Should I Get The HPV Vaccine? Help!

Hey Heather,

I just went to the doctor and she was pushing me to get the HPV vaccine. I’m really freaked out about getting HPV or cervical cancer, but I’m not getting the shot for a few years. My boyfriend and I are both virgins, but is it possible for me to get cervical cancer if we do anything sexual?

While it’s definitely a great idea to strongly consider getting the HPV vaccine, you should take a little time to learn the facts about HPV and the vaccine before you make any decisions. Which is exactly why I’m here!

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common STI out there with tons of different types that can affect your genitals, mouth and throat. The majority of people who are infected don’t even know they have HPV. One result of HPV is genital warts, and another is the possibility of cervical cancer. But don’t freak out – not everyone who is infected gets cervical cancer.

One super important thing to know about this STI is that you’re at risk of getting it even if you’ve never had sex – it’s passed through genital contact, not just penetration. That means that condoms don’t always protect against HPV.

The HPV vaccine is one of the best ways to prevent HPV (besides abstaining from any sexual contact at all, of course). It’s a series of of three shots over six months, and the best time to get it is before you start having sex. These vaccines target the HPV types that most commonly cause cervical cancer, which means they don’t target every single type of HPV there is. Gardasil, one of the two vaccines, also protects against HPV types that cause most genital warts. Although these shots are highly effective, they are less effective in young women who have already been exposed to the STI.

The vaccines have been studied using thousands of people around the world, and so far, they have shown no major safety concerns. Of course, there are side effects, like pain where the shot was given, fever, dizziness, nausea and sometimes fainting. But overall, the shot is said to be effective and safe.

But keep this in mind: no matter what your doctor or anyone else says, this is your body and ultimately your decision. You have to do what you think is right for you. If you’re looking to protect yourself against cervical cancer and you haven’t had sex yet, this is your best option – but like I said, it’s also your choice.

take care,
Heather

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  • owentaytay

    i dont do vaccines and the gardasil vaccine had been linked to numerous deaths and problems that show up after girls get the shot

  • Jessica

    I had the shots when I was 13 because I’m in England – I’m nearly 16 now and I haven’t had sex or anything, but I recommend getting them because, hey, it can prevent cancer. They hurt a little, but nothing too major. I hardly felt anything for the first one, and the second one was just a little painful, and the third was fine.

  • girlgirl411

    i had it done when I was 15, and as long as you decide to do it, you’ll be fine.

  • butterflyzgirl

    I have had the vaccine and it is worth it. It really does not hurt-in my experience it just felt weird. I’m glad i have had them because i now know i am protected against it! xxxx

  • Hannah

    This girl on my team said that her doctor said she doesn’t need to get it and she should get it when she become sexual active and i tried to tell her that her doctor was wrong about getting it when you become active and she should get it before and she yelled at me -___- my doctor highly recommended it to me because i wouldn’t have to worry about it later on incase my insurance might not cover it later on when I’m older. So yea. Better safe then sorry 🙂

  • Melissa

    I had it a few years ago.
    Worst thing I ever did…

  • Sienna

    Everyone in our year had to get it, and it was fine. People were teasing people saying “It hurts sssoooo much” but it doesn’t. Just make sure you have brekky and drink water before it because that is the main reason people faint (no-one does pretty much 😉

  • Anna

    I got the jab earlier this year, it was fine. Loads of other girls in my year were nervous but i was fine, it hurts ike a sharp pich, like an ear piercing, (if you’ve had one).Your arm hurts like it feels all heavy afterwards for about 24hrs. Thats all pretty much, i was one of the only people who experienced an extra side effect, I got a headache but my mum just gave me some calpol when i got home and i was fine, have it, it could save your life 🙂 x

  • Brooke

    I don’t know if this is the cause, but when I got it, my arm hurt and I was really really dizzy. Ever since then I have been able to dizzy just by turning my head. It definitely was worth it though.

  • Megan

    I live in the UK and it’s given out at school to every female year 8, i was worried at first but knew the shot wouldn’t be as bad as getting cervical cancer. The shots in 3 parts and the first is the worst as you don’t know what to expect. You get a numb arm afterwards and it hurts if you touch it but that goes away within a few days. The only thing about it I would say is that if you feel sick or faint (its an uncommon side affect so it may not happen to you!) let the nurse know because I thought it would just pass and I almost ended up fainting where as if I had let them know they would have been able to help.
    Don’t worry it’s fine

  • V

    I remember getting this shot when my mom first heard about it, of course I was already getting shots at the time for school, but hey, why not just add another one on top of it? I had to take it in 3 parts the first one was by far the most painful, it made my arm feel like it was on fire and when that settled, my arm went completely numb, and then i later had headaches and nausea when I got home. After that though the last two shots were a breeze, it may suck for a little bit, but it is worth it.

  • ZoZo

    I took the Gardasil shot, and I was completely fine. It doesn’t hurt too much more than normal shots; I didn’t even notice a difference, so if the pain horror stories are what’s freaking you out, don’t worry. It’s not that bad.