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to change my mind and tell the school I don't want dd to have cervical cancer jab?

(305 Posts)
lowfatiscrap12 Mon 09-Jul-12 12:49:27

Yes, I know there's another (very long) thread about vaccines.
I was going to post my question there, but thought it would be lost under twenty odd pages of replies.
Last week I gave dd1 (aged 12) a consent form to have all 3 of her vaccinations for cervical cancer.
Now I should point out that I am very pro-vaccination. All three of my dc's have had, after plenty of research and reading by me, all of their childhood vaccinations. I've read and researched and looked at all the pros and cons and am generally pro vax.
But I've been umming and ahhing over this one.
I've checked and it's Gardasil she'd be having.
I've looked at the reasons for and against it.
I decided last week that the benefits outweighed the negatives, but now I'm wavering slightly.
I'm 39. I didn't have cervical cancer vaccinations at school.
I had safe sex and smear tests.
I've read about some of the side effects of Gardasil and I'm now quite tempted to phone the school and ask them to destroy my consent letter. Or send another letter in. Or just keep dd at home the day they do the HPV jabs.
AIBU?
What does everyone on Mumsnet think about the new HPV vaccine?

Ariel24 Mon 09-Jul-12 13:16:40

As you say your daughter is intelligent and mature for her age, I would be inclined to let her have a big say in whether she has iit or not, especially if she has done her own research and is making an informed choice for herself.

I think it can only be a good thing for her to start thinking about looking after her own health, also hopefully it will encourage her in the future to make other responsible choices about sex and relationships.

All that is needed is genital contact of some sort, so same sex couples and those not having intercourse, are still at risk.

HPV is connected to cancers of the vulva and throat, as well as others.

My DD hasn't had it, we talked about the pros and cons and she decided she didn't want to have it. I have said that if she even begins to think about becoming sexually active, she will need to have the jab, but (hopefully) that won't be for at least another couple of years.

However if your DD wants it, you should take that into account too. My DD was a bit of an 'odd one out' because all her friends had it.

But what is the success rate for this jab?

I discussed it with my 2 dd's & we decided they would wait & get it later before/when they start being sexually active. I'm just a bit hmm about rushing into these blanket immunisations and would like to see some more long term studies.

edam Mon 09-Jul-12 13:23:35

The vaccine protects against the strains of the HPV virus that are the most common causes of cervical cancer. Millions of girls have received it all over the world without any problems (bar temporary redness/swelling and some hysterical fainting in the queue - I remember teenage girls being just as silly in my day with the TB jab). so it is clearly very safe.

A safe, effective vaccine that could save your daughter's life - what's not to like?

(The argument that it doesn't protect against all strains of HPV is really odd. Seatbelts don't protect against every form of traffic accident either but that's no reason not to use them! Just make sure your daughter understands that she STILL needs to go for smear tests.)

TheRhubarb Mon 09-Jul-12 13:23:59

Cervical cancer risk factors Hope this helps both you and her OP to make up your minds. smile

mumto2andnomore Mon 09-Jul-12 13:24:22

My DD and all of her friends had it , in my eyes anything which protects from cancer has to be a good thing.

I can't imagine anyone will think "I'm protected against (some strains of) HPV, so I'll just forget about chlamydia, gonorrhoea, HIV etc." and stop using condoms. Or even avoid smear tests, as HPV isn't the only cause of cervical cancer.

SCOTCHandWRY Mon 09-Jul-12 13:25:35

If it was available for boys, DSs would have had it as well - those poor girls have to catch it from somewhere.

It is probably going to become available for boys. Gardasil, The quadravalent vaccine, has, or will very shortly replace the divalent vaccine (cervirex), which never should have been picked for this vaccination program in the first place.

Boys should have the vaccine too, because the 4 HPV strains it protects against don't just cause cervical cancers, but cancers of the penis, anal area, tongue, mouth, throat and neck, and these cancers for reasons which are not fully understood are increasing VERY rapidly in young people.
DH is a Dr and has seen so many young, otherwise healthy men develop cancers of the tongue/throat (used to be very rare), that we took the decision to have our sons vaccinated (over £300 per son) last year. Many Dr's working with young cancer patients are pushing the govt to offer this vaccine to boys on the nhs as it would actually save money as well as lives.

seeker Mon 09-Jul-12 13:27:36

What specifically are you concerned about?

"But what is the success rate for this jab"

70% on one strain and 90% on another and 100% on strain 16 & 18, the latest studies show. They estimate that 3,400 lives (at least) will be saved a year in the UK.

Just make sure that they understand that there is risk to oral sex and any contact, even sex toys.

As others have said, not all girls become sexually active by choice.

SCOTCHandWRY Mon 09-Jul-12 13:29:01

All that is needed is genital contact of some sort, so same sex couples and those not having intercourse, are still at risk.

