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Possible Risks From The HPV Vaccine

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The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is essential for protecting you from cervical cancer. Usually you're supposed to go in for several injections, scattered out over several months, all before your 27th birthday. The HPV vaccine shouldn't cause you any problems -- you are young and healthy, after all.

However, in some very rare occurrences, the vaccine is known to be problematic, causing mild to severe problems. Before you go in for your first shot, talk with a doctor—such as those from Unity Health Center—about potential side effects and know what to expect, just in case any issues arise. In the end though, the worst part will probably be getting the shot itself.

Pain and Bruising

Pain, swelling and bruising are usually the most common side effects reported after getting the HPV vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, states that between 50 and 90 percent of people experience these minor complications. These problems generally occur at the injection site, although you could have issues in a widespread area around the site.

Fever and Headache

You could have a fever shortly after getting your HPV shot. So don't stress if you have some chills and your temperature surges up over 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit. The CDC explains that roughly one in eight people experience a fever with this inoculation. You might get a headache, too. As many as 50 percent of women report getting headaches after the HPV injection. These minor complications could also leave you fatigued and overly tired.

Gastrointestinal Discomfort

Approximately 25 percent of women report having some sort of gastrointestinal discomfort after getting the HPV vaccination. This could start out with slight nausea and belly cramping. Then as symptoms progress, you might throw up. It doesn't stop there though. In rare cases, HPV vaccines cause diarrhea or very loose stools.

Allergic Reaction

It's very rare to have an allergic reaction after getting an HPV vaccine, but it can happen. Usually issues occur within a few minutes, up to several hours after getting the shot. You might have a rash at the injection site or anywhere else on your body. Rashes may be itchy or raised up, like hives. In severe cases, vaccine allergies can cause throat swelling, making it difficult for you to breathe. Allergic reactions are medical emergencies. If you suspect that you're having an allergic reaction, even if it seems to be mild, seek emergency medical treatment right away to be safe.


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