It's important not to think it's too late, even if your daughter has already started sexual activity. There are still many things you can do to help protect her against HPV and other sexually transmitted infections.
So talk to your doctor about all the options available to help protect your daughter from HPV.
At what age can girls receive HPV vaccination and how is it given?
HPV vaccination is available to girls and young women at least 9 years of age. There are two HPV vaccines available in Canada. One of the vaccines is for girls and young women 9 to 45 years of age; the other is for girls and young women 10 to 25 years of age. They both help protect against some types of HPV that can lead to cervical cancer.
According to the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), the best time for a girl to be vaccinated is before she becomes sexually active, because she will not have had a chance to become infected with certain types of HPV. However, HPV vaccination is still useful for girls and young women who are already sexually active.
Based on NACI's recommendations, all provinces and territories offer publicly funded HPV vaccination as part of the routine immunization schedule. Depending on the province or territory, HPV vaccination is given to females between grades 4 and 9. HPV vaccination is provided free of charge, similar to routine vaccinations such as for measles, mumps, rubella, or tetanus.
HPV vaccination can also be used for women who have already had abnormal pap tests, genital warts, cervical cancer, or abnormal cervical cells, since vaccination may still protect them from other HPV types that they have not yet encountered. However, HPV vaccination is not a treatment for cervical cancer, genital warts, or abnormal cervical cells.
HPV vaccination can be given in a doctor's office or clinic in 3 separate doses that are given within 6 months. The vaccines are given as an injection into the upper arm or thigh muscle.Note that one of the vaccines can also be given to boys and young men aged 9 to 26 years to help protect against HPV infection.
Pap tests should be started within 3 years of a woman's first sexual encounter, or by age 18, whichever comes first. Encourage your daughter not to put off going for a Pap test.
Explain to your daughter that the Pap test can find abnormal cells in her cervix before they can do any damage. While these abnormal cells aren't dangerous now, they can develop into cancer. If they are found early enough, cervical cancer can be prevented by having the offending cells removed.
Talk to your daughter about the importance of having regular Pap tests and checkups to help prevent cervical cancer.
Did you find what you were looking for on our website? Please let us know.