“ I had never had a Cervical Smear before so I was quite nervous. Mr McIndoe was very professional and courteous. He took the time to answer all of my questions and alleviate any doubts I had. He made sure that he understood what I was asking and that I understood what he explained."
Our understanding of HPV infection is changing dramatically with recent studies. It had been assumed that HPV infections persist forever with the virus becoming latent but never going away. Evidence now suggest that the virus is cleared completely after an average period of 3 or 4 years but that reinfection is common.
The key facts about HPV vaccination
HPV vaccination is almost 100% effective against the viruses in the vaccine
HPV vaccination reduces the risk of HPV infection in women of any age
HPV vaccination halves the risk of recurrence after treatment of CIN
HPV vaccination is very safe
How is the vaccine given?
The vaccine is usually injected into the muscle in the upper arm. Three doses are given to complete the course. The first is given initially, the second 4 to 8 weeks later, and the third six months after the first injection. In young girls aged 15 or less, two doses give the same level of protection.
What are the side effects of vaccination?
It is a little uncomfortable whilst it is being administered and usually for a few hours after that. Injection site problems such as redness, bruising, itching, swelling, pain or cellulitis are common as are headaches. Some people experience nausea or pain in the arms, hands, legs or feet. An itchy rash is a very rare side effect.
How long does vaccination last?
It is too early to know how long vaccination will give protection for or whether a booster will be needed. However, antibody levels have been well maintained for 6 years after vaccination and will probably last much longer. This will be the subject of further studies as experience with the vaccines increases.
How much does it cost?
Initial consultation with Mr McIndoe
£60 - £100
HPV Injection per injection)
Follow-up consultation (if necessary) with Mr McIndoe
Further frequently asked questions
Should women over 26 be vaccinated?
Women can be vaccinated at any age. HPV vaccination reduces the risk of HPV infection in women of all age groups. A recent study has shown that in women older than 25, HPV vaccination protects against new HPV infection and the development of an abnormal smear test and CIN.
Is vaccination given after a positive HPV test?
Vaccination can be given after a positive HPV test. We now know that women and men may be repeatedly infected with the same HPV virus type. A natural infection with the virus does not confer immunity to another infection with the same virus, and a couple may pass the virus back and forth between each other. Vaccination prevents reinfection once the virus has been cleared from the body.
What is the role for vaccination after treatment for CIN?
Early studies are suggesting that vaccination at the time of treatment for CIN may reduce the chance of recurrence of the CIN presumably by preventing reinfection by the HPV. Certainly the use of condoms after treatment reduces recurrence rates.
Should my daughter be vaccinated against HPV?
HPV vaccination is offered to girls aged 12 to 13, usually in year 8 at school, as part of a national vaccination programme. Many feel that this is a very young age to vaccinate girls against a sexually transmitted virus, but trials have shown that a better immune response is mounted at this age and very good antibody levels result.
What cancers are related to HPV infection?
HPV is associated with most cancers of the cervix. As well it causes cancers of the vagina, vulva, penis, anus, rectum and throat. Many people are infected with HPV but only a small number go on to develop any of these cancers. A number of additional molecular steps are necessary to change HPV infected cells into cancer cells.
Should men be vaccinated?
Vaccinating men protects them from the cancers mentioned previously and also prevents them passing these high risk HPV to their partners. Many countries have now started vaccinating boys as well as girls to reduce the risk of HPV related cancers in the whole population.