Cervical Cancer Vaccination

Of all the diseases that women can face in their lifetimes, cervical cancer poses a significant threat to women in Singapore. Understanding this disease and the importance of vaccination can make a remarkable difference in women’s lives, which is why we want to delve into the critical aspects of cervical cancer.

We’ll be exploring the role of vaccination as a preventive tool, the relationship between Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer, the types of cervical cancer vaccines available in Singapore, and the ideal timing for vaccination.

Understanding Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer occurs when the cells of the cervix, the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina, start to replicate abnormally. In recent years, this cancer has been found to be caused by various strains of a common sexually transmitted infection called the Human Papillomavirus (HPV).

Among the many strains of HPV, 12 of them pose a threat to women. While cervical cancer rates have declined in countries with effective screening programs, it remains a concern due to the lateness of symptoms presenting themselves, and its significant impact on women’s health.

Symptoms of cervical cancer may not be apparent in the early stages, but advanced stages can present with irregular bleeding, pelvic pain, or pain during intercourse. Regular screenings through tests such as Pap smears can detect precancerous changes in the cervix, allowing for early intervention.

Irregular Bleeding

Pelvic Pain

Pain during Intercourse

The Importance of Vaccination in Cervical Cancer Prevention

Since cervical cancer can arise from an HPV infection, the best way to prevent the cancer from occurring is to avoid HPV infections in the first place. This is where the HPV vaccination comes into play.

HPV vaccinations offer protection against high-risk HPV strains by preparing the body’s immune system to recognize and fight the virus. HPV can only slowly cause cells in the cervix to replicate abnormally if it is given the opportunity to infect and multiply in and around the cervix. The cervical cancer vaccinations take this opportunity away by teaching the body to recognise these high-risk strains so it can fight against them, thereby directly reducing the incidence of cervical cancer.

Types of HPV Vaccination

In Singapore, there are currently three cervical cancer jobs available that protect against various strains of HPV. These vaccines include Gardasil, Gardasil 9, and Cervarix. Gardasil provides protection against four strains of HPV, including 16 and 18, while Gardasil 9 covers nine strains, offering broader protection. Cervarix is designed to protect against HPV 16 and 18. The choice of vaccine depends on each individual’s health, vaccine availability, and doctor’s advice.

Benefits of Cervical Cancer Vaccination

While vaccinations confer the key benefit of reducing the risk of developing cervical cancer, it is not the only benefit that comes with vaccination.

Since the vaccines target HPV, and not just a single part of the body, the risk of getting other HPV-related cancers is also reduced. HPV has been known to cause vaginal, vulvar, anal, and oropharyngeal cancers.

Certain types of HPV vaccines, like Gardasil, also offer protection against HPV strains that cause genital warts.

Timing of Vaccination

The ideal time for HPV vaccination is before an individual becomes sexually active, as the vaccine is most effective before exposure to HPV. Cervical cancer vaccinations in Singapore are recommended for girls and women aged 9 to 26.

However, women above the age of 26 can still benefit from the vaccine, especially if they have not been exposed to HPV. It’s never too late to consider vaccination, and discussing your options with a trusted doctor can help you determine the best course of action for your body.

HPV and Cervical Vaccination in Singapore

HPV vaccinations can help to prevent further health complications, allowing you to live the best version of your life. At W Gynae, we are focused on giving you personalised healthcare for the best outcomes at every stage of your life.

Tell us your needs, and we will do our best to be a partner in managing your health.

Get In Touch

Please use the form here to contact us. We will attend to your enquiry / feedback within 1 working day. Thank you!

For urgent enquires and appointments, please call our clinic or WhatsApp us.

*Appointment is preferred as it allows us to inform you of any last minute changes in the event of an emergency call for doctor. We accept walk-ins unless our doctor is not available.

*WhatsApp us if you would like to walk in to check if doctor is available

Frequently Asked Questions

The safety of the vaccine during pregnancy is a common concern. It’s generally recommended to avoid HPV vaccination during pregnancy. However, if a woman becomes pregnant after starting the vaccination series, the remaining doses are usually postponed until after the pregnancy.

HPV vaccines have been rigorously tested and are deemed to be safe for use. Common side effects are usually mild and can include pain at the injection site, mild fever, or headache. As with any vaccine, severe allergic reactions are possible but rare.

It’s important to clarify that despite the vaccine’s effectiveness, regular cervical cancer screenings (Pap smears) are still recommended, as the vaccine does not protect against all cancer-causing types of HPV.

Typically, the HPV vaccine is given in a series of two or three doses over a period of six months, depending on the age at which vaccination starts.