Frequently Asked Questions

Transmission & Infection
Vaccination & Safety
Prevention & Testing
Health Risk

How does HPV spread?

HPV primarily spreads through sexual contact. In rare cases, it can spread through non-sexual contact, or from mother to child during birth.

What are the early signs and symptoms of HPV infection?

HPV may not always present with symptoms. If HPV symptoms do appear, they may take the form of genital HPV warts or abnormal cervical smears.

What are genital HPV warts?

Genital warts are a disease caused as a result of the HPV infection. They appear as single or multiple growths or bumps around the genital area. Some HPV warts can cluster together, and can be identified by their cauliflower-like shape. Genital warts can be treated under the guidance of a healthcare practitioner.

Can HPV spread during pregnancy?

HPV can spread from the mother to the child during pregnancy. Potential transmission can be through the amniotic fluid, through the placenta or due to contact with maternal genital mucosa during natural birth.

Is the HPV vaccine safe to take?

As per clinical studies, the vaccine is generally well tolerated without risk of major adverse/side effects. Talk to your gynaecologist for further information on the right course for you.

Can HPV vaccination cause infertility?

Studies suggest that HPV vaccination does not cause infertility. It generally does not have any major side effects.

Are there any side effects of this vaccine?

The HPV vaccine is generally well tolerated without risk of major adverse/side effects. Some of the side effects one may face are redness, pain and swelling around the injection site, or a headache and fever. However, these adverse events are mostly mild to moderate in intensity.

What does the vaccine protect against?

HPV vaccine is a first line of defence against HPV infection and certain related diseases & cancers. It can help reduce the risk of HPV-related genital warts and certain cancers by 90%.

I’m already sexually active, can I still take the vaccine?

Over 90% sexually active women can benefit from HPV prevention including HPV vaccination. Consult your doctor for information on HPV vaccination.

What is the recommended age for HPV vaccination in boys and girls?

According to major national and international medical associations, HPV vaccination for girls and boys can begin at the age of 9 years. Consult your doctor for more information on HPV vaccination.

My daughter is in her pre-teens, does she need the vaccine?

As per clinical studies, offering early vaccination before completing 15 years of age can help provide 2 times better immune response against HPV infection compared to HPV vaccination after 15 years. Hence, vaccination is recommended for girls aged 9 and above. Consult your doctor for more information on HPV vaccination.

What should I do if I missed getting vaccinated during my early teens?

Even if you did not get vaccinated in your early teens, it is not too late to get vaccinated. Your gynaecologist can help you with more information on the right age to get vaccinated against HPV.

Can individuals with compromised immune systems receive the HPV vaccine?

Immuno-compromised individuals have a higher risk of developing HPV-related diseases. Please consult your doctor for more information.

Is it safe to take the vaccine during lactation?

Indian and global medical associations support HPV vaccination during the postpartum period and during breastfeeding as they are more vulnerable to HPV infection due to hormonal changes and low immunity after delivery.

Is there an age limit for HPV vaccination?

HPV vaccination for girls and boys can begin at the age of 9 years. Vaccination is beneficial when it begins early, before exposure to HPV. Please consult your gynaecologist for guidance on the recommended age for vaccination.

How long does the HPV vaccine protection last?

HPV vaccination may help offer long-lasting protection. As per studies conducted, there is no evidence of the vaccine's protection decreasing over time for over 12 years.

Can HPV be prevented?

HPV can be prevented by regular screenings and tests, timely HPV vaccination, and by taking care of your sexual health. HPV vaccination can help reduce the risk of HPV-related genital warts and cancer by 80%–90%.

Can I get tested for HPV?

HPV testing can be tricky since there are 200+ types of HPV. HPV tests only detect certain high-risk HPV types, such as HPV 16 and 18. Hence, it is important to stay vigilant and take the right measures to prevent infection.

Can men get tested for HPV?

According to the CDC, there are currently no approved HPV tests for men. It is recommended to contact your healthcare provider in case of any concerns.

Can sexual monogamy and safe sex prevent HPV?

Sexual monogamy and safe sex methods do not guarantee protection against HPV. Even with one male partner, 1 out of 2 women may still be HPV-positive.

Does HPV lead to cervical cancer in women?

Multiple research studies suggest that HPV may lead to cervical cancer in women. Predominantly, HPV strains 16 and 18 are the serotypes to look out for. They are responsible for more than 95% of cervical cancer cases, as well as other anogenital cancers, globally.

What cancers can HPV cause?

In some cases, HPV infection can cause abnormal cells. These abnormal cells may develop into cancers, including cervical, vaginal, vulval and anal cancers.

Does HPV cause infertility in women?

Currently, there is no documented link between HPV and infertility in women.

HPV – Human Papillomavirus

This information is for awareness only, please consult your doctor for more information.

IN-GSL-00722 - 1/11/2023 - 29/9/2025