39-yr-old virgin wants Gardisil - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 01-11-2010, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My friend asked her OB to give her the Gardasil vax, and expressed frustration that the request was denied. She understands that it was recommended/researched/approved for younger women, but feels she should get it. She's willing to get a doctor friend to give it to her.

She is a virgin, and will not have sex unless/until marriage. She feels that any potential partner will not be a virgin and therefore a risk for HPV/cancer. She is VERY afraid of cancer, given that she has devoted the last 5 years of her life to fighting her lymphoma and has significant side effects of the treatment. She would not be swayed by the benefits/risk argument, the fact that VERY few people get cervical cancer, or any other "numbers" discussion. After all, she had cancer - she's been very unlucky wrt having statistically unlikely things happen to her.

She's had every vaccine possible since her immune system was knocked out by the chemo. She does not get live vaccines as they are not recommended for her. I visited her this weekend, and she had proudly had the H1N1 vax Friday morning. She has MDs in the family and is very oriented to Western medicine, although she *is* into things that are good for the environment and a significant degree of natural living (e.g., doesn't use paper towels, does indoor composting, uses natural cleaners).

What are the greatest risks? Any suggestions as to how I could appeal to her? I won't try any sort of general-anti-vaccine discussion, as that is not what she is ready for.

DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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#2 of 25 Old 01-11-2010, 04:53 PM
 
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Honestly? I would leave her alone. Her informed choice. She's a big girl.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#3 of 25 Old 01-11-2010, 04:53 PM
 
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Honestly? I would leave her alone. Her informed choice. She's a big girl.

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#4 of 25 Old 01-11-2010, 04:56 PM
 
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Honestly? I would leave her alone. Her informed choice. She's a big girl.
I'll 3rd that

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#5 of 25 Old 01-11-2010, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, yes. I do agree with that. But, we do discuss these things. And, she often does ask my opinion. And, I would like to further think about this (even if just privately by myself) and would prefer to do so with some input from those of you who have done research on this issue.

She has helped me do research for a health issue on my son, and I would like to have some things to think about WRT the appropriateness of Gardasil for an extremely low-risk woman in her 30s, in case it comes up again.

ETA - I do have some "ready made" answers and discussion points for parents of infants, and for people who aren't sure about the flu vax, and I think I've used them in discussions as appropriate. But when the Gardasil/HPV thing came up this weekend, I was really stumped, so I just remained silent and listened to her concerns. At the same time, I was wishing I had done more reading into the issue and had more information at the ready.

DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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#6 of 25 Old 01-11-2010, 05:05 PM
 
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Well one suggestion is that she just has to have her future husband to have a HPV screening before they get married.

Wife to DH, Mom to my Intact Boys DS1: Born 02 Pain Med Free Hospital Birth, BF'ed for 9 Months, Partially Vax'd DS2: Born 06 via UC, BF'ed 3 years 10 months, and UnVax'd
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#7 of 25 Old 01-11-2010, 07:30 PM
 
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It doesn't sound like you're going to be able to talk her out of it. It's pretty clear she's determined to have it. What you can do though is let her know of the side effects and urge her to investigate the differences between the HPV2 and the HPV4 and see which may be safer. (I didn't even know there were 2 different ones until the link for the new vax recommendations!) The only other thing I could suggest is ask the very well educated ladies here what types of supplements they recommend to counter some of the vax damage that can occur (I've seen discussions of it before on here, just never focused on it too much) and see if she'd be interested in trying those to go with the immunizations.
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#8 of 25 Old 01-11-2010, 07:59 PM
 
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I'd say that her MD telling her not to do it is pretty significant. How often does that even happen?
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#9 of 25 Old 01-11-2010, 09:18 PM
 
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mmmm......I was diagnosed with an HPV virus long before I'd even done any "heavy petting"
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#10 of 25 Old 01-12-2010, 11:28 AM
 
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given that she has devoted the last 5 years of her life to fighting her lymphoma and has significant side effects of the treatment.
Just a guess, but could this be the reason that her OB recommends against this particular vaccine? While she may not have been exposed to HPV, she has already been diagnosed with cancer. Plus, her side effects alone could be a contraindication.
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#11 of 25 Old 01-12-2010, 02:24 PM
 
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CBS news Gardasil researcher speaks out. Great article

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/...n5253431.shtml

DS 5-11-06
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#12 of 25 Old 01-12-2010, 02:55 PM
 
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It is unusual for a doctor to refuse a routine vaccination; did her doctor specify why and is it related to her cancer history?

Did she ask her oncologist? With her history I can understand why she may want to 'cover her bases,' but there may be a practical medical reason why it would be contraindicated for her; I know HPV vaccine is contraindicated for those who already have a strain of the virus.

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#13 of 25 Old 01-12-2010, 06:19 PM
 
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mmmm......I was diagnosed with an HPV virus long before I'd even done any "heavy petting"

There are many, many, MANY strains of HPV virus. The "most comprehensive" HPV vax covers only 4 strains, all four of which are considered sexually transmitted. They are also the four which are primarily linked to genital warts and cervical lesions. Most of the other strains of HPV are not linked at all to genital warts and cervical lesions... most generally cause NO symptoms, others sometimes cause symptoms, but usually not genital symptoms.
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#14 of 25 Old 01-12-2010, 06:20 PM
 
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It is unusual for a doctor to refuse a routine vaccination; did her doctor specify why and is it related to her cancer history?

