The HPV vaccine is one of the most important medical breakthroughs in this century because transmission of certain types of the human papillomavirus is a public health concern. The specialists and staff at Woman's First Choice in Arcadia, California, are proud to offer the HPV vaccine to their patients in order to reduce incidences of cervical cancer and other forms of the disease associated with this common infection.
The human papillomavirus is a very common global infection. Widespread immunization is part of a public health plan to control and, potentially, eradicate it. HPV accounts for all types of cervical cancer. There are two strains currently associated with this disease:
Researchers know that other types of cancers are linked to this infection, as well. Transmission of the strains that cause cancer is done via sexual contact. This may be through vaginal, anal or oral sex.
There are three different HPV vaccines available that have FDA approval. One is for females only and the other two work for both genders. All three vaccines are effective in preventing most kinds of cervical cancer in women. They also help prevent vaginal and vulvar cancers, as well as genital warts and some forms of anal cancer.
Ideally, both young women and young men should get the vaccines prior to their first sexual contact. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends administration between the ages of 9 to 14. They suggest two doses around six months apart for the best coverage. If the vaccines come later, the patient gets three doses, instead.
It is still possible to benefit from the vaccines if you are sexually active. Even if the patient has one strain already, they are protected against the others. These vaccines are not a treatment for HPV. They will not eliminate an already existing infection but they will provide protection from other strains.
Most patients tolerate the vaccines well. There may be some mild side effects like muscle soreness, swelling, and redness around the injection sites. The doctor may have you sit still for up to 15 minutes after getting a shot to reduce the risk of dizziness or fainting. Some common complaints after getting a vaccine include:
Yes, the staff at Woman's First Choice will still suggest patients have routine Pap tests to rule out cervical cancer. It remains an important part of a woman's health care.