How does Gardasil 9 work?
Gardasil 9 immunises against 9 types of human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is the main cause of genital warts in men and women, and cancers of the female genitals (cervix, vagina and vulva) and anus. HPV is transmitted during sex, or skin to skin contact with the genitals.
How can I get the injections?
- Complete your confidential online questionnaire
- Select which LloydsPharmacy store you would like to be vaccinated at. Log in or register to make the payment online.
- One of our clinicians will check that you are suitable to receive this vaccine, and send you a message once your prescription is ready.
- Call your selected pharmacy to book your appointment. You will need 3 appointments in total over 6 months to complete the vaccination course.
What is HPV?
Human papillomavirus (HPV) isn’t a single virus but a whole group of viruses, all of which come under the umbrella name HPV.
These viruses affect your skin and moist membranes lining parts of your body, such as the mouth and throat, and genital areas like the cervix, vagina, penis and anus. There are around 100 different types of HPV. Most are harmless but certain types can cause genital warts and potentially lead to cervical cancer.
Who does HPV affect?
HPV affects both males and females. It is estimated that up to 80% of people will be infected with at least one type of genital HPV during their life.
However, as HPV is symptomless, most of these people will not even know they have it. Only 1-5% of people with HPV will develop genital warts, however anyone with HPV can pass it on to others.
How do you catch HPV?
Different types of HPV are transmitted in different ways.
Types of HPV that affect the skin are transmitted through skin contact with an affected person; e.g. a simple shaking of hands.
Types of HPV that affect the mouth and throat are transmitted through mouth-on-mouth kissing and oral sex.
Types of HPV that affect the genital area are generally transmitted through sexual contact. Genital HPV isn’t only present on the penis and vagina but all over the genital area, including the anus. The chances of catching genital HPV increases with your number of sexual partners.
As HPV is often symptomless you can have it for years without knowing. As such, if you have a long-term partner, an HPV diagnosis doesn’t necessarily mean one of you has been unfaithful. The virus could easily have been dormant from before your relationship.
What conditions does HPV cause?
For most people HPV remains symptomless and goes away on its own. You won’t even know you had it. In certain cases HPV can cause disease, most notably cervical cancer and genital warts.
Cervical Cancer: Certain types of HPV can increase the chance of developing cervical cancer, especially types 16, 18, 31, 33 and 45. These are called ‘high risk types’. At least one of these HPV types is present in the cervix cells of the vast majority of women with cervical cancer. Types 16 and 18 cause about 70% of cervical cancers, while the other three cause the most of the remaining 30%.
Remember: most women with high risk HPV don’t develop cancers of the cervix. Other factors include the strength of your immune system or whether you smoke regularly - both of which increase the risk of cervical cancer in conjunction with high risk HPV types.
Genital Warts: All warts are caused by an HPV infection. HPV causes an excessive amount of a hard protein called keratin (the same material your hair and nails are made of) to develop in the top layer of the skin. This extra keratin produces a wart.
Most warts are harmless and clear up without treatment. However genital warts are the most common viral STI in England and second most common STI after chlamydia. They can be spread during sex and, like other warts, are caused by HPV. Although generally harmless, they can be visually unpleasant and cause distress and embarrassment. Find treatment for Genital Warts.