It is observed that most of the cervical cancers are caused by sexually transmitted infection. If proper immunization is given, it could reduce the impact of cervical cancer worldwide.
Types of Cervical Cancer Vaccines
There are various strains of HPVs (cervical cancer virus), which spread through sexual contact and cause cervical cancer. There are cervical cancer vaccines for both men and women. Both vaccines can prevent most cases of cervical cancer if given before the girl or woman is exposed to the virus. Both vaccines can prevent vaginal and vulvar cancer in women. Vaccinating boys or men against HPV can also help in protecting women from the virus by possibly decreasing the transmission.
Age Group for Cervical Cancer Vaccine
Cervical cancer vaccine is administered for girls and boys in the age of 11 to 12 years, and it can be given as early as 9 years. It is important to give it to girls and boys before they have any sort of sexual contact and get exposed to HPV. Once infected with HPV, the vaccine is not effective.
If a three dose series of vaccines is not completed earlier than it is recommended that girls and women through age 26 and boys and men through age 21 can receive the vaccine.
The vaccines are a series of three injections over a period of six months. The second does follows after one or two months of the first dose and the third does is given after six months.
Who should not be Vaccinated
Cervical cancer vaccine should not be given to pregnant women and people who are severely ill. If there has been a life threatening allergy or if you are allergic to certain substances you should not get the vaccine.
Benefits for Sexually Active People
Cervical Cancer Vaccine can still be useful if you are already sexually active and already have been infected with HPV. But the vaccine protects you from certain strains of HPV and not from all infections.
Side effects & Health risks of the Vaccine
Side effects are usually mild very rare and which include soreness at the site of injection (the arm), headaches and low grade fever. There may be some dizziness or fainting but remaining seated for at least 15 minutes reduces the risk of fainting. It may also cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain in some cases.
Alternate protection against HPV
If you are not in the age group for the vaccine you should protect yourself with male or female condom every time you have sexual activity.