Can human papillomavirus vaccination during pregnancy result in miscarriage and stillbirth? A meta-analysis and systematic review

Dousti R., Allahqoli L., KOCATÜRK A., Hakimi S.

European Journal of Midwifery, vol.7, no.April, 2023 (Scopus) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 7 Issue: April
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.18332/ejm/161793
  • Journal Name: European Journal of Midwifery
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Keywords: vaccination, HPV, pregnancy, miscarriage, stillbirth
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


INTRODUCTION Contradictory results regarding the safety of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination during pregnancy have been obtained, which has cast doubt on the use of this method. This review and meta-analysis were conducted to evaluate the safety of HPV vaccination during pregnancy. METHODS Complying with the inclusion and exclusion criteria, we searched Web of Science, Scopus, Medline, EMBASE, PubMed and Google Scholar databases for articles published in the past decade using the following keywords: ‘papilloma human virus’, ‘HPV vaccine’, ‘pregnancy’ and ‘safety and prevention’. The minimum report quality of the articles was 16 based on the STROBE checklist. RESULTS Seven articles were included in the study, three of which were included in the meta-analysis, and the rest were reviewed systematically. The results of the meta-analysis showed that vaccination against HPV during pregnancy or around this period does not increase the risk of miscarriage (RR=2.01; 95% CI: 0.66–6.13) and stillbirth (RR=2.02: 95% CI: 0.65–6.27). No significant difference between miscarriage and stillbirth was observed in women vaccinated against HPV versus those not vaccinated. CONCLUSIONS The study of 1380424 individuals showed that HPV vaccination during pregnancy is better postponed until after this period. However, no significant evidence was found to indicate that vaccination was dangerous and unsafe during pregnancy. Further studies are needed to draw a more definitive conclusion