Womens Health

How Long Does HPV Vaccine Last?

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If you have been vaccinated against HPV in the past 5 years, it's very likely you are still protected against getting high grade cervical dysplasia (pre-cancer). It is also fairly likely you are protected against getting an abnormal pap smear. It is fairly likely you are protected against getting a newly acquired HPV infection.

But, both depending on your sexual activity, the sexual activity of your partner, and the robustness of the vaccine protection over time, eventually you may be at risk for HPV disease acquisition. Gynos will need women to get HPV tests as they go forth into the future farther and farther from their HPV vaccinations to see how well this protection holds up.

Until we do this we won't have good information on whether to recommend booster vaccinations. It's also important for women who never completed the series, or for women who didn't complete the series on time to get the testing.

We think that for women over the age of 30, HPV testing may be better than pap testing for determining protection against cervical cancer, so on more than one front, you may not want to give up on HPV testing.

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