Vaccines our Chicago, patients should consider
The role of the gynecology and obstetrics health care team is to protect and monitor the health of patients. Northwestern Women’s Health Associates, provides patients with a full range of services, including consultation and education as it pertains to vaccines such as Gardasil, the flu vaccine, MMR and DTaP, and Hepatitis B.
The human papillomavirus, known as HPV, is responsible for a number of concerns. Some types of this virus are transmitted through sexual contact and may cause genital warts or changes to cells in the cervix that increase the risk of cancer. HPV types 16 and 18, in particular, are linked to 7 out of 10 instances of cervical cancer. The Gardisil vaccine, provided by your Chicago, gynecologist, can significantly reduce the risk associated with HPV. After the recommended series of Gardisil vaccine, antibodies are produced to prevent infection. A series of three shots given over a six month period may achieve five years of protection. Both men and women should be protected from HPV, and may receive the vaccine in adolescence as well as adulthood.
One of the essential elements of prenatal and postpartum care is flu prevention. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists encourages women to receive the flu vaccine if they are considering becoming pregnant or are already pregnant. Multiple studies have shown the safety and efficacy of the flu vaccine during any trimester of pregnancy.
Due to changes in the immune system during pregnancy, an expectant mother is especially susceptible to complications from the flu. This preventive vaccine, available with your Chicago, OBGYN, also provides a level of protection to the unborn fetus, who will develop antibodies in the womb. This is an important factor considering that newborns cannot be vaccinated against the flu until the age of six months.
The DTap vaccine is a combination given to infants as a preventive measure against three bacterial infections: diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. Due to the symptoms and complications of these diseases, vaccination is very important.
- Diphtheria may be marked by breathing problems, due to a thick coating that develops at the back of the throat. Complications of this disease include heart failure, paralysis, and death.
- Tetanus may develop after bacteria enters the body through a wound or cut in the skin. Patients affected by tetanus may experience painfully tight muscles throughout the body, including “locking” of the jaw which inhibits the patient from opening the mouth. Up to 2 of every 10 cases of tetanus may lead to death.
- Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, can lead to intense coughing spells that last for weeks. These spells may make it difficult for the infant to breathe or be fed. Complications of pertussis include seizures, pneumonia, brain damage, and death.
The DTap vaccine, given in five doses throughout the first six years of life, protects children from these potentially serious diseases.
One of the most deadly and therefore most concerning of all childhood diseases is measles. Pediatricians recommend that children receive two MMR vaccines, the first at around 12 months of age and the second between the ages of 4 and 6. This combination vaccine protects children from not only measles but also mumps and rubella. Many parents also choose to include vaccination against varicella, or chicken pox, with this round of vaccinations. If patients planning to conceive are not immune to rubella, we would offer the MMR before conception. If you get this, you should prevent conception for 3 months.
Hepatitis B is a contagious infection that affects the liver. Caused by a virus, this infection can develop without producing noticeable symptoms. For this reason, it is possible for a pregnant mother to transmit hepatitis B to her unborn child without knowing it. This condition can be very serious to the newborn child, who will receive the hepatitis B vaccine before leaving the hospital.
Hepatitis can also be passed sexually. Therefore adults can also get this vaccine to prevent infection.
Your health care team at Northwestern Women’s Health Associates, is happy to provide you with the necessary information regarding vaccines for yourself and your child. Contact our office at 312-440-9400.