For both boys and girls, a vaccination is available to protect against four of the most common strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). Of the four strains, two affect the cervix and two can cause genital warts. The recommended age for the HPV shot is between ages nine and 11, before sexual activity, although patients can receive the vaccine up until the age of 26.
There are no risks to the vaccine, which is given as three shots. The second HPV shot is given two months after the first and the third is given four months later. If for some reason you are not able to complete the vaccine on schedule, there is no need to start over. However, you should complete the series of HPV shots for it to be fully effective.
Although the HPV vaccination protects against certain strains of HPV, you should still follow regular pap smear guidelines, as well as make annual wellness visits with your physician.
For More Information
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 847.570.5020.