Did she ask her oncologist? With her history I can understand why she may want to 'cover her bases,' but there may be a practical medical reason why it would be contraindicated for her; I know HPV vaccine is contraindicated for those who already have a strain of the virus.


As far as I know, the vaccine is currently not FDA approved for women over the age of 26. To give it to a woman in her 30s would definitely be an "off-label" use.
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#15 of 25 Old 01-13-2010, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As far as I know, the vaccine is currently not FDA approved for women over the age of 26. To give it to a woman in her 30s would definitely be an "off-label" use.
My friend is aware of this, which is part of the reason why she's willing to get a dr friend to give it to her on the sly.

WHY is it approved for only women under 26? It's not like 26 is a magical age, right?

DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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#16 of 25 Old 01-13-2010, 03:12 PM
 
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My friend is aware of this, which is part of the reason why she's willing to get a dr friend to give it to her on the sly.

WHY is it approved for only women under 26? It's not like 26 is a magical age, right?
This is probably the age range used in the safety studies.

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#17 of 25 Old 01-13-2010, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is probably the age range used in the safety studies.
That's what I assumed, but I thought I'd put it out there in case anyone had read anything differently. I think this is what my friend is assuming. And, of course, she's different from anyone else because of her virginity. (slightly tongue-in-cheek there. She is attracted to younger men and also sees herself as 6 years younger because she "lost" those years due to cancer. So, in her mind, she is close to 26.)

DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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#18 of 25 Old 01-15-2010, 01:19 AM
 
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That's what I assumed, but I thought I'd put it out there in case anyone had read anything differently. I think this is what my friend is assuming. And, of course, she's different from anyone else because of her virginity. (slightly tongue-in-cheek there. She is attracted to younger men and also sees herself as 6 years younger because she "lost" those years due to cancer. So, in her mind, she is close to 26.)
I'm really bad at math, but if she's 39 and "lost" six years to cancer, that would make her 33, not 26.

It sounds like she has her mind made up, and you're not going to be able to convince her otherwise.
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#19 of 25 Old 01-15-2010, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm really bad at math, but if she's 39 and "lost" six years to cancer, that would make her 33, not 26.

It sounds like she has her mind made up, and you're not going to be able to convince her otherwise.
Yeah, that came up in my head when we were talking. In addition, my recollection is that her cancer was dx 5 yrs ago, but she kept saying "lost 6 years," so I was quiet about it.

DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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#20 of 25 Old 01-15-2010, 07:08 PM
 
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Not at all related to vaccines, but if I was a 39 (or 33 or 26) year old virgin and saving myself for marriage I would only marry someone who was also a virgin. Could you discuss that with her? If both were virgins and there was no adultery, there would be no way she could get the sexually transmitted hpv, right?

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#21 of 25 Old 01-15-2010, 07:26 PM
 
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Not at all related to vaccines, but if I was a 39 (or 33 or 26) year old virgin and saving myself for marriage I would only marry someone who was also a virgin. Could you discuss that with her? If both were virgins and there was no adultery, there would be no way she could get the sexually transmitted hpv, right?
Well, it depends on your definition of "virgin." If you've done everything but have intercourse, you could still have or receive a sexually transmitted disease.
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#22 of 25 Old 01-16-2010, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Not at all related to vaccines, but if I was a 39 (or 33 or 26) year old virgin and saving myself for marriage I would only marry someone who was also a virgin. Could you discuss that with her? If both were virgins and there was no adultery, there would be no way she could get the sexually transmitted hpv, right?
Ya know, I thought that, too. I was surprised when she acknowledged that her potential marital partner may have had sex before.

DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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#23 of 25 Old 01-16-2010, 06:56 PM
 
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Plus, HPV can be transmitted from mother to child, if the mother happens to be a carrier at the time the baby is born. Apparently most kids clear it, but not all of them, so there is always a bit of an unknown factor. Virginity alone is no guarantee of freedom from HPV. Since the vaccine is riskier for anyone who happens to be carrying one of the vaccine included bugs...
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#24 of 25 Old 01-17-2010, 09:03 PM
 
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Not at all related to vaccines, but if I was a 39 (or 33 or 26) year old virgin and saving myself for marriage I would only marry someone who was also a virgin. Could you discuss that with her? If both were virgins and there was no adultery, there would be no way she could get the sexually transmitted hpv, right?
off topic:
I was a virgin when I married, but it never occurred to me to put "must be a virgin" in my criteria for a husband. I ended up marrying a widower, so I'm glad I didn't limit myself. Seems like your chances (especially at age 39) of marrying someone widowed or divorced (or just "experienced") would be pretty high.
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#25 of 25 Old 01-18-2010, 03:39 PM
 
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I have to say that I'm know you are discussing your friend with the best intent, but I would be more than a little hurt if one of my friends was discussing my sex life or lack thereof on an internet forum.
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