Adult Woman? You Didn't Miss Your Chance to Get the HPV Vaccine and the Vaccine Benefits

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While the HPV vaccine has been in the spotlight recently due to a series of television commercials urging parents to vaccinate their pre-teens and teenagers, the truth is that women of all ages can benefit from an HPV vaccine. There are several on the market, and the first developed was actually FDA approved in 2006. The HPV vaccine–awareness commercials urge parents to vaccinate their children when they are 11–12 years of age because this is the ideal age to receive the vaccine. However, if you are an adult woman, that does not mean that the vaccine cannot be of benefit to you. Read on to learn more about the HPV vaccine age guidelines for woman and the benefits of obtaining the vaccine as an adult woman. 

HPV Vaccine Age Guidelines

Due to the fact that the HPV vaccine protects a person from a sexually transmitted disease, today it is recommended that pre-teens between ages 11–12 receive the vaccine before they ever become sexually active. This offers them the most protection, and if you have a pre-teen or teenager, then it is still best to ensure they obtain the vaccine before they become sexually active.

However, the HPV vaccine is FDA-approved for women who are age 26 and under. That means that you can still obtain the vaccine and have its cost covered by your insurance company if you fall in this age group. If you are over age 26, then you can still speak to your doctor, preferably a gynecologist, to find out whether it is a good idea for you to obtain the vaccination too. However, since the vaccine is not FDA approved for anyone over age 26, your health-insurance company may not cover it if you are older than age 26.

The Benefits of the HPV Vaccine for Adult Women

The HPV vaccine protects you from the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. While there are 40 known strains of HPV, the vaccines protect against the most common strains. While you may know that HPV causes genital warts, you may not realize that this STD can cause many types of cancer. 

While HPV is not the only cause of genital warts, it is the most common cause of them. This STD is also the number-one cause of cervical cancer in women. In addition, HPV can cause cancerous lesions on the external vaginal area called the vulva. 

While pre-teens and teenagers who obtain the HPV vaccine before they ever engage in intercourse are fully protected from the most common HPV strains, older women who have had sex can still benefit from the vaccine for many reasons. First, even if you have had intercourse with multiple partners, you may have been lucky enough to have never been exposed to any of the HPV strains. After you obtain the vaccine, you will be protected from them if a future partner exposes you to the virus. However, even if you were exposed to one or more of the HPV strains, the vaccine protects you from, the vaccine can still protect you from the strains you have not been exposed to yet. 

If you are a woman who has had sexual intercourse, then realize that obtaining the HPV vaccine may still be very beneficial to your health. If you are under 26, then your insurance company will even likely cover the cost of the vaccine in full. However, if you are older than 26, the vaccine can still be a great investment in your health if your doctor believes that you can still reap the benefits from it. 

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