No one likes to talk about the potential health risks associated with sexual intercourse, but OBGYN professionals want you to know about the importance of the HPV vaccine. Understanding the facts and purposes of this vaccine can help individuals take action to protect against dangerous health problems.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,…
Can the HPV Vaccine Prevent Certain Types of Cancer? [OBGYN]
You go to your OBGYN for a wide variety of issues and treatments. No matter what stage of life you find yourself in, this doctor is indispensable for your health and wellness. Your doctor will also keep on eye on signs of disease and other issues, such as cancer. There are also vaccines, such as the HPV, to help reduce your risk of this condition.
Before considering what vaccinations a person should get, it is helpful to know what HPV is. Human papillomavirus is passed through skin-to-skin contact in sexual contact. This virus is most prevalent in patients in their teens and 20s. Many who have the disease never realize its presence, but it can affect the genitals of both men and women. Among women, the virus can cause cancer of anus, vagina and vulva. Genital warts are another possible consequence of this virus.
Because HPV is common among adolescents, girls ages 11 and 12 should first get the vaccine. Girls and women between ages 13 to 26 should visit with the family doctor or OBGYN if they have never received the shot. To help prevent certain types of cancer, doctors and experts recommend two doses of the vaccine.
The potency of the vaccine
Girls and women can take comfort knowing that the HPV vaccine is extremely effective at protecting against different forms of cancer. It is particularly strong when targeted against cancers of the vagina, cervix, vulva, anus and oropharynx. However, the vaccine may not work as well if the woman has already had exposure to different types of HPV.
Patients who are concerned about how long the HPV vaccine will last should speak with their OBGYN. The doctor can speak to the patient about how well the shot works over time. Data shows that the vaccine does not lose its effectiveness over time. Even 10 or more years after getting the vaccine, the shot will continue to provide protection.
Patients who should stay away from the vaccine
Not all women should seek the HPV vaccination. Experts advise pregnant women and those over the age of 26 not to get vaccinated. Though no research has shown that the vaccine will harm the baby, doctors and researchers want to conduct more studies. Expectant mothers should wait until after their pregnancy. Also, while some doctors will make the vaccine available for girls as young as 9, the doctor and patient’s caregiver should decide whether this makes sense at this age.
Visit your OBGYN
Cancer can affect people of all ages. The HPV virus can lead to contracting this disease in the genital areas. Even if you or your daughter are not currently sexually active, it is important to guard against these conditions. Your OBGYN can discuss the risks and benefits of this vaccine and what to expect. Make an appointment with your doctor today.
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