What is HPV 

HPV is a common virus spread through sexual contact. In most people, HPV doesn't cause symptoms and goes away on its own. But in some people, the virus can cause genital warts or cancer. 


Symptoms of HPV 

Warts caused by HPV appear as small bumps on the genital area that may be:

  • flat or raised 
  • single or multiple
  • clustered

Cancer caused by HPV usually doesn't have symptoms, but may cause:

  • bleeding after sex
  • pain during sex
  • abnormal periods, unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge
  • pain in the pelvis area 

If you notice any of these symptoms, see your doctor. 



There is no specific treatment for HPV as the body usually gets rid of it on its own – this can take about a year. For other complications like warts, your doctor will advise you on the necessary treatments.



The best protection against HPV is vaccination. Condoms offers some protection, but not all. 


HPV Vaccination 

The HPV vaccine is usually given as one dose. 

In women, the vaccine helps protects against genital warts and 9 types of HPV that cause cervical cancer, but does not protect against all HPV types. In men, the vaccine helps protect against genital warts and some cancers. 

There is no live virus in the HPV vaccine, so you cannot get infected and they are safe for immunocompromised individuals. 

Can I get the vaccination if I'm pregnant? The HPV vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women. Please speak to your doctor. 


Adverse Effects of Vaccination 

The HPV vaccine is very safe and side effects after vaccination are minor and temporary. Some may experience: 

  • pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
  • headache
  • tiredness
  • body aches
  • fever 







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