It is highly probable that these HPV viruses can be passed just by deep kissing, with no genital contact of any kind, though this has not been proven.

hairylemon Mon 09-Jul-12 13:30:00

Hpv can be contracted if you practise safe sex. I've had pre cancerous cells removed and I know there is s good chance ill have to have it done again. I wish there had been a vacc when I was younger

Orlando Mon 09-Jul-12 13:33:02

Funnily enough MorrisZapp, my father actually used to say that about seatbelts! I think his point might have been more that he felt too constrained by them (no shit, sherlock) and so when the seatbelt enforcement law came in (in the late 70s??) he belted his around the back of the seats to stop the warning light flashing. That seems like insanity now - thank goodness. Attitudes have changed.

The problem with the HPV vaccine is as Rhubarb says, that it kind of blurs out the specifics and small print so that it becomes a black and white issue. Vaccinated = safe, even though there are strains of HPV which are untouched by the vaccine, and even though having sex without a condom leaves you open to contracting numerous other STIs and getting pregnant. Promoting and normalising condom use is the only way to make inroads into those statistics.

DanyTargaryen Mon 09-Jul-12 13:35:09

Oh I'm sorry I misunderstood. blush

YouOldSlag Mon 09-Jul-12 13:36:01

Op- what is your fear?

I also think that if your daughter has researched it herself and wants it, then you should give her opinion a great deal of weight.

I haven't yet heard your argument for exactly why you don't want it.

Katienana Mon 09-Jul-12 13:36:19

I would definitely have it, I am also of the generation that just missed out on starting a smear programme at age 20 but didn't get offered the vaccine either. I think the idea is that having the vaccine reduces the risk of not having a smear till age 25. Bearing that in mind I would definitely have the vaccine. As another poster said, your DD may be sensible but that won't be much help if god forbid she was assaulted.

eurochick Mon 09-Jul-12 13:38:57

I've just had my first abnormal smear at the age of 36. It's very worrying. I wish a vaccine had been available when I was younger.

99.7% of cervical cancers are caused by HPV, so the vaccine should help hugely. Boys can transmit it but it causes far fewer problems for them.

80% of adults have some strain of HPV at some time in their lives, so it's not exactly an indicator of promiscuity (I wouldn't consider myself promiscuous but I have had two sexual partners who had previously been promniscuous). There are many strains and only a few are cancer causing though.

DilysPrice Mon 09-Jul-12 13:41:29

Truly "Safe sex" in this case would require using condoms, latex gloves and dental dams from the moment you take your knickers off, and of course using IVF to conceive.

Condoms alone are great, but will not protect you fully from HPV, only a nunnery will do that.

UnimaginitiveDadThemedUsername Mon 09-Jul-12 13:42:15

OP - just because the cervix is connected to the sex organs, don't go falling into the trap that this is a decision where morality is the key factor.

lowfatiscrap12 Mon 09-Jul-12 13:43:24

YouOldSlag, my fears are based mostly on anti-Gardasil websites. I know I'm overreacting massively to a website which exists solely to publish alleged cases of gardasil damage. And that there are millions of girls who've suffered no ill effects. There was a scare over the whooping cough vaccine when I was a baby and my Mother refused to get me vaxed. I got whooping cough and was extremely poorly with it. My Mum has always said she felt terribly guilty about that. The reason I'm asking this question here is to help put my fear into perspective.

My DD1 has had it and my DD2 will have it when her time comes. Without being too dramatic if your DD wants it I would let her have it because if she contracts those illnesses you would never forgive yourself.

Also if you ever choose to have unprotected sex as in with a long term partner or ttc then you could be exposed plus there have been suggestions it can be passed through some kissing etc.

I didn't look into the side effects other than the information we were given because I knew it was something I wanted her to have done.

YouOldSlag Mon 09-Jul-12 13:49:07

Well OP, if the chances of her contracting HPV without the vaccine are greater than the chances of suffering a side effect, then there's your answer.

NB I am just trying to a be a logical devil's advocate here, as I have no daughters but I think I probably would allow her to vaccinated if I had one.

TheRhubarb Mon 09-Jul-12 13:49:28

From what I can gather from the cancer help website, there is insufficient evidence to show how long the vaccine lasts. American sites say 4 years, the UK site says 8 years. So it's still vital to have smears.

My worries are for those girls whose parents don't inform them. I worry that they may think this protects them against ALL cervical cancers.
They may decide they don't need to go for smears anymore.
They may take risks that they wouldn't otherwise take.

On the whole, yes it's good that there is a vaccine but as usual in the UK, schools are merely dishing it out without giving out the relevant information about cervical cancer.

Jenjii Mon 09-Jul-12 13:50:34

I have yet to meet a teenager who would think 'I must have safe sex to avoid contracting cancer in 10 years time'. Ime they just aren't that able to process long term consequences of their actions at that age. If you want your dd to practice safe sex, then a much stronger motivation would be to avoid pregnancy/stds in the near term. I very much doubt wether or not she's vaccinated would have any influence on her decisions regarding safe sex. When you first started having sex was cervical cancer one of the things you worried about? I certainly didn't and I doubt many young women do.

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