Hi #GYNEGirls, #Preggos, & #GENTs! It’s ME again Dr. Drai- America’s OBGYN. Guess what? That #Preggo that I said was in labor is still in labor chile…24 hours later. I know right? Sometimes it’s like that #preggos; the joys of #BabyCatching…Thank GAWD I’m a patient OBGYN. Dr. Drai will wait all day for a baby to pop out. Now back to THIS educational topic. By now you know that January is Cervical Cancer Awareness month. Dr. Drai has blogged about cervical cancer AND HPV. Now let’s talk about the HPV Vaccine. As you know, HPV is so common that nearly all #GENTs and #GYNEGirls will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives. Say What Now? Yes it’s true! There are more than 40 different types of HPV that can cause cancer in the genital areas, mouths and throats. There are two vaccines on the market right now- Gardasil and Cervarix. Both vaccines include two types of HPV that cause about 70% of cervical cancer but only one vaccine includes an additional two types of HPV that cause about 90% of genital warts. Both vaccines are given in 3 doses- initial, at 2 months, and at 6 months. Don’t worry! There is no live virus in either HPV vaccine, so it can’t give you an infection. These vaccines are relatively safe and are VERY effective. Read below to learn 5 Things You Must Know about the HPV vaccine.
- Gardasil can be given to both males and females ages 9-26 years old while Cervarix is only given to females ages 10-25 years old.
- Gardasil protects you against four HPV strains-16, 18, 6, and 11. Cervarix protects you against only two HPV strains- 16 and 18. HPV 16 and 18 cause cervical cancer and HPV 6 and 11 cause genital warts. Therefore, Gardasil protects you additionally against genital warts AND cancers of the anus, vagina and vulva.
- You can’t get Gardasil if you are allergic to yeast. Ladies who are allergic to latex can’t get the cervarix vaccine.
- The HPV vaccine is most effective when given before exposure to HPV i.e. unprotected sex, naked dry humping, sharing sex toys. That’s why the starting age of vaccination is 9 years old.
- Yes you still need to get your PAP smears. The HPV vaccine does not protect you against ALL types of HPV that can cause cancer.
Currently, there is no cure for HPV … so PREVENTION is the KEY! #GetVaccinated. Until next time…