Significant proportion of the HPV strains is said to be transmitted sexually and can give rise to disease conditions which precipitate higher rate of tissue growth and an alteration in the cellular structure. Such persistent insults to the lining tissues such as the mucosa of vagina or more so in the cervix can lead to the development of cancers in later life and the idea behind giving the HPV vaccine is mainly to reduce the incidence of such cancers and the incidence of sexually transmitted infections.
Although receiving the vaccine does not guarantee immunity against the occurrence of cervical cancers, it does reduce the incidence of HPV and therefore would influence the possible occurrence of its late complications, the cancers. At the same time, it should also be told that, the vaccine does not cover immunity for all the strains in HPV but only the vital strains that are known to cause infections in humans.
The vaccine is given as an injection and some of the commonest side effects would therefore be related to the injection site. Thus, pain and tenderness in the site, redness, swelling as well as soreness can be encountered in many instances. Apart from these, they may also complain of excessive tiredness in certain instances as well. Theses localized side effects would respond to simple pain killers such as acetaminophen or any NSAID.
Some of the less common side effects would include fever or mild allergic reactions such as urticarial rashes and gastro-intestinal disturbances such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. These gastro-intestinal disturbances and rashes might cause disturbances for few days and in most instances will resolve spontaneously or would be relieved for over the counter antiemetic and antipyretic medications.
Very rarely, the persons receiving the HPV vaccine have shown to develop increased incidence of respiratory tract infections as well.
The occurrence of life threatening allergic reactions or else anaphylactic reactions are extremely rare and if it occurs, it can be characterized by difficulty in breathing, facial and lip swelling, chest pain as well as collapse in certain instances.
In case someone experience these side effects following taking the HPV vaccine, they should contact the doctor concerned and obtain necessary advise as to how to relieve the symptoms and in case of severe allergic reactions, they should seek urgent medical attention in an emergency treatment unit.