If you are a woman, you know how important regular pap smears, pelvic and breast exams and mammograms are. Does your daughter?
Young women are more likely to get preventive gynecological care if they see that their mothers receive preventative care. Young women should take HPV vaccine.
The HPV vaccine protects against four strains of HPV, or human papilloma virus, which are likely to lead to cervical cancer. Regardless of the young woman’s race, education, or income level, she was more likely to have received the HPV vaccine if her mother had recently received a Pap test.
The HPV vaccine Gardasil is given in three doses. Young women whose mothers had recently had Pap tests were not only more likely to get the first dose of the vaccine, but also to complete the entire series of injections.
Women who want their daughters to be healthy need to not only discuss gynecological health with their daughters, but they also need to let their daughters see that they take their own gynecological health seriously.
The Gardasil vaccine is designed to be given to a young woman before she becomes sexually active. For more young women, this will be before their first visit to a gynecologist, so discuss the issue with your daughter’s pediatrician.