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Five reasons your daughter needs the HPV vaccine

Health By Esther Muchene

In recent years, the world has become more aware of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). In the past, people were generally ignorant about its causes and effects, including myself. Most adults have come to learn more about it, thus reducing the risk of infection.

For those who have teenagers, there still needs to be more awareness concerning the virus. Teenage years are filled with adolescent hormones, and some teenagers start to be sexually active around this period.

Doctors have been encouraging guardians to take their daughters, in particular, for a HPV vaccine. This will protect them from some of the dangers of exposing themselves to the virus.

Below are some of the main reasons why it’s important to take your daughter for the HPV vaccine.

  1. It protects them from some cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is one of the most dangerous types of cancer that affects women. The main cause of cervical cancer is the HPV virus. So many cases are reported annually and many of them, unfortunately, result in death; even in women under 30.

Teens who expose themselves to many sexual partners without protection are likely to be infected by someone who already has it. When this high risk type of virus is left untreated, it could potentially lead to cervical cancer. Prevent this by taking your daughters for a HPV vaccine in order to be safe. Better safe than sorry.

  1. It prevents them from sexually transmitted diseases

The Human Papillomavirus is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases that affects people today. The low risk category of the virus usually transfers from one person to the other, causing warts to develop. Warts are irritating and painful growths that can develop on the vaginal area or the anus. These are embarrassing and can incur costs for treatment as a parent. It’s therefore best to get them vaccinated in order to avoid STIs.

When HPV is left untreated, it could potentially lead to cervical cancer (Image: Francisco Venâncio on Unsplash)

  1. It prevents the spread of the virus

Many parents are aware that their teenagers might have already had sexual experiences. Unfortunately, some have already been exposed to the virus unknowingly, by someone they came into contact with at one point. If they have already exposed themselves to certain viruses, there’s nothing much that the vaccine can do about that.

However, it’s still important for them to be vaccinated in order to prevent them from getting more viruses and spreading some of them unknowingly. It is also important for you to support them as a parent if this is the case. Assure them that they are loved and that they need to be more careful in future. This is all part of self-awareness.

  1. It lowers the risk of other cancers

The Human Papillomavirus is also capable of causing other cancers, other than cervical cancer, to develop. The high risk virus can potentially cause anal cancer, cancer of the vulva and oral cancer.

Recent studies have also drawn a lot of attention to oral cancers of the mouth and throat, which people should be concerned about. These potentially fatal cancers are life threatening but also preventable. The HPV vaccine, Gardasil, is thus important for teens, especially girls. Getting the vaccine could greatly lower the cases of the above types of cancer illnesses globally.

Being open about sex with your teens helps them trust you more (Image: Eye for Ebony on Unsplash)

  1. It’s a general show of love and acceptance

In many parts of the world, talking about sex with children is still a taboo. Many parents avoid addressing the issue, so their kids end up developing without self-awareness in that very important subject. The truth is, some teens are still having sex at an early age, so sometimes the best thing to do is to be open with them about it. Taking them for the vaccine should not be seen as a way of promoting promiscuity. It should help your kids trust you more while at the same time preventing avoidable illnesses.

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