Should my daughter get the HPV vaccine?
Should my daughter get the HPV vaccine?
Submitted by Parents.com Team

Simply put, yes. Even though most parents tell me it's scary to think that their preteen daughters will one day be sexually active women, it's smarter for girls to be vaccinated early on before there's a chance they could be exposed to the virus. Just as you most likely got your daughter a Hepatitis B vaccine to prevent that often sexually transmitted disease (maybe you didn't know it was!), you'd also be doing the right thing to protect her against this other virus that can be dangerous to adults.
HPV infects more than 6 million Americans a year and can lead to genital warts and cervical cancer. It's estimated that the vaccine, which is given as a series of three shots over six months, could prevent about 10,000 cases of cervical cancer in 25 years, and it's most beneficial if it's administered before someone becomes sexually active. Getting your daughter vaccinated is one more thing you can do now to help her have a healthy future as an adult when you'll no longer be in charge of safeguarding it.
And remember that the HPV vaccine only protects against four strains of the virus (there are more than 100) so even girls who have been vaccinated can get other strains. So when the time comes, it's important to talk to your daughter about safe sex. All sexually active girls -- vaccinated or not -- should receive regular Pap smears (a screening test that can detect irregular cells before they become precancerous or cancer).

Copyright © 2007. Originally published in the March 2007 issue of Child magazine. Updated 2009

Answered by Parents.com Team
Community Answers (4)

I agree as a mother of three(two girls one boy) and woman who had hpv all my children will be vaccinated. I had a coloscopy(removal of cervical tissue) and it was an awful experience. I had to be drugged b/c I have anxiety and the sound of the machine was freaking me out) and the pressure and cramping afterward was painful. This is something I never want my daughters to experience or my son to pass on to a a girl to be put thru this. I just want to add that everyone seems to be unanimous in that girls should get it BUT we should also get our boys done too, boys may not have the symptoms that girls do but they can have it and can pass it on to every girl they are with(I know this is not something you want to think about with a nine yr old boy, but we are human and it does happen)
Submitted by ABrown1984

I am father of two girls, 7 & 11 yo. I noticed my first daughter of her natural growth, and it would be time to introduce her and discuss puberty issues and make her ready for next stage. How can I make it happen? For your information: In the last few months, I am exposed to a kind of family issues that my wife seeking separation. Currently,my children spend time with and are with me more than their mothers. In one hand, I realised my wife kept inserting idea into their brain that my daughter is still a "child" when discussing family issues!! In another hand, she acknowledges her growth, and takes my both children to purchase underware garments as per age requirement. How do i know if my wife has already introduced her to puberty issues? I seek some advice.
Submitted by izadneg

Yes! I developed cervical cancer when I was 18 years old, it was caused by HPV. How I wish that there had been a vaccine available when I was younger. The outcome was good for me--I'm fine now, the cancer was caught early with a pap test, and after the treatment I was still able to have children--but I plan to have my daughter vaccinated when she's old enough. Just an ounce of prevention now can prevent a whole lot of heartache later.
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