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HPV Vaccine - What You Must Know About It?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Nutan Hegde 92% (155 ratings)
MBBS, DGO, MRCOG
Gynaecologist, Mumbai  •  13 years experience
HPV Vaccine - What You Must Know About It?

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is one the most common sexually transmitted virus and an HPV vaccination protect you against this virus. It is estimated that HP infects at least 50% of the population during their sexually active phase. Although the virus is not a deadly type of a virus asit goes away on its own, in some cases, it can lead to anal, throat cancers and genital warts as well.

The common vaccine
Gardasil is the common form of HPV vaccine that is routinely given for such conditions. It is given to people who’re between the age group of 9 and 26. HPV vaccine is not fool-proof as these don’t work effectively against all types of HPV. But, these vaccines are effective against the high-risk strains that account for nearly 75% of all cervical cancers. The vaccine is also effective against the cancer of the vagina and vulva.

The correct dose
The vaccine has a virus-like strain but it is not the actual virus. The patient is given three doses over a period of six months, and there are no side effects associated with it, apart from giddiness and instances of fainting spells (in some cases). However, these are only passing phases and should disappear in some time.

Small facts
It’s always advisable that you consult a well-trusted doctor before going for one of such vaccines. Thanks to marketing gimmicks, many people can be misguided into this, so it’s always better to know if you’re the right person for this or not. Check your report with a doctor, and then decide. Recently, Gardasil 9 was approved by the medical associations and this strain of vaccine is far more effective than its counterparts.


Know the age factor
Ideally, the vaccine should be endorsed for the population at the ages 11 to 12. It is advisable to give the vaccine at a young age, before the sexual activity of a person starts or the start of the puberty.

Gender talk
Gardasil vaccine can be given to women till they reach the age of 25 or 26 and in case they are not exposed to the vaccine at an early stage. Gardasil vaccination is also effective for men in the age group of 9 to 25 and it helps in the prevention of genital warts which is the most common STI among men.

Prevent cancer?
Gardasil has also been used in the prevention of cancer. It should be noted that the vaccinations are not an exact cure for HPV but it minimizes the chances. It also doesn’t mean that women can skip the Pap smear tests once they are vaccinated that are used to rule out the chances of cervical cancer.

Above all the vaccination should not be taken without consulting your gynaecologist

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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