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What is the HPV Vaccine?

Oct 9th 2015 at 12:19 PM

HPV means ‘human papillomavirus’, some forms of which can be sexually transmitted, thereby infecting the throat and genital area, including the vagina, vulva, cervix, anus, rectum, scrotum, or penis.

Other types of HPV can cause genital warts, or perhaps changes in cells leading to cervical and other forms of cancer.

Nevertheless, most forms of HPV appear to have little to no negative impact at all.

HPV vaccines help to protect us against HPV that causes many cases of genital warts and cervical cancers.

 

How Does this Vaccine Work?

There are a couple of types of HPV vaccine, namely Cervarix and Gardasil. Both of them protect against HPV 16 and 18. Types 16 and 18 are responsible for approximately seven from ten different cases of cervical cancer.

Gardasil may also protect against types 6 and 11, both of which are responsible for causing nine from 10 cases of genital warts.

The vaccines work by helping the body’s immune system to produce antibodies against these types of HPV.

The vaccines are given in a three-shot series. After two months have elapsed since the first, you will receive the second shot. The third shot will be administered some four months after the second shot. In all, it therefore takes six months to receive all three shots.

Both forms of the vaccine serve to protect against HPV for a minimum of five years, though it can last quite a bit longer. Otherwise, if it does not last for longer, you can obtain a booster shot.

 

Should You Get the HPV Vaccine? Should Your Child Get it?

The recommendation is for females between the ages of 9 and 26 to receive the HPV vaccine.

For males, the recommended age range is the same as for females. The vaccine will help males to avoid some forms of cancer of the anus, prevent genital warts, and also prevent HPV from spreading to women, whereby it can potentially be the cause of cancer.

Some research has been carried out which has found when the vaccine is given to those who are older than 26, it can be beneficial. Nevertheless, to be more certain, further clinical trials are called for.

It’s wise to consult with your own health care provider with respect to obtaining the HPV vaccine for yourself and, if you have a child, for your child.

 

Can You Catch HPV from the HPV Vaccine?

Simple answer – no! The virus is not live in either of the HPV vaccines. Thus, it’s not possible to obtain HPV from the vaccines.

 

For further information about the HPV vaccine and if it is suitable for you and/ or your family, get in touch with OB/GYN in Bakersfield.

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