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The Gardasil Vaccine

I’ve been thinking about blogging about this since I went to the doctor early in November, and I realize I may be alienating some male readers with this post, but I really need some of your opinions (so help a girl out, okay?!)

I had heard of Gardasil, the vaccine for HPV and some cervical cancers, but I did not know any details about it. My doctor is insistent that I get this 3-part vaccine, as it is only given to females until they are 26 years old, which I will be on my next birthday. Apparently the series takes 6 months to complete, which is why she’s rushing me. When my doctor and I were first talking about it, it seemed obvious that I would get the vaccine – prevent cancer? Of course. But I decided to do a little more reseach, and found this  from the GARDASIL website:

“GARDASIL does more than help prevent cervical cancer. GARDASIL is the only cervical cancer vaccine that helps protect against 4 types of human papillomavirus (HPV): 2 types that cause 70% of cervical cancer cases, and 2 types that cause 90% of genital warts cases.”

It goes without saying that most vaccines are never a 100% guarantee, but this website clearly states that “GARDASIL does not prevent all types of cervical cancer”…but it continues to be called the ‘cervical cancer vaccine.’ More from the website:

“Cervical cancer can be caused by about 10 to 30 types of HPV. GARDASIL helps guard against 2 of these types – HPV Types 16 and 18. These 2 types of HPV cause 70% of cervical cancer cases.”

So, what about the other 30% of cases?

The vaccine also does not take the place of a routine pap smear, which is still recommended annually for women, and where, usually, pre-cancer or cancer cells can be detected. And, I know there are possible side effects with everything, but side effects of GARDASIL include pain, swelling, itching, brusing and redness at the injection site, headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, and fainting. None of that sounds like fun. I get headaches enough as it is.

Maybe I’m just being paranoid, but it kinda seems like one more vaccine that might not be necessary. Honestly, I really don’t believe that every vaccine is worth it. I’m just not completely sold on them. Maybe I’m just hesitant because it means one more shot (actually 3 over 6 months) when I already give myself 2 shots every week. I suppose I’m getting ahead of myself, because I might not even be able to take this vaccine – it is strongly recommended that you not get it if you are allergic to any of the ingredients and since I’m allergic to just about everything, this could certainly be included. There’s also that tiny factor of not wanting to listen to my doctor after the most unprofessional, insane experience I’ve ever had with a doctor occurred last year (and I’m not willing to divulge this publicly, so if you are really curious, email me [see the about section] and I’ll tell you).

So, I’m asking for your help. Tell me what you think about vaccines, specifically this one. Will you be getting it? Know someone who already has? Tell me if you think I’m being crazy! Please share; I need more points of view! Thanks 🙂


3 Responses

  1. I think in an optional vaccine situation like this, you should decide that you know best for your body and not your doctor, especially if you feel pressure and are allergic to junk. I practically live at my OB’s office and he never even mentioned it before I turned 26 this summer. After hearing about the wacko Texan who wanted to legislate that it was mandatory to get the vaccine I have been kind of turned off from it.

    I don’t know anyone who has this vaccine and I always vaccinate my children on time. I don’t believe that vaccines cause autism (I’ve read the research) and that’s about all I know about vaccines. Good luck…

  2. Hey chica!
    Again, just catching up with your life:) On this topic, I talked to my doctor about it as well because she brought it up. I read all the info and followed up with her afterwards too. We discussed how I am in a monogamous relationship and planned to get hitched to this person, so I’m not as “at risk” for the viruses as I could be. You can never predict the future, relationships, etc…but I decided not to go for it. I also feel somewhat uncomfortable with possible unknown long-term effects. Anywho, that’s my thought!

  3. Thanks for your comments ladies. Can’t believe your doc didn’t mention it Jenny!

    I’m still not sure what I’ll do…

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