HPV (Human papilloma virus) Vaccine
When recommended: For girls at age 11 or 12 in three doses, 2-3 months apart, and women up to age 26 who are not yet vaccinated (it has not been studied in women older than 26)
What you should know: HPV is extremely common in sexually active people, so many adults assume that the HPV vaccine is only effective if you haven't done the deed yet. However, there are over 120 strains of HPV, and even if you've contracted one strain, the vaccine might protect you against another. There are two types of vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix, that protect against strains of HPV that cause cervical cancer and are recommended for females up to age 26. Cervarix protects against two strains of human papilloma virus (HPV) known to cause cervical cancer; however, it won't protect against genital warts. Gardisil is a quadrivalent vaccine; it protects against four strains of HPV -- the two covered by Cervarix, plus two others that are known to cause genital warts.
Possible side effects: Redness and pain at injection site, mild fever, headaches, muscle/joint pain, nausea/vomiting.