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OBGYN: What Is the Purpose of the HPV Vaccine?
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.
HPV vaccine facts OBGYNs want people to know
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of Americans who are infected with the human papillomavirus each year is roughly 14 million. This includes men, women and teenagers. The infection is spread through skin-to-skin sexual contact. The main goal of the HPV vaccine is to prevent cancer that infects the genital area in men and women, the anus and the back of the throat.
What the vaccine protects against
HPV is the most prevalent and common sexually transmitted infection. In fact, the CDC estimates that it there are 79 million infected people in the United States. The vaccine offered by an OBGYN and family doctors works to protect people against cancers associated with this infection, the HPV virus itself and other conditions, such as noncancerous genital warts.
Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers that results from HPV, and about 12,000 women are diagnosed with each year. The CDC states that over 90% of cancers caused as a result of HPV can be prevented with this vaccine.
Who needs the vaccine
It used to be believed that only women benefited from the vaccine. However, the CDC now recommends that both boys and girls should receive the HPV vaccine starting from 11 years of age, although girls as young as nine years old may be eligible for it. The vaccine can be given to women through the age of 26 but not any older. This is because the vaccine is most effective during this timeframe.
How the vaccine works
The vaccine is made up of virus-like particles that do not have the DNA of HPV but resemble it. Once an OBGYN injects it, the body naturally creates the antibodies needed to fight common HPV infections before the disease occurs in the body.
It is most effective when given before a person is sexually active, as the body can naturally build up the antibodies needed to fight the infection. The highly efficient nature of the vaccine is due to it stimulating the rapid production of a large number of the antibodies. It is important to understand that the vaccine does not protect against every single type of HPV, other types of sexually transmitted infections or HPV infections that already exist in the body.
An OBGYN can inform people about the importance of the HPV vaccine, but it is also a good idea for individuals to be aware of certain facts beforehand. It is better for people to know enough to request the HPV vaccine during the timeframe that makes it most effective. Asking a doctor about HPV and how the vaccine can help is important for living a healthy life and protecting your body from potential diseases and other complications.
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