All You Need to Know About HPV Vaccine

All You Need to Know About HPV Vaccine
0 11 March 2024
All You Need to Know About HPV Vaccine

The cases of vaginal cancer, cervical cancer, penile cancer, and anal cancer in both men and women are increasingly prevalent worldwide. Because these cancers require invasive treatments like surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, they pose significant risks to reproductive and sexual function, even with the right treatment and care.

Fortunately, the HPV vaccine can drastically reduce the risk of these particular types of cancers, along with other types caused by the HPV virus. The HPV vaccine is one of the most effective vaccines available today, scoring the highest efficacy rating in protecting against the HPV virus. Yet, not many are aware of this cost-effective vaccine.

Today, with insights from the best gynaecologists in Mumbai, Dr. Neelima Mantri, we aim to improve awareness about the HPV vaccine by answering the most frequently asked questions. Read on to know:

What is the HPV virus?

The HPV virus, or human papillomavirus, is a common sexually transmitted infection. This virus can infect the mouth, genital area, and throat of both men and women. There are many different types of human papillomavirus, which can cause various symptoms, ranging from genital warts to cancers, including cervical, vaginal, penile, anal, and throat cancers. Other symptoms of infection caused by the HPV virus include itching, burning, or discomfort in the genital area, abnormal vaginal bleeding, and even pain during sex.

How is the HPV virus transmitted?

“HPV is primarily transmitted through sexual contact, including oral, vaginal, and anal sex. The virus spreads even if an infected person shows no signs or symptoms. HPV may also be passed from mother to baby during childbirth,” says female gynaecologist in Mumbai Dr. Neelima Mantri.

How does the HPV vaccine work? What types of cancers does it help prevent?

Like the majority of vaccines, HPV vaccines work by exposing the body to inactive forms of the virus. This way, our body gradually develops immunity against the virus in its active form when exposed. Cervical cancer, vaginal cancer in women, and anal cancer and oropharyngeal cancer (back of the throat) in both men and women are some of the cancers whose risk can be significantly reduced by getting the HPV vaccine.

How many doses of the HPV vaccine are needed for an individual? Is it safe?

The total number of doses required by the individual depends on the age at which they are vaccinated. Children and teens between ages 9 and 14 will require two doses of HPV vaccine over a 6-12 month period. If the HPV vaccine is administered between the ages of 15 and 26, three doses of vaccine will be required over a 6-month period. HPV vaccine is one of the most extensively studied vaccines and the most effective one with excellent efficacy rates in reducing the risk of HPV-related cancers. So yes, it is safe and effective for men and women.

What are the side effects of the HPV vaccine? Every vaccine shows a few mild side effects. In the case of HPV vaccine, the side effects are mild and often go away within a few days. The side effects of HPV vaccines may include pain, redness, swelling, dizziness, and in very rare cases, fainting.

Where can I get the HPV vaccine in India?

Government Health Centers, Private Hospitals, and Clinics are some of the primary sources of HPV vaccination. Even women’s health specialists or gynaecologists can also help you get the HPV vaccine in India. If you are in Mumbai, you can contact leading gynaecologist Dr. Neelima Mantri for HPV vaccination. You can contact her here.