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?
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