Drugs

16-Year-Old Girl Becomes Infertile After Gardisal HPV Vaccine: Loses All Ovarian Function, Goes Into Menopause

HPV Vaccine
Gardasil, the HPV vaccine, is distributed to millions of young girls every year. UIC Pharmacy/Flickr Creative Commons

According to a new report in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), a 16-year-old girl from Australia was given the Gardasil vaccine and has lost all ovarian function as a result, rendering her unable to reproduce.

The Gardasil vaccine is meant to prevent human papilloma virus (HPV), the most common sexally-transmitted disease. The CDC states that nearly 20 million people are currently infected with HPV in the U.S.

"This patient presented with amenorrhoea after identifying a change from her regular cycle to irregular and scant periods following vaccinations against human papillomavirus," Dr. Deidre Little, the physician who treated the girl, wrote in the report. Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation in a woman of reproductive age.

Though it’s still not entirely certain, Dr. Little believes Gardasil is the sole reason for the girl’s sudden infertility. Gardasil is a vaccine developed by Merck & Co; on its website, it states that it’s the only HPV vaccine that protects against four different types of HPV. Dr. Little noted that Merck most likely did not perform safety tests on Gardasil’s effects on the female reproductive system, even though the vaccine has been approved by the FDA.

She noted that the girl first received the vaccine in fall 2008. Once January rolled around, the girl's periods had become irregular, and by 2011 they had stopped entirely.

Dr. Little investigated various other potential causes for the infertility, but ruled them all out except for Gardasil.

“Although the cause is unknown in 90 percent of cases, the remaining chief identifiable causes of this condition were excluded,” Dr. Little’s report states. “Premature ovarian failure was then notified as a possible adverse event following this vaccination.”

Steven Mosher and Elizabeth Crnkovich note in a Population Research Institute report that Gardasil has been controversial since the beginning. Despite objections of doctors and parents, "tens of millions of young girls have received the Gardasil vaccine since its approval by the FDA six years ago,” they write. "If even a tiny fraction of them have experienced infertility as a result, then these girl children have been denied a very fundamental right, that is, the right to decide how many children they want to have.”

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