Genital warts? Cervical cancer? We’ve got an HPV vaccine for that!

In fact there are three vaccines all of which target the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) which can cause health problems such as genital warts and cancer. So which is the best?

The three vaccines were developed at different times and target different strains of the HPV virus.

  • Cervarix – protects against types 16 and 18
  • Gardasil – protects against types 6, 11, 16, and 18
  • Gardasil 9 – protects against types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58

Here’s the breakdown on the HPV types:

  • 6 and 11 – not cancer causing, but are responsible for 90% of genital warts
  • 16 and 18 – cancer causing responsible for 70% or cervical cancel, 50-60% of mouth/throat cancer, and 80% of anal cancer in the US
  • 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58 – cancer causing responsible for 15% or cervical cancer, 4-9% of oro-pharyngeal cancer and 4-11% of anal cancer in the UA

Gardasil 9 was approved by the FDA in December 2014 and is licensed for use in females age 9-25 and males 9-15.  It is also licensed for immunocompromised persons and for men who have sex with men through age 26.

Current recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) ACIP include:

  • Females:
    • Vaccination for those aged 9-26
    • All three types of the vaccine can be used
  • Males:
    • Vaccination for those aged 9-21, but new data is suggesting it should be available for those aged 16-26
    • Recommended for those who have sex with men and immunocompromised men through age 26
    • Gardasil and Gardasil 9 can be used
  • All:
    • Dosage schedule includes 3 doses, with the second dose 1-2 months after the first and the third dose 4 months after the 2nd and 6 months after the first
    • If the dosage schedule is interrupted, the series does not have to be restarted
    • If you do restart and are unsure which vaccine you received, you can use the new vaccine safely

Ryo Choi-Pearson, M. D.

What are some symptoms of Chlamydia?

My friend was recently treated for Chlamydia which got me to wondering.  What are some symptoms of Chlamydia?

Good question.  Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the US with more than 1.44 million cases reported to the CDC in 2014.  More than half of these occurred in women aged 15-25 years.

The symptoms of Chlamydia may include abnormal vaginal discharge, vaginal irritation, pelvic pain, abnormal vaginal bleeding, dysuria, painful sex, and/or contact bleeding.  OR there may be no symptoms at all.  In fact, it is very common not to have any symptoms.  That is why routine screening tests are important for sexually active women.

Annual screening is recommended for all sexually active women who are:

  • less than 25 years of age
  • 25 year or older and have a new sex partner, more than 1 sex partner, a sex partner with concurrent partners, a sex partner who has an STI, or if you have had a previous history of Chlamydia

Early detection of Chlamydia is important as serious consequences can result.  These may include:

  • pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • chronic pelvic pain
  • ectopic pregnancy
  • infertility

The treatment of uncomplicated Chlamydia is easy enough with a single dose of antibiotics.  However, this easy enough treatment will only be effective if your partner is Chlamydia free, so, and  I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH, sexual partners must be evaluated and treated as soon as possible to prevent re-infection.  Both partners must abstain from sexual activity (NO SEX OF ANY KIND) until 7 days after they have been treated.

The Ohio State University has various resources available for STI testing.

  • An appointment can be scheduled with a provider at Student Health Services.
  • An Order-it-Yourself (OIY) lab for detected Chlamydia can be completed at the Student Health Services Laboratory.
  •  Free STI testing is offered by the Student Wellness Center.

Ryo Choi-Pearson, M.D.


Are you asleep yet?

The Wall Street Journal says that thermostat settings (the temperature in the room where you sleep) may be more important than light and bedtime to ensure a good rest.

Setting the thermostat to around 65 degrees Fahrenheit is good for sleep.  The body’s core temperature needs to drop by 2 to 3 degrees Fahrenheit to initiate sleep.  This prompts the brain to cool down.

During sleep, people’s bodies try to lost heat from hands and feet.  Put on socks if your feet are too cold.  If you are too hot, try sticking your hands and feet out from under the covers.

It’s best to wear light breathable clothing to bed, such as cotton.  layers of bedding that can be easily removed are ideal.

Pat Balassone, CNP