HPV Vaccinations: Safe, Effective, and Lasting

Vaccines are a hot topic, but this article explores the facts and benefits regarding FDA-approved HPV vaccines that have been clinically proven to prevent HPV and certain cancers, such as cervical cancer caused by HPV infection.

Safety of HPV Vaccines

In order to receive a license from the American Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, rigorous testing is required. All approved HPV vaccines (Gardasil® 9, Gardasil®, and Cervarix®) have been studied and observed for over a decade, and continue to prove safe and effective against HPV.

These vaccines were processed through a significant amount of human clinical trials to examine their safety and effects.

  • Gardasil® 9, a 9-valent vaccine, has been involved in over trials including over 15,000 male and female participants
  • Gardasil®, a quadrivalent vaccine, has been studied in trials with over 29,000 male and female subjects.
  • Cervarix® has been studied in trials with over 30,000 female participants.

These vaccines are also closely observed by CDC to ensure their safety, and any observations that suggest otherwise are reported to the appropriate channels such as officials, healthcare professionals and physicians, and most importantly, the broader public.

Each of these vaccines have shown to be safe and effective throughout these studies, however, Gardasil® 9 has been the only one of these vaccines distributed for use in the U.S. in recent years.

Since each of these vaccines have been licensed by the FDA and approved for use, over 135 million HPV vaccines have been administered. To this day, all data point to HPV vaccines as safe and useful against HPV infection and related cancers.

Another important note is that the ingredients contained within HPV vaccinations contain portions of the virus, not infectious wholes of the virus. These vaccines cannot cause you to contract HPV and/or cancer.

Side Effects of HPV Vaccines

Side effects are an expected aspect of any health treatment. Most side effects associated with the vaccine lessen and dissipate after a few days.

The most common side effects include: pain, discoloration, and inflammation/swelling at the site of injection; fever, dizziness, and fainting (though this is more likely among youth than adults); nausea, headache, and fatigue; and muscle/joint pain.

As mentioned above, adolescents are more prone to fainting when receiving these vaccines, and should therefore not be administered the shot unless seated or lying down. They should also be monitored for no less than fifteen minutes after receiving the vaccination to ensure their safety. Similarly, if a child has serious allergies, such as allergies to yeast or latex, consult a doctor or nurse before allowing them to receive the vaccine.

HPV & Fertility

A common myth associated with HPV vaccines is an ability to reduce fertility. This has been scientifically disproven. An HPV vaccine has no ability to cause issues with fertility or remove it completely.

In fact, refusing an HPV vaccine can cause increased risk for HPV-related cancers and abnormal cells that can result in cancer (precancers). Cancers caused by HPV can necessitate invasive treatments such as hysterectomies and chemotherapy/radiation, which can reduce reproductive ability and fertility. Similarly, cervical issues, which could cause delivery at preterm, can arise from treatments for cervical precancer.

HPV Protection that Lasts

HPV vaccines have shown to protect against infection and precancers for a significantly long amount of time. Receivers of the HPV vaccine have been monitored for over 12 years and have shown no signs of prevention reduction over time.

HPV Vaccinations Prevent Precancer and Cancer-Inflicting Infections

HPV vaccines were first administered regularly in the U.S. in 2006, and since then, rates of HPV infections and cervical precancers have dropped significantly.

Here are the numbers:

  • Cancer-associated HPV infections, including those that cause cervical cancer, and genital warts among teen-aged girls have been reduced by 88 percent.
  • Within populations of adult women, these same rates have dropped by 81 percent.
  • Finally, within populations of vaccinated women, rates for cancer-associated HPV infections and genital warts have decreased by 40 percent.

Talk to your doctor about receiving and HPV vaccine today to reduce risks of HPV-causing cancers and precancers.