Pregnancy and the HPV Vaccine: Is It Safe?

Question: Pregnancy and the HPV Vaccine: Is It Safe?

Is is safe for a woman who is pregnant to get the HPV vaccine, Gardasil?

Answer: It is not recommended that pregnant women receive the HPV vaccine, Gardasil. Although research suggests that the vaccine does not cause harm to the pregnancy or fetus, the research is limited. In animal studies, Gardasil did not appear to affect the fetus. However, no human studies have been performed.

The FDA has assigned Gardasil as a "Pregnancy Category B" drug. This means that during animal studies, no harm appeared to be caused to the fetus, but no well-controlled studies have been performed in pregnant humans.

If you have received the vaccine and were unaware that you were pregnant, let your doctor know. This is certainly not a cause for aborting the pregnancy or additional medical tests. Your doctor may want to report the pregnancy to Merck (the vaccine's manufacturer), who has a registry set up to track the outcomes of women exposed to Gardasil during pregnancy.

Pregnant women should avoid the vaccine, even if doses of the three-part series have been given. The remaining doses of the vaccine can be resumed after pregnancy.


"Sexually Transmitted Diseases." HPV and HPV Vaccine - Information for Healthcare Providers. Aug 2006. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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