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For the VP Team
Hi, my name is Heather and would love some advice on something. I am 26, and will be turning 27 in about 2 weeks. I am still a virgin (including oral/anal sex). My boyfriend and I have been looking long-term and will likely be engaged in the next few weeks! :) Neither of us want a long engagement. We both work in schools so we're looking at getting married towards the end of summer before school starts back up.
My boyfriend is completely supportive of waiting til marriage for us to have sex. He has had 4 previous sexual partners, one of which is his ex-wife. Before him and the ex were together, she had cervical cancer. He expresses his concern last night that he could be infected with HPV because it often causes cervical cancer. We did some reading online, and know that 90% of cases clear up after 2 years of the last sexual contact, and it has been over 2 years since they divorced. He also said he has had none of the symptoms of HPV that we read about.
He asked about the HPV vaccine, which I never got. I really should have. It's something I always put off because I wasn't sexually active and my primary care doctor never mentioned it. (I have been to a GYN once--had a pap smear and pelvic exam when I was 23. Doctor told me I was fine and good for 2-3 years unless I became sexually active. With our upcoming nuptials, I am going to set up an GYN appointment before the wedding.) Now I realize that Gardasil is offered up to the age of 26. And on March 8th, I'll be 27... I've read online that some doctors may still give it after the age of 26, but insurance may not cover it. So tomorrow, I'm going to call my PCP and see if I can get in and start the shot series before my birthday.
So here are my questions...
1) Given the situation, how concerned should I be with contacting HPV?
2) Has anyone taken Gardasil after 26? Any issues with insurance or side effects from the vaccine? Can a PCP give it or does it have to be a GYN?