An alarm has been sounded over one of the three vaccines that are approved for use in Canada for human papillamvirus (HPV), one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Canada and worldwide.

Gardasil, one of two vaccines recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (the other being Cervarix), has been linked to the serious condition of premature ovarian failure (POF), also known as premature menopause, by the American College of Pediatricians (The College), in a new report titled “New Concerns about the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine” issued by Dr. Scott Field in January 2016.

Gardasil is provided free in B.C. to girls in Grade 6, and to girls and women born in ‘94 or later who missed the in-school vaccine — in order to prevent cervical and other cancers caused by HPV. On the B.C. government’s ImmunizeBC website, the HPV vaccines it advocates for (both Gardasil and Cervarix) are touted as safe thanks to extensive clinical studies proving this before the vaccines were approved in Canada.

But the College is not so confident. According to its report, “there are legitimate concerns that should be addressed” Namely, that the vaccines’ impact on long-term ovarian health has never been assessed and, since 2006, the overwhelming majority of reports with ovarian failure, premature menopause, and/or amenorrhea are associated solely with Gardasil (Cervarix to a much lesser degree).

Nor has the use of hormonal contraceptives, which can mask ovarian dysfunction, ever been properly taken into account during what are not appearing to be clearly inadequate safety trials.

While the College has posted its statement as a warning only because they no strong evidence, only concerns, but the message is clear: by getting the vaccine, you, your daughter or granddaughter, could be trading in one risk for another.