The HPV vaccine helps to protect against the human papillomavirus (HPV) or wart virus. It is sometimes known as the cervical cancer vaccine, as HPV is one of the main causes of this type of cancer. HPV is also associated with other cancers, too, in both males and females.
About The Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
A common virus, HPV is mainly spread during sexual activity, including oral sex, and some 50% to 79% of sexually active women are infected with HPV at some time during their life, although most will not know it. There are more than 130 different types, causing different medical issues:
How The HPV Vaccine Works
The HPV vaccine helps to protect against the most common viruses that cause genital warts and cervical cancer. The vaccine contains proteins found in the outer shell of the virus, but it does not contain viral genes, and the vaccine cannot cause HPV infection itself. The viral proteins in the vaccine help the immune system recognise HPV and make protective antibodies against them.
When you are exposed to these viruses in the future, the immune system quickly reacts to clear the virus from your body.
Almost 40% of women are infected with HPV within two years of first sexual activity, and so having a course of HPV vaccination BEFORE becoming sexually active is the best way to protect against these viruses. The HPV vaccine is usually given to adolescents between the ages of nine and 14.
In some countries, HPV vaccination programs are now starting to include men. The HPV vaccine is licensed in the UK for use in both men and women, but the NHS immunisation schedule currently only protects girls between the ages of 12 to 13. We provide HPV vaccination for all genders and the HPV used by doctors at our clinic is Gardasil 9.
Women who have received the HPV vaccine should continue to have regular cervical smears.
What are the side effects of the cervical cancer vaccine (HPV vaccine)?
Most people who receive the HPV vaccine do not experience side effects although some develop headaches, dizziness and nausea but most are mild. You may also develop fatigue, a mild fever or discomfort, redness and swelling at the side of the injection. These signs often mean that your immune system is mounting a good response against HPV.
Booking your HPV Vaccine at our Clinic in London
If you would like to arrange an appointment to discuss the cervical cancer vaccine in London, please contact The Medical Chambers Kensington on (020) 7244 4200 or make an appointment online.