Different bodies require different means to keep them healthy. A woman’s body has unique systems and functions that need special ways to keep her healthy. These vary throughout her life as she develops, and this is why it is so crucial to stay informed and updated on healthy lifestyle habits, medications, and of course the right types of vaccine for women. From vaccines that significantly diminish the risk levels of cervical cancer to crucial immunization during the gestation or pregnancy stage, women have a number of recommended vaccinations that protect them throughout their lifetime. Read on to learn more about crucial types of immunization for women, and the best place to begin in order to protect yourself and your loved ones.
What are the most common vaccinations for women?
Different vaccines for women are suggested at different stages of their lifetimes. Each one addresses a specific concern or health risk that women are most vulnerable to at that point, protecting them when they are needed the most. Here are some of the most commonly recommended vaccines for women.
- HPV Vaccine
The HPV or human papilloma virus vaccine is one of the most highly recommended vaccinations for women as it is also a protective measure against cervical cancer. HPV infection is the main cause of cervical cancer. According to the WHO, more than 95% of cervical cancer is caused by HPV. The main strategy for elimination of cervical cancer as per WHO is primary prevention through HPV vaccination. Therefore, preventing HPV also significantly decreases the likelihood of contracting cervical cancer. In addition to protecting against cervical cancer, HPV vaccines protect genital warts.
Ideally, the HPV vaccine is given before the patient is sexually active. Patients can get the vaccine between the ages of 11 to 26, but can be started as early as age 9, with little to no side effects. As with most vaccines, initial effects of the HPV vaccine include redness, swelling, or soreness in the area where it was administered. Some rarer side effects include nausea and headaches, fatigue, weakness, vomiting, or fainting. While this vaccine is highly recommended, you should also consult with a medical professional beforehand. Some patients who have had allergic reactions to ingredients in the vaccine such as yeast and latex should not receive it. In the Philippines, according to Department of Health guidelines, quadrivalent HPV vaccines are given to females 9-10 years old at the health facilities in priority provinces. Ultimately, the vaccine can protect patients against up to 90% of genital warts and 70% of cervical cancers.
- Influenza Vaccine
The Influenza Vaccine, more commonly referred to as the flu vaccine, is one of the most commonly recommended vaccines for pregnant women or women who are planning a pregnancy during flu-prone seasons. Women of all ages should get their yearly flu vaccines, but most importantly, those who are pregnant and those with chronic health conditions. The most common form of the vaccine is what we call the flu shot, given under medical supervision in case of complications. Another form is the live attenuated flu nasal spray vaccine, which is not given to pregnant women and those who are immunocompromised. Women who are vulnerable to flu-related complications like bacterial pneumonia and the risk of intensifying chronic illnesses such as diabetes or asthma should also receive the flu vaccine.
Patients 49 and under should also get the flu vaccine, but should consult with a doctor beforehand because patients who have had Guillain-Barr syndrome or allergic reactions to previous flu shots or eggs were discouraged from doing so in the past. However, according to the most recent guidance from the CDC, those with allergies to eggs can still be given the vaccine as long as it is done in a medical setting and supervised by a physician or health professional who would be able to manage severe allergic reactions.
- MMR Vaccine
The MMR vaccine is also referred to as the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccine and women should receive at least one dose of it. If you think you’re pregnant, you should postpone getting it, to prevent complications. Also, women who have been vaccinated are advised to wait for at least 3 months before becoming pregnant. If you think you’re pregnant, you should postpone getting it, to prevent complications. Also, women who have been vaccinated should wait for at least 3 months before becoming pregnant. However women who have entered childbearing age should receive the vaccine because it has been proven to reduce the risk of newborns developing congenital rubella syndrome.
Patients who have had adverse reactions to gelatin or previous doses of MMR vaccines should consult their doctor before considering the vaccine.
- Tetanus and Pertussis Vaccine
The tetanus vaccine is often administered alongside the diphtheria vaccine (TD) or both diphtheria and acellular pertussis vaccines (TDAP). TDAP is given during the third trimester of pregnancy to protect babies during the first month of life against whooping cough and vulnerable infants to neonatal tetanus. It is highly recommended that women of childbearing age stay up to date with their tetanus vaccines, but they can also receive this vaccine during the course of their pregnancy. Receiving the TD or TDAP vaccines help diminish the risk of neonatal tetanus for newborns.
Patients who have had a history of Guillain-Barr syndrome are discouraged from receiving the tetanus vaccine, so it is highly advised to consult with a doctor beforehand.
Additionally, women should receive vaccines against hepatitis A and B, as well as COVID-19. Elderly women should get vaccination against shingles and chickenpox, as well as the pneumococcal vaccine. Finally, women and anyone traveling to an area with meningococcal disease should receive the meningococcal vaccine.
Why do women need vaccination?
Actively seeking protection is highly advisable for patients across the board, both to protect themselves and the loved ones and communities around them. However, the aforementioned methods of immunity available are even more highly recommended for women because of the nuances in the female reproductive system and the possible (but preventable) complications during pregnancy. The period of pregnancy may put the patient and her baby at risk of a host of different diseases. These could potentially cause lasting adverse effects, not only during pregnancy but also to the health and development of the baby. Therefore, it is important that women consult with their doctors to seek the available means of immunity and vaccines compatible to them specifically. To get in touch with our doctors who are well trained and highly qualified to advise you on the best course of immunity, click here to learn how EVA works.
How EVA Teleconsult can help provide vaccines for women
EVA Teleconsult is well equipped to assist anyone seeking to schedule vaccines for women. This is because, with us, patients can always expect:
- Timely appointments – No more time wasted while waiting outside a doctor’s office. With us, appointments begin right when they’re supposed to, even if they’re made the same day.
- Guaranteed 30-minute consultation times – No more rushing or quickly dashed off prescriptions with no explanations. Our doctors take the time needed to give you information about your concerns, and are open to answering all your questions.
- 5-star ratings for our doctors – Because our doctors know to explain things in a way patients can understand, we frequently get positive feedback from them.
Take the first step and contact us today.