Becoming sexually active is a part of nearly everyone’s life. However, numerous risks occur as part of this important part of life. We all receive an education about the more common risks associated with being sexually active. These include pregnancy, social concerns, and sexually transmitted infections. However, one STI affects 8/10 people in the United States alone. You may have heard of the STI HPV or the human papillomavirus. While the initial symptoms of this infection are mild and often overlooked entirely, the long-term concerns are serious.
The Impact of HPV And How Vaccination Helps
The mild symptoms of the initial infection caused by HPV resolve themselves independently. However, nearly 40 strains of this virus and almost a quarter of them have associated severe risks over the patient’s life. The mildest symptom associated with these nine strains is genital warts. However, they also have been shown to increase the risk of various cancers significantly. These cancers include:
- Cervical Cancer
- Penile Cancer
- Vaginal Cancer
- Throat Cancer
- Anal Cancer
- Oral Cancer
- Vulvar Cancer
Nearly every case of these cancers has been tied directly to the presence of HPV in the patient. 72% of all cases of oral cancer in young men are associated with it. Ensuring that your child is vaccinated against the human papillomavirus is an integral part of protecting them when they decide to become sexually active. Your children must receive the vaccine as soon as possible, preferably before this activity begins.
When You Should Vaccinate Your Child Against HPV
All children should receive this vaccine by the time they reach 11 years of age. However, your family history may indicate that it’s wise to get this vaccine before this. Those with cervical cancer in their family history should receive the vaccine before age 9. Everyone should receive this vaccine at some point in their lives. Young men, in particular, have been seeing a rise in penile, throat, and oral cancers that make getting vaccinated a priority in this demographic.
Receiving the vaccine has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of developing cervical cancer in women, almost reducing it to zero. Even older patients can benefit from receiving this vaccine. Each person has it is another opportunity to prevent the spread of HPV and eliminate its risk to others.
To learn more about HPV and its health benefits to your children now and in the future, speak to your pediatrician. They’ll be able to provide you with the latest news and statistics about the vaccine and how it continues to save lives. They’ll also be able to help you determine when it’s the right time to get your child vaccinated based on their medical and family history. Don’t wait to help your child become part of the solution that can eliminate HPV in the future. You’ll be ensuring their safety and that of their future partners and children.