HPV Vaccine Has Possible Link To Ovarian Failure, American College of Pediatricians Says In Statement

Dawn Papple

This month, the American College of Pediatricians (the College) updated its position statement on Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines in light of the most up-to-date research pertaining to the virus and the vaccines. The revised position statement on HPV vaccines has been declared pertinent to patients and healthcare providers. A new statement regarding potential links between at least one of the HPV vaccines and ovarian dysfunction has been added to its position statement. New research is reportedly in the works that will investigate this potential link further, according to the position statement.

"A Vaccine Safety Datalink POF study is planned to address an association between these vaccines and POF, but it may be years before results will be determined. Plus, POF within a few years of vaccination could be the tip of the iceberg since ovarian dysfunction manifested by months of amenorrhea may later progress to POF."

— PersistentProLifeR (@BuhayIpaglaban) November 21, 2014

"The information regarding this new concern has been shared with the FDA and CDC. A study reportedly is being planned to look at a possible link between premature ovarian failure and HPV vaccination."
"Several risk factors increase your chance of developing cervical cancer. Women without any of these risk factors rarely develop cervical cancer. Although these risk factors increase the odds of developing cervical cancer, many women with these risks do not develop this disease. When a woman develops cervical cancer or pre-cancerous changes, it may not be possible to say with certainty that a particular risk factor was the cause."

Three vaccines have been licensed since 2006 that aim to prevent cervical cancer caused by HPV. If a cervical cancer is caused by HPV, women experience "chronic HPV infection that manifests as cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) years prior to developing into cervical cancer," the College states.

According to the College, peer reviewed reports describe rare cases of premature ovarian failure following HPV vaccination and a subsequent investigation by the College revealed a possible link between premature ovarian failure/premature menopause as well as amenorrhea (absence of period) for at least four months following HPV vaccination, so the College has requested that both the FDA and the ACIP investigate this potential link further, though it still recommends vaccination to all children and young adults in the meantime, including children who choose abstinence due to "potential risk circumstances beyond an individual's control, including sexual assault and the infection of one's future spouse."

The College did, however, state that the use of HPV vaccines should not be mandated by regulatory authorities.

"The College is opposed to any legislation which requires HPV vaccination for school attendance. Excluding children from school over refusal to vaccinate for a disease spread only by sexual intercourse is a serious, precedent-setting action that trespasses on the right of parents to make medical decisions for their children."

— alicia boone (@aliboo719) December 15, 2015

"Please report all significant adverse events that occur after vaccination of adults and children, even if you are not sure whether the vaccine caused the adverse event. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) accepts all reports, including reports of vaccination errors."