Cervical Cancer | HPV Vaccination | Dr. Heena Chawla Blog Paras Bliss Panchkula Cervical Cancer | HPV Vaccination | Dr. Heena Chawla Blog Paras Bliss Panchkula
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When Should You Opt For Cervical Cancer Vaccination

When Should You Opt For Cervical Cancer Vaccination

Dr-HeenaParasBliss
by: Dr. Heena Chawla
Consultant- Gynec-Oncology & Endoscopic Surgeon - Paras Bliss, Panchkula

Cervical Cancer is the second most prevalent cancer in women in India after breast cancer. It is caused due to the infection of the Human papillomavirus (HPV). This infection is due to sexual contact. It can be prevented through vaccination. Refer to the following details for cervical cancer vaccination.

What is the recommended age for HPV vaccination and why?

It is important for girls to get HPV vaccine before they become sexually active. Also, the HPV vaccine produces the strongest immune response in preteens. To work best, the HPV vaccines should be given at age 11 or 12. It is also recommended that HPV vaccine can be given to girls beginning at age 9 years and given upto 26 years of age. Consult your gynecologist and discuss the right time to start the vaccination. You can also opt for the same if you are planning to get married or are just going to begin your sexual life. Discuss the side effects and other details of the vaccination too.

Is the vaccine still effective if you are sexually active ?

Ideally females should get the vaccine before they become sexually active and exposed to HPV. Females who are sexually active may also benefit from vaccination, but the protection rate may be less as they may have already been exposed to one or more of the HPV types targeted by the vaccines.

Please note that for men also there is a similar vaccination that prevents genital warts. Discuss the details with a urologist.

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Should pregnant women be vaccinated?

The vaccines are not recommended for pregnant women even though they appear to be safe for both mother and the unborn baby. For now, pregnant women should wait to complete their pregnancy before getting the vaccine. If a woman finds out after she has started getting the vaccine series, it’s not a reason to consider ending the pregnancy and should complete the three dose series after the pregnancy.

Is HPV testing needed before getting the vaccine?

No. In fact, testing is not recommended because it cannot show if the HPV vaccine will be effective or not.

Does the HPV vaccine really work?

HPV vaccines are highly effective in preventing the targeted HPV types that most commonly cause cervical cancer and can cause some cancers of the vulva, vagina, anus, and oropharynx. Two of the vaccines also protect against the HPV types that cause most genital warts.

The vaccines are less effective in preventing HPV-related disease in young women who have already been exposed to one or more HPV types. HPV vaccines do not treat existing HPV infections or HPV-associated diseases.

Do I still need Pap tests if have taken the HPV vaccine?

Yes. You should continue getting Pap tests for regular testing for cervical cancer because the vaccines do not prevent all of the types of HPV that can cause cervical cancer.

What is the recommended age for HPV vaccination and why?

It is important for girls to get HPV vaccine before they become sexually active. Also, the HPV vaccine produces the strongest immune response in preteens. To work best, the HPV vaccines should be given at age 11 or 12. It is also recommended that HPV vaccine can be given to girls beginning at age 9 years and given upto 26 years of age.

Is the vaccine still effective if you are sexually active ?

Ideally females should get the vaccine before they become sexually active and exposed to HPV. Females who are sexually active may also benefit from vaccination, but the protection rate may be less as they may have already been exposed to one or more of the HPV types targeted by the vaccines.

Should pregnant women be vaccinated?

The vaccines are not recommended for pregnant women even though they appear to be safe for both mother and the unborn baby. For now, pregnant women should wait to complete their pregnancy before getting the vaccine. If a woman finds out after she has started getting the vaccine series, it’s not a reason to consider ending the pregnancy and should complete the three dose series after the pregnancy.

Is HPV testing needed before getting the vaccine?

No. In fact, testing is not recommended because it cannot show if the HPV vaccine will be effective or not.

Does the HPV Vaccine really work?

HPV vaccines are highly effective in preventing the targeted HPV types that most commonly cause cervical cancer and can cause some cancers of the vulva, vagina, anus, and oropharynx. Two of the vaccines also protect against the HPV types that cause most genital warts.

The vaccines are less effective in preventing HPV-related disease in young women who have already been exposed to one or more HPV types. HPV vaccines do not treat existing HPV infections or HPV-associated diseases.

Do I still need Pap tests if have taken the HPV vaccine?

Yes. You should continue getting Pap tests for regular testing for cervical cancer because the vaccines do not prevent all of the types of HPV that can cause cervical cancer.

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