Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine in Ocala, FL
What is HPV?
HPV, or human papillomavirus, is a large group of viruses that can cause diseases and cancer in both men and women. Of the nearly 150 types of HPV, more than 30 of them can affect the genital area. Because of its ability to infect a number of areas on one’s body, including the skin, HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease. In fact, there are nearly 14 million new HPV infections in the United States each year, and nearly 80 million currently infected.
If not prevented, HPV can cause issues such as:
- Cervical Cancer
- Genital Warts
- Throat Cancer
- Penile Cancer
- Anal Cancer
Gynecologist Poorti Riley, MD has extensive experience helping women avoid HPV. When you schedule an appointment with Florida Women’s Health, Dr. Riley will walk you through the various ways to protect yourself against HPV. Give us a call at (352) 369-5999 today to schedule an appointment in Ocala, FL.
How to Protect Against HPV
Because most HPV infections go away by themselves, and those infected with HPV rarely develop symptoms, prevention is of the most importance. There are a few things you may do to lower your chances of getting HPV including:
- Use condoms during intercourse (however, HPV can infect areas not covered by a condom)
- Practice safe sex or monogamy
- Get screened for STDs regularly
- Get screened for cervical cancer
- Get vaccinated
The most effective method of prevention is the gardasil vaccine for HPV which protects you against most types of HPV that lead to cancer or infection.
It’s important to vaccinate all children who are of the ages of 11 to 12 years old in two rounds, about six to twelve months apart. If your child did not receive the vaccine at this age, and is older than 14, three shots can be given over the course of six months in order to have the same effect.
The HPV vaccine is also recommended for young women up to 26 years old, and young men up to 21. If someone has an immunocompromising condition, they should receive the vaccination up to 26 years of age. In some instances, you can get the vaccine at even an age above 26.
It is important to remember that the HPV vaccination can not cure HPV if you have already been infected. However, it may prevent other strains of HPV from affecting you and prevent the recurrence of abnormal cells. If you have an HPV infection, you must talk to your physician about treatment. In addition, you should still receive regular STD and Pap tests.
Schedule an Appointment in Ocala, FL
For more information about HPV and the gardasil vaccine, contact Dr. Riley at Florida Women’s Health today by calling (352) 369-5999.