Services: HPV Vaccine (GARDASIL®)
Boulder Women's Clinic is proud to offer the GARDASIL HPV vaccine. GARDASIL® is a vaccine that helps protect against several diseases caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV). These include cervical cancer, abnormal and precancerous cervical, vaginal, and vulvar lesions, and genital warts. GARDASIL® helps prevent these diseases, but it will not treat them once you have them. It is not possible to get these diseases from the vaccine, since it does not contain any genetic material of the HPV virus.
There are over 100 types of HPV, about 30 of which infect the genital tract of both men and women. Some of these are called "low risk" types, which cause genital warts and benign changes to the cervix. Others are called "high risk", meaning they are capable of causing cancer and precancerous changes that could turn into cancer in the future.
Anyone who is sexually active, even without intercourse, can get HPV. Many people with HPV don't have any signs or symptoms, and they can pass the virus on without even knowing it. It is estimated that 80% of women will have had genital HPV by age 50. Many people get HPV within their first 2 to 3 years of becoming sexually active.
GARDASIL® helps protect against the 4 most common genital strains of HPV. These 4 types cause 90% of genital warts, and approximately 70% of cervical cancers. The vaccine will not protect you against types to which you have already been exposed. It will also not protect you against diseases due to HPV types not included in the vaccine. Therefore, it is important to continue getting your regular Pap tests.
GARDASIL® is recommended for girls and women ages 9 to 26. Everyone in this age group is eligible for the vaccine, whether or not they have ever been sexually active, and regardless or whether they have ever had an HPV-related disease in the past. It is not recommended for pregnant women. GARDASIL® is given as a series of 3 injections. The second dose is given 2 months after the first dose, and the third dose is given 6 months after the first dose.