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Embarrasing but Necessary Conversation #89


When my daughter’s pediatrician suggested that she get the Gardasil vaccine, I was shocked. Isn’t that for sexually active gals, I wondered. While she’s had her share of crushes, my tween certainly wasn’t anywhere near having sex (just the thought of it sends me into a tizzy). Of course as we’ve probably all now heard, docs recommend this series of three shots, which help prevent cervical cancer and some HPVs, starting at age nine.

So here’s how the conversation went between me and my kid on our way to the doctor’s office.

“Why do I need these shots?”

“Because they will prevent you from getting warts that carry viruses when you have sex.”

“MOM! You're embarrassing me. Keep your voice down.”

[Said in whisper] “You won’t get the warts that carry viruses.”

[Continuing the whisper] “What’s the sex part?”

“You get warts on your vagina from other people who have them.”

“I hope you realize that I am not having sex.”

“Ever?”

“MOM!”

“What now?”

“I don’t need this shot. Cancel the appointment.”

I explained that this was a preventative measure and she went along with it, but with the proverbial tween scowl. Between the shots, STD-HIV discussions in health class and the idea of sexual partners with warts, she’s thinking this whole sex thing might be better left untouched. Just wait until her teen hormones kick in.

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