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HPV During Pregnancy - How Does It Affect You?

Written and reviewed by
MBBS, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Allahabad  •  34 years experience
HPV During Pregnancy - How Does It Affect You?

Human Papillomavirus is a disease caused by the sexually transmitted virus leading to cervical cancer and genital warts. It is estimated that as many as ten million people fall prey to this disease every year. While there are more than 100 varieties of HPV, there are close to 30 viruses that spread through sexual transmission. There are many Human Papillomaviruses that can affect the ability of a woman’s ability to get pregnant. There are viruses that can affect pregnancy as well. It is, therefore, important to understand the impact of Human Papillomavirus during pregnancy.

How does HPV affect a person during pregnancy?
It is not very difficult to get pregnant with Human Papillomavirus. However, there is an increased risk of the disease getting passed to the partner. A doctor should be consulted before conceiving. If a person is already suffering from HPV, she has a rising estrogen level that could make genital warts become larger bleed or even multiply very quickly. Since there is a greater tendency of infection and bleeding, doctors often recommend not to remove warts during pregnancy. If a person is suffering from HPV without any symptoms, the chances of pregnancy getting compromised are less likely.

How could HPV affect the baby?

For the most part, HPV doesn’t affect the baby, or the infection gets passed on. If a mother has active genital warts, there are possibilities of transmitting the infection to the baby. In this case, the baby might end up getting a wart on the throat leading to problems in breathing. Genital warts can also lead to blockage of the birth canal. In case of a mother suffering from active genital warts, most doctors prescribe cesarean delivery to safeguard baby’s health. There is no such treatment that can make warts go away. All a medical professional is left with is to monitor the outbreak of warts in the mother and the baby.

How does a pregnant lady know that she is suffering from HPV?
Genital warts are the most common symptoms of this condition. Warts might cause pain along with itchiness. In appearance, warts might occur as flat lesions, small bumps, and finger-like projections. It might appear on the cervix, vulva, vagina or surrounding areas of the anus. There are cases where there could be no symptoms at all. However, if warts are felt on any parts of the body, it is wise to consult a medical professional for further help. A doctor performs a pap smear to collect the cells of the cervix and decide whether a person is suffering from HPV. Treatments related to this condition revolve around the removal strategies of warts.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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