safe to use high scented soaps in cleaning the vagina.
Dr Aryeetey also urged women to have regular checkups and screening of cervical cancer to avoid advanced tumours which, she said, were difficult to cure.
While urging the youth to abstain from premarital sex, she also advised women who had multiple sexual partners to avoid the practice and also cautioned them to protect themselves when having sexual intercourse.