What's scarier: cancer or infertility?
You might do a double-take at the idea, but as a parent, it's a choice you may face when deciding whether or not to have your daughter vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common sexually transmitted virus, which can cause genital warts, cervical cancer and throat cancer.
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On the one hand, vaccines like Gardasil and Cervarix have been hailed as a medical must-have. The CDC recommends that all teenage girls get the shot to be protected against cancer that can appear 20 to 40 years later in life. In a new study, the CDC found that the infection rate in girls between the ages of 14 and 19 has dropped by 56 percent. It's a huge decrease that should have mothers lining up to get their daughters at the doctor's office, arms at the ready.
So what's stopping them? It may have something to do with how these vaccines have been targeted by the media as risky, even deadly. The government of Japan went so far this weekend as to withdraw all support of the vaccines after 1,968 adverse cases were presented detailing these side effects, which include seizures, paralysis, blindness, memory loss and even infertility.
Is there even an option besides getting the shot? Tara Kennedy-Kline, a mother and YourTango Expert says that considering the risks, she would not have her daughter vaccinated against cervical cancer.
"I believe kids are sicker today, because we weaken their immune systems instead of allowing them to strengthen through natural growth and exposure," she says. "I understand the passion of parents who have a history of cervical cancer in their family, however, my mother died of leukemia and my brother of heart disease, my husband and his siblings all have high blood pressure and cholesterol ... Yet, I would NOT have my boys vaccinated against those diseases. I would, instead, teach them that they are predisposed to them and therefore must pay more attention to how they feed and treat their bodies."
Kennedy-Kline explains her family prevents disease in their home by not smoking or using salt. By eating heart-healthy foods and exercising regularly, they stay healthy together. "In my opinion, if more parents paid as much attention to their kids diet and exercise as they do their vaccine schedule ... most of these drugs would be unnecessary," she says.
There seems to be no right or wrong answer. You might think the risk is worth it, but your doctor might tell you otherwise.
What side do you stand on? Sound off with your opinion in the comments below!
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