HPV Vaccine for Women: How Old is too Old to be Vaccinated

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection known to cause cervical cancer and genital warts in women. However, the HPV vaccine (Gardasil 9) prevents infection caused by various strains of the HPV virus (HPV 33, HPV 58, HPV 31, HPV 45, and HPV 52), which reduces a woman’s risk of developing such health conditions. The CDC recommends HPV vaccination for all girls before teenage (between 9 and 12 years) and women under 26 years of age.

However, can those who have not been vaccinated in their teenage or adulthood get the vaccine later? Are there any side effects of late vaccination? Read on to find out.

Can You Still Get the HPV Vaccine After 26?

Generally, it is advised to get the HPV vaccine for women before you turn 26. However, some unvaccinated women aged 27-45 may get vaccinated after discussing their risk of getting infected with the HPV virus and the benefits of vaccination with their healthcare provider. Getting vaccinated after 26 could be less beneficial, as you may have already been exposed to the virus, and the vaccine cannot protect you from specific strains of the virus you are already infected with.

However, getting vaccinated will protect you from other strains of HPV that you have not been exposed to.

What is Main Cause of HPV?

HPV infection can spread through vaginal, oral, or anal sex. The infected person can spread the virus even without developing any symptoms. With more than 40 different varieties of HPV, the type of virus you get infected with will determine the kind of symptoms you exhibit. While some may lead to genital warts, others can cause cervical cancer. HPV is, in fact, one of the most common sexually transmitted infections, and if you are sexually active, there are high chances of you getting exposed to the virus at one point or the other.

Does the HPV Vaccine Have Any Side Effects?

The HPV vaccine may cause mild side effects in some women, including:

  • Soreness, redness, or swelling at the site injected
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue

These side effects are common and will go away within a few days.

If you want to learn more about the HPV vaccine or have any concerns regarding its side effects, schedule an appointment with us today at North Atlanta Women’s Care.

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North Atlanta Women's Care

North Atlanta Women’s Care specializes in complete women's health care and is the preferred source of comprehensive obstetrics and gynecology services for many women in Johns Creek, Georgia, and the greater Atlanta area.

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