Gardasil is the only vaccine that may help guard against diseases caused by four types of human papillomavirus (HPV): 6, 11, 16, and 18. These diseases include:
- Cervical cancer
- Cervical abnormalities that can sometimes lead to cervical cancer
- Genital warts.
Help Protect Yourself Today
Gardasil is for girls and young women ages 9 to 26. Gardasil works when given before you have any contact with HPV Types 6, 11, 16, or 18. If you’ve already been infected with HPV, you may still benefit from Gardasil, because it is unlikely that you have been infected with all 4 types of the virus covered by the vaccine. That’s why we feel it’s important for you to know about this vaccine now.
Important Information For Young Women Ages 18 To 26
Vaccination with Gardasil does not take the place of Pap tests (cervical cancer screenings). Pap tests will still be an important part of taking control of your health and taking care of yourself.
Pap tests have been proven to help save lives. A Pap test looks for abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix before they have the chance to become precancerous or cervical cancer. The more severe the abnormality, the more likely it is that cervical cancer could develop in the future.
Having an abnormal Pap test isn’t any reason to panic — it doesn’t always mean that you are at risk for cancer or even have HPV. Your doctor or healthcare professional may repeat the Pap test or do other tests as needed.
Important Information For Mothers Of Girls Ages 9 To 17
Pap tests have been proven to save lives. Your daughter’s doctor or healthcare professional can tell you when you should schedule her first Pap.
In the meantime, you can start teaching her good healthcare habits now. Take her for regular wellness exams. Understanding the importance of wellness visits now may help her maintain regular checkups as she gets older.
Important Information About Gardasil
HPV types 16 and 18 cause 70 percent of cervical cancer cases, and HPV Types 6 and 11 cause 90 percent of genital warts cases. Gardasil will not treat these diseases and will not protect against diseases caused by other types of HPV.
Gardasil may not fully protect everyone and does not prevent all types of cervical cancer, so it is important to continue regular cervical cancer screenings.
Anyone who is allergic to the ingredients of Gardasil should not receive the vaccine. Gardasil is not for women who are pregnant.
Gardasil is given as 3 injections over 6 months and can cause pain, swelling, itching, and redness at the injection site, fever, nausea, and dizziness. Only a doctor or healthcare professional can decide if Gardasil is right for you or your daughter.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact the Center for Women’s Health at 913-491-6878.