You don’t need a Pap smear—the test that screens for cervical cancer—until age 21, regardless of your sexual activity.
Here’s why >
Gardasil 9 protects against the nine different types of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) that are responsible for the majority of cervical, vulvar and vaginal cancer in women; penile cancer in men; and anal cancer and mouth and throat cancer in both women and men. If started before age 15, Gardasil 9 is given in two doses six to 12 months apart. If started at age 15 or later, it is given in three doses over six months.
If you’re sexually active, you should be screened for sexually transmitted infections. Your provider will probably want to talk to you about sex and your safety: protecting yourself from STIs, knowing your partners and not having sex under the influence of drugs and alcohol. He or she may recommend STI screening whenever you have sex with a new partner and/or once a year.
If you are or may become sexually active with male partners, your provider wants to talk to you about contraception and help you find the best method of birth control for you.
Yearly flu vaccine is recommended for teens by the end of October, if possible. Most teens get this at school or the pediatrician’s office, but we’re happy to vaccinate you at your visit if not.