Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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HPV Vaccination

The human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cervical and other cancers, as well as genital warts, and is typically transmitted through sexual contact. For nearly twenty years, the HPV vaccination has proved highly effective in preventing infection with the virus, with minimal incidence of side effects.

Healthcare providers typically recommend vaccination around age eleven or twelve (up to age fourteen), when only two doses of the vaccine can provide high-level, long-term immunity to HPV. At later points, up to age forty-five, vaccination is still recommended, in three doses.

Because HPV is typically transmitted sexually, there was initial resistance to early vaccination in religious communities, as either superfluous or implicitly encouraging promiscuity. However, this potentially life-saving vaccination is effective prior to exposure. Additionally, Halacha generally supports, and arguably obligates, taking prophylactic measures when there is a known danger of contracting a life-threatening illness and the procedure entails minimal risk.

We recommend vaccination. The decision as to when to vaccinate depends somewhat on the accepted procedure in one’s locale.

Learn more here about regular screening for cervical cancer, which is important for all women, including those who have been vaccinated for HPV.

Our site also includes pages on Cervical Biopsy, Breast and Ovarian Cancer Screening & Prevention, and Cancer & Halacha.

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All health and health-related information contained within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health care professional. The advice is intended to offer a basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider but not individual advice. Although every effort is made to ensure that the material within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is accurate and timely, it is provided for the convenience of the Web site user but should not be considered official. Advice for actual medical practice should be obtained from a licensed health care professional.

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