HPV vaccine survivors in the Czech Republic
Three different women in the Czech Republic have similar experiences after deciding to protect themselves from cervical cancer by using Silgard or Cervarix. (Note: Gardasil and Silgard are the same product marketed under different names depending on which country it is being sold in.)
Petra from Plzen, Czech Republic
I was inoculated with three doses of Gardasil (Silgard) in 2009. My gynaecologist believed this was an excellent vaccine for cervical cancer prevention and supported my decision to get it. Until these shots my cervical screening tests had always come back normal.
After the shots this changed rapidly. It was not long after the shots that my pap smears began getting worse. Less than three years later I developed grade CIN 3 (PAP IV A) severe dysplasia on my cervix and I had to undergo a conisation surgery to remove the part of my cervix that was affected.
Six months later I had another pap test done which showed grade CIN 1 (PAP III D) and I underwent another conisation surgery which left me with 1/3 of my cervix.
I was advised to have children as soon as possible and that I might not be able to have any if I delayed for too long.
It is clear that my cervix started changing from healthy to cancerous once I had been vaccinated with Silgard. I had a long-term relationship with the same person prior and after the vaccinations so it would be unlikely that the cancer developed because of me or my partner.
We’ve never discussed the link with my gynaecologist so it is likely that this vaccine is still being promoted by her.
Michaela from Olomouc, Czech Republic
I am 29 years old and was vaccinated with Cervarix in 2008 at age 23. I was advised to get vaccinated by my dad as he wanted the best for me. We had to pay for the vaccine privately because this vaccine is not part of the national immunisation programme in my country.
I have always been healthy and I did not suffer from any problems. I had a baby in December 2012 via c-section. During my postnatal examination I was informed that there was something wrong with my cervix.
In the spring of 2014 I was told that my cervical screening results came back abnormal showing cervical dysplasia between CIN 2 and CIN 3.
After further tests I have been informed that apart from other viruses present on my cervix there were also the ones contained in the vaccine, namely HPV types 16 and 18. It is apparent that the vaccine did not protect me against HPV types 16 and 18.
In the autumn of 2014 I underwent a biopsy and a month later conisation was performed. My health is fine for now but nobody knows what may happen in the future.
Jana from Brno, Czech Republic
I was vaccinated with Silgard (Gardasil) in 2007 at the age of 47. I was diagnosed with HPV virus type 16 at the time and both my gynaecologist and internal medicine doctors agreed that this vaccine would be appropriate for me as it would stop the virus from causing cancer in the future.
Since the vaccination my immune system started to deteriorate. In 2008 I ended up with trigeminal neuralgia twice and also intercostals neuralgia.
A year later in 2009 I developed phlebothrombosis and started feeling more tired each day. I have also been suffering from candida type of infections that are difficult to get rid of and they keep coming back.
In 2011 I developed trigeminal neuralgia again and I ended up off sick for the whole year.
In December 2012 I nearly collapsed from high fever, headache and joint and muscle pains. Since then I feel exhausted all the time and suffer from a lot of pain in my muscles, joints and in fact the whole body aches. I have serious neurological problems and some of my nerves are damaged.
I also developed a grade three pre-cancerous vulvar dysplasia and had vulvectomy surgery in December 2014. I am waiting to have another surgery for laser excision and vaporization and also curettage of the uterus in March 2015 in Prague, the Czech Republic.
Apart from these issues I have also suffered from insomnia and gastroenterological problems since the vaccination.
I have been unable to work since November 2013 due to extreme tiredness and pain. Of course, my doctors do not seem to see any link between the vaccine and my injuries. I am certain that these problems have been caused by Silgard vaccine.
Prior to being inoculated I had a successful career as a Manager for an overseas company but today I am potentially permanently off work on a disability benefit which is not great. I hope to work in the future as the benefit does not cover my living expenses but there is a big unanswered question whether I will ever be able to as I suffer from a lot of serious problems