Do You Have to Be a Virgin to Qualify for Gardasil or Cervarix?

July 24, 2018

It’s a common misconception that you have to be a virgin to get Cervarix or even Gardasil, (or Gardisil 9) the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines.  This piece of misinformation may result from the fact that Gardasil is best in women who have not been subjected to the breeds of the human papillomavirus (HPV) that the vaccine protects against, which can be transmitted through sexual contact.

Since HPV can be spread via skin-to-skin contact and penetration is not necessary to contract the virus, it can be easier to capture than some other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). And also unlike some other STD’s, it may cause more difficulties than an infection alone.

Given the prevalence of HPV among sexually active young adults, it is ideal to vaccinate until  the risk of exposure.  But that does not mean that you have to be a virgin to gain from the vaccine.

The Ideal Candidate for the Gardasil or Cervarix Vaccine

It’s known that in women and young women that are aged nine to 26, the Gardasil (or Cervarix or Gardasil 9) vaccination can help protect against two strains of HPV that cause the vast majority of cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancer cases.  Due to its higher levels of efficiency when administered earlier on, the goal age to receive the vaccine is about eleven or twelve years old –before most young girls become sexually active.

As with other vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix are meant to protect you from disease as you get older.

That said, the vaccines are FDA-approved for use in women up to age 26. What most individuals do not understand is that vaccination is recommended for young boys as well.

Not Just For Women

Though just women are at risk for cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers, both men and women are at risk for contracting HPV, which is also known to be a cause of rectal cancer and genital warts – diseases that both women and men can face.

Gardasil has been proven to help protect against the two.

Gardasil, Cervarix, and Virginity

You can definitely go ahead and get Gardasil without fretting about whether or not you are a virgin. Your physician may ask if you’re sexually active to make sure that you are taking the appropriate precautions to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. But either way, you are good to go as long as you fit the other criteria for the vaccine.

What Strains of HPV Can the Vaccine Prevent?

You have likely discovered that there are many distinct strains of the HPV virus and that not all these cause cancer. When Gardasil was first approved in 2006, it had been the sole HPV vaccine accessible. Now that there are 3 distinct vaccines, it’s helpful to understand some of the differences. All three protect the 2 strains of HPV most likely to cause cervical cancer, 16 and 18, which cause roughly 70% of cervical cancers.

HPV virus strains are divided in a few ways:

  • Low-risk strains – Low-risk strains don’t cause cancer but they can cause genital warts. Roughly 90% of genital warts are brought on by types 6 and 11. Warts due to HPV can occur on the genitalia, on the mouth, or at the throat. Less commonly these strains can cause respiratory papillomatosis, wart-like growths which increase in the airways between the mouth and the lungs.
  • High-risk strains – Infection using high risk strains of HPV, though most of these are cleared before they become a issue, can cause cancers of the cervix, penis, anus, vaginal walls, head and neck cancers, and possibly other cancers.

Cancer-causing versus genital wart strains of HPV:

  • Cancer-causing breeds of HPV – Approximately 70 percent of cervical cancers are brought on by HPV 16 an 18. Another 20 percent of cervical cancers are the result of HPV 31, 33, 34, 45, 52, and 58. Most HPV-induced head and neck cancers are linked to HPV 16.
  • Genital wart causing strains of HPV – As noted above, 90% of genital warts are caused by HPV 6 and 11.

    Gardasil, Gardasil 9, and Cervarix

    The three presently vaccinations are:

    • Gardisil (that was approved in 2006) offers protection against HPV 6, 11, 16, and 18
    • Cervarix (approved in 2009) provides protection against HPV 16 and 18
    • Gardasil 9 (accepted in 2014) offers protection against strains 6, 11, 16, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58

    Here are a couple of ideas to consider when deciding between Gardasil, Gardasil 9, and Cervarix.

    Do You Require Parental Consent to Get the HPV Vaccine?

    Parental consent to get health care, even preventative healthcare such as vaccines, falls beneath each state’s legislature.

    More Gardasil, Cervarix, and HPV Related Resources

    Questions abound in regards to the two HPV and immunization against the virus. Below are links to many of the most common questions concerning HPV:

    • If you wait to have sex after shooting Gardasil?  While you do not have to wait until all 3 HPV vaccinations are recovered prior to having sex, you won’t be completely protected by the vaccine till you have completed the series.
    • Can a virgin get HPV? You may be wondering if, because HPV is considered a sexually transmitted disease, is gender required to deal with the virus? Since genital contact can happen without penetration, it’s possible for somebody who hasn’t participated in sexual intercourse to contract HPV.
    • Your partner has HPV… now what? It is a good question. Here is the way to get tested, and how to safeguard yourself against HPV as best possible.
    • The best way to prevent and lower your risk of HPV: Get more information on abstinence, the HPV vaccine, and safe sex.
    • Can you get HPV from kissing? The jury is still out on this query. It seems from research that’French” kissing can raise the threat somewhat, but relative to HPV acquired from genital contact the risk is very low.
    • Should boys receive the HPV vaccine? There are two chief reasons the HPV vaccine could be recommended for boys. The vaccine can decrease their risk for genital warts and also lower the threat that they’ll transmit the virus to their spouse. As we’re learning that HPV causes a whole lot greater than cervical cancer, by way of instance, prostate cancer and lots of head and neck cancers, it’s believed that the HPV vaccine may lower the risk of these cancers in both men as well.
    • HPV in men: HPV does, in fact, affect men in addition to women. It can cause throat cancer, prostate cancer, and penile cancer, in addition to genital warts. Regrettably, it’s harder to check for HPV in men.
    • Is penile cancer caused by HPV? While not all of penile cancers are caused by HPV, study indicates that many probably are.

    Bottom Line

    There has been a great deal of emotion surrounding the debut of HPV vaccination for people who aren’t yet sexually active. It is important to note, however, that most of those who are now asking if they need to be a virgin to acquire the HPV vaccine will probably be sexually active in only a short while. Whether you have been sexually active or are a veteran, taking the opportunity to really have an honest pre-sex conversation with your spouse is important for more reasons than HPV.