The HPV vaccination is controversial for many parents with young daughters. While the benefits of the vaccine are vast, HPV proves a difficult topic of conversation as the virus is known to be sexually transmitted. Despite the stigma, the HPV vaccine can safely protect women from serious health implications associated
with the virus.
Human Papillomavirus, or HPV, is the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD) and affects approximately 80% of women over their lifetimes. With more than 40 variations of the virus, most forms of HPV show no visible signs or symptoms, and can easily go unnoticed. Other forms, however, can lead to genital warts or even
cervical cancer. While women can be tested for many forms of HPV through a routine pap smear, there is no way to screen males which contributes to the spread of the virus.
Once contracted, some women are able to fight off the virus and don’t require treatment. More commonly, however, the disease does not clear and can lead to long-lasting health complications.
Similar to the Chickenpox, HPV is a virus that can be prevented through vaccination. Administering this vaccination prior to the
start of sexual activity can dramatically lower your daughter’s chances of cervical cancer. The Center for Disease Control,
American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of OBGYN, and American Academy of Family Physicals recommend HPV vaccinations for females between the ages of 11-26.
Gardasil is the most widely used vaccine to prevent HPV. Administered in a series of 3 shots, this vaccination prevents the 4 types of HPV that lead to 70% of all cervical cancer and 90% of all genital warts.
Here at theBeaver Dam Women’s Health Clinic, we offer Gardasil and are happy to answer any questions about HPV, or the vaccine, at your next visit. We understand the sensitive nature of this topic, and can offer advice appropriate for your specific situation. Your daughter’s health is just as importantto us as it is to you.
About the Author:
Effie Siomos, MD,JFACOG
Dr. Effie Siomos completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and received her MD and Masters in Population Health from the University of Wisconsin, Madison where she also won awards for excellence in teaching. Dr. Siomos specializes in normal and high-risk obstetrics, routine gynecology, health and prevention, pre-pregnancy counseling, heavy and irregular periods, minimally invasive surgery, hysterectomy alternatives, and menopause. Along with her professional knowledge and background, she also brings her own personal experience in many OB/GYN areas such as infertility, miscarriage and pregnancy to the patients she works with. Dr. Siomos understands the many demands women
face as caregivers. Through flexible solutions and open communication, she offers the caring support her patients need to maintain a healthy balance in their lives.