Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a viral infection passed from skin to skin and/or sexual contact during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. There are many different strains of HPV. Although most forms of HPV don’t cause any health problems, there are a few strains that can cause genital warts and cancers affecting the anus, cervix, or throat. Since many variations of HPV do not cause symptoms, many people can have the virus and not even know it. It is also possible to have multiple forms of the virus. In both cases, the virus can easily spread from one person to another.
Although HPV has no cure, infection by some high risk strains can be prevented with the HPV vaccine. The HPV vaccine cannot cure existing HPV infections, but it can be used to prevent you from being infected with other strains of HPV in the future. The HPV vaccine is also known to help prevent cervical, anal and oral cancer and it is estimated that as many as 32,000 cases of cancer have been prevented in women who have had the vaccine.
Did You Know?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). In fact, it is so common that most sexually active people will eventually get some form of the virus at some point in their lives.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I need an HPV vaccine?
The American Cancer Society recommends that women begin the HPV vaccine series around the age of 11, before they are sexually active. The HPV vaccine is recommended because it drops the rate of HPV infection by 86% in teenage girls and the cervical cancer rate in women by 40%. To determine if the HPV vaccine is right for you, schedule a consultation with Bucks County Women’s Wellness today.
What can I expect when getting the HPV vaccine at Bucks County Women’s Wellness?
When getting the HPV vaccine at Bucks County Women’s Wellness, your provider will first discuss your medical and sexual history to ensure that you’re a good candidate for the vaccine. The vaccine will then be administered intramuscularly through the arm. Women under the age of 14 only need two shots spaced six months apart. Women between the ages of 15-45 will need three shots, with the second shot being given 2 months after the first and the last being given 4 months after the second.
Are there any side effects associated with the HPV vaccine?
To date, no serious side effects have been associated with the HPV vaccine. However in rare cases, mild to moderate side effects can occur such as: pain or swelling at the injection site, fever, fatigue, headache, joint pain, fainting, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or diarrhea. Although some people believe that the HPV vaccine can cause fertility issues, there are numerous studies that show HPV vaccines do not cause fertility problems and that they can even improve a woman’s fertility by preventing the need for cervical cancer treatment.