The HPV vaccine is meant to prevent the occurrence of HPV prior to exposure. These vaccines do not eliminate current HPV infections and are not licensed in the United States for persons over the age of 26 years as they have not been found to prevent HPV-related outcomes in a general population of women and men older than 26 years. So ladies, you do not need the vaccine but your children do! The following information is taken from the CDC website and hopefully will answer your questions.
HPV vaccines are given as three shots to protect against HPV infection and HPV-related diseases. Two vaccines (Cervarix and Gardasil) have been shown to protect against most cervical cancers in women. One vaccine (Gardasil) also protects against genital warts and has been shown to protect against cancers of the anus, vagina and vulva. Both vaccines are available for females. Only Gardasil is available for males.
HPV vaccines offer the greatest health benefits to individuals who receive all three doses before having any type of sexual activity. That’s why HPV vaccination is recommended for preteen girls and boys at age 11 or 12 years.
Who else should get the HPV vaccine?
HPV vaccines are recommended for all teen girls and women through age 26, who did not get all three doses of the vaccine when they were younger.
HPV vaccine is recommended for all teen boys and men through age 21, who did not get all three doses of the vaccine when they were younger. The vaccine is also recommended for gay and bisexual men (or any man who has sex with men) and men with compromised immune systems (including HIV) through age 26, if they did not get fully vaccinated when they were younger. All men may get the vaccine through age 26, and should ask their doctor if getting vaccinated is right for them.
Have your daughters and sons been vaccinated? For more information speak with your practitioner, leave a question here or check out the CDC website.