In honor of Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, we wanted to highlight some questions about the HPV vaccine that we recently received:
Q. Does the HPV vaccine cause infertility?
A. No. HPV infections do not cause infertility, except indirectly in cases when they progress to cervical cancer, so it does not make sense that the HPV vaccine would lead to infertility. To the contrary, since the HPV vaccine decreases the number of cases of cervical cancer, it may indirectly decrease the number of women unable to have a baby.
Q. How long does immunity last if you receive all doses of the HPV vaccine?
A. We do not know for sure whether immunity will last a lifetime; however, the data is reassuring. First, the vaccine has been studied for almost 10 years with no sign of waning immunity in those who received the vaccine that long ago. Second, the immune responses generated by the vaccine are stronger than those invoked after natural infection. Finally, the hepatitis B vaccine, which uses similar technology, induces a memory response that lasts at least 25 years.
To see our answers to additional questions that we have received about HPV and the HPV vaccine, visit our specialized web page, www.prevent-HPV.org.