Three 20-something women trying to figure out what it means to be lay, Catholic, and modern all at once.

April 20, 2009

HPV Vaccine Part 2

Wow, Julian, I totally know what you are dealing with. TOTALLY!!!!!! And the Doctor's Office. I had similar experiences as my Magdalene sisters -- to the point where I refuse to go the gynecologist unless I absolutely have to -- which in all actuality is probably not the best thing for me. My interview with the doctor happened both during and after a very intrusive exam. During the exam: "Do you need a prescription for birth control?" "No, I don't need it." At the end of the exam: "Are you sure you don't need birth control?" "No, I don't need it." After the exam: "Are you sure you don't need birth control?" "I am not sexually active, so NO, I don't need any birth control." I began thinking -- what is this guy (problem number one -- male doctor!) thinking?? What is he trying to say to me. I was in tears.

With respect to the HPV question: I've been mulling over this exact same question too. But I am still skeptical about HPV vaccine. There's just something about vaccinating to prevent a disease that I can prevent by my behavior. And I DO NOT think it's appropriate to give this vaccine to little girls. What is that telling them about the hook-up culture?

But Julian brings up the main point -- for women who are trying to safeguard their virginity -- what about my future spouse who does have a sexual history? And men cannot be tested for this disease or immunized. I don't have the answer to this. I think I am not eligible for this vaccination anymore; from what I understand, you cannot be any older than 25 -- and I'm practically on the eve of my 26th birthday-I am so old!! This is an issue that women really, really need to consider.

I think a tremendous resource for women, especially women in the DC area is the Tepeyac Family Center, who have several Catholic gynecologists. Perhaps they could be a better mentor. It is a real struggle for us, because we women are the ones who ultimately suffer the worst effects -- cancer. HPV can devastate our reproductive systems. What are your thoughts, readers? Have any of you had to deal with this problem??

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