Should I Wait To Have Sex After Taking Gardasil?

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Do you have to wait until you finish all three shots of Gardasil before having sex? Do you have to abstain from sex for six months?


Gardasil is a vaccine for women between the ages of 9 and 25 that helps protect against the human papillomavirus (HPV) and related diseases such as cervical cancer. The vaccine is given in a series of three shots, which are given over a period of six months.

While you do not have to wait until all three Gardasil vaccinations have been injected before having sex, you will not be fully protected by the vaccine until you have completed the series.

Because of this, it is important to continue to practice safe sex during the six-month period during which you are receiving Gardasil vaccinations. In fact, you should continue practicing safe sex even after finishing the vaccine series. Because while Gardasil provides protection against HPV, it does not give you protection from other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), or from pregnancy.

For protection against other STIs, you should continue to use protection such as condoms. For protection against pregnancy, it is also worth researching other contraceptive options, such as the birth control pill; long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) such as the intrauterine device (IUD) or other hormonal implants; or sterilization procedures such as a vasectomy or tubal ligation.

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