It was several years ago now that I first heard about the vaccination for HPV, offered routinely for 12-13 year old girls. You should receive a consent form. My own daughter has just reached this age and is in her second year of high school.
Whilst I am fully aware of HPV and the dangers this virus can cause, I would much prefer to educate my daughter on the importance of contraception and safe sex. I can only educate, of course. I have no control over how my daughter chooses to use this information and like all parents, I can only spectate and hope that the correct choices are made. A worrying thought for all mums. Is there any truth in the concerns about this vaccination?
What is HPV
Genital HPV is a virus that is highly contagious and spread from sexual contact – genital warts are the most common virus and if left untreated, can cause changes in the cervix that can lead to cervical cancer. Unfortunately routine smear tests are not offered to women until they are 25 which has caused much upset and controversy. Many young women have begged for smear tests and have died of cervical cancer before even reaching the age that they could have one. Cases like this are rare. You may have seen or even signed an online petition requesting that this age be lowered.
My own experience
I had an abnormal smear test at the age of 18. I ignored it for many years, admittedly, not realising the consequences. I got to the age of 28 and by then the changes in my cervix had become CIN grade 2, which is moderate dyskaryosis. I had a colposcopy and they took a cone biopsy which removed all of the pre-cancerous cells. It was a very short and relatively painless procedure, but an extremely important one.
My smears have been normal since – I was told I possibly would struggle to get pregnant after the treatment but I went on to have another daughter. It was an agonising labour though. Cervical scar tissue meant that I couldn’t dilate properly and I was in hospital for three days in prolonged agony. I was reassured that this would only affect one pregnancy and then if I had anymore, the cervix would go back to normal. It did.
Don’t ignore those smears
If you are overdue a smear – make sure you get it done. Don’t ignore it. It isn’t the most pleasant experience but it isn’t awful either. You will always be greeted by a friendly nurse and I’ve always felt at ease and comfortable. There’s no need to worry about booking a wax or getting yourself vajazzled! Chances are the nurse isn’t isn’t even looking at your foof! 😀
Vaccine related problems
This is a story of a teenage girl who died shortly after having the vaccination and you can read here about almost 650 girls who have needed medical treatment as a result of this vaccination. There are plenty of other stories related to this vaccination. If you have a daughter who has been affected by this, there is a Facebook support group HERE.
There have been plenty of successful HPV vaccinations over the years and whilst this hasn’t been as controversial as the autism saga, does this jab outweigh the risks of the cancer?
With conflicting information on the internet and in the news, is it any wonder us mums worry about the right thing to do?