What is Gardasil?

Gardasil is a vaccine that is administered to prevent certain strains of human papillomavirus (HPV). Several strains of HPV exist, many of which are harmless and only cause infections that clear up on their own. Some strains, however, can cause longer lasting infections that can later manifest as cancer. Most people do not develop any signs or symptoms of the infection, meaning it is often unknowingly transmitted between sexual partners.

Some HPV strains have been shown to cause cervical cancer, vulvar cancer, vaginal and anal cancer. In the majority of cases, HPV infects girls and women aged between 9 and 45 years.

The infective strains that are particularly harmful include types 6, 11, 16 and 18, with strains 16 and 18 thought to cause up to 70% of cervical cancers and types 6 and 11 thought to cause up to 90% of genital warts cases.

Genital warts are irregular, skin colored growths around the genitals. They may be found inside or outside of the genitals in both men and women. The warts can be painful, itch and may even start to bleed.

Cancer of the cervix usually begins with changes in the cellular appearance of the cervical inner lining. These changes can usually be detected using a Pap Test. These are precancerous lesions that, with time, may turn into cancer and spread to other organs (undergo metastasis) or even cause death.

Even when a person is infected with HPV, Gardasil vaccination is still advised, to protect against different HPV strains in the future.

Gardasil is available as injections that can be given to females between the ages of 9 and 45 years and males aged between 9 and 26 years. It is estimated that the majority of individuals who have sexual intercourse will be infected with HPV at some point. Therefore, all sexually active males and females are at risk of HPV infection.

As well as protecting against HPV strains 6, 11, 16 and 18, Gardasil also offers some degree of protection against HPV types 31, 33, 52, 56, 58, and 59.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Jun 21, 2023

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2023, June 21). What is Gardasil?. News-Medical. Retrieved on June 22, 2024 from https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Gardasil.aspx.

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "What is Gardasil?". News-Medical. 22 June 2024. <https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Gardasil.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "What is Gardasil?". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Gardasil.aspx. (accessed June 22, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2023. What is Gardasil?. News-Medical, viewed 22 June 2024, https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Gardasil.aspx.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.