Our providers administer the GARDASIL®9 vaccine to prevent certain cancers and diseases caused by 9 types of HPV. While the CDC recommends receiving Gardasil at the age of 11 or 12, regardless of your age you should talk with your health care provider about whether or not getting the vaccine may be beneficial to you. Learn more here and contact us at one of our locations in Rock Hill or Fort Mill, SC, to schedule an appointment.
What is HPV?
HPV stands for human papillomavirus and it is the most common STD (sexually transmitted disease) around, with 85% of sexually active people contracting it at some point in their life. While there are more than 200 types of HPV, not all of them are harmful. Certain types of HPV may not cause any symptoms and might even go away without treatment. Many people have HPV without even knowing it until they pass it on to someone else who does develop symptoms. Additionally, some types of HPV can develop into cancer or genital warts. HPV is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, so vaginal intercourse is not the only way it spreads.
While there is currently no cure for HPV, there are treatments available. The most powerful tools we have are awareness and prevention. Wearing a condom when engaging in sexual activity can help, as can receiving the HPV vaccine, Gardasil.
When is Gardasil Recommended?
Gardasil is meant to offer protection before being exposed to the virus. For this reason, we recommend the vaccine for:
- Children – The vaccine is most beneficial when administered to boys and girls at 11 or 12 years of age. Children receive the vaccine in two doses spaced 6 months apart.
- Teens & Young Adults – The vaccine is still highly beneficial and recommended in both men and women between 15 and 26 years old. In this instance the vaccine is administered in 3 doses spaced 6 months apart.
- Adults – Individuals over the age of 26 will not receive the same benefits as children, teens, or younger adults. It may still be worth exploring depending on each individual and is worth discussing with your doctor if you have any questions.
Keep in mind that receiving Gardasil does not protect against an infection that you already have. That said, it may protect against other forms of the virus, so even if you have HPV you should still talk to your doctor about whether or not Gardasil is right for you. Even if you have received Gardasil, keep in mind it does not protect against all forms of HPV.
Scheduling your annual wellness exam and participating in pap tests on a regular basis are still important to detecting and preventing HPV and other concerns that could develop into cervical cancer.
Schedule Your Appointment
We want all of our patients to feel comfortable being open about their health concerns. We strive to create a welcoming environment. Contact our office to schedule an appointment to learn more about receiving Gardasil for yourself or your child.