HPV and Pregnancy 

Image of mother and baby

The first thing to remember is It’s crucial to inform your OB/GYN if you have HPV. In most cases, the developing baby won’t be harmed by the HPV virus, despite the concerns of pregnant women who have the virus. Furthermore, the treatment given to pregnant women who have an HPV infection—which can cause genital warts or abnormal Pap smears—is typically unaffected by this condition

What women should know about HPV and pregnancy is provided below. To make sure they are not contaminated with the virus, women trying to get pregnant can inquire as to whether they require a specific HPV test.

Any abnormalities on your routine Pap test will prompt your doctor to perform additional HPV testing.  When a woman becomes pregnant, if she hasn’t had her annual screening, a Pap test will be performed at the first prenatal appointment. The doctor will order additional tests if it reveals any abnormalities.

An HPV test could be one of the additional tests. Cervical cancer and HPV are closely linked. In order to properly examine the cervix for any abnormal tissue changes, the doctor may also choose to perform a colposcopy.

Trying to Get Pregnant With HPV

Women who have experienced HPV should make sure their doctor is aware of this. If they have a history of genital warts, tissue changes in the cervix (like an abnormal Pap test), a history of medical procedure for an abnormal Pap, or any other issues, they should disclose this to their doctor. Their doctor will want to keep a close eye on the pregnancy and stay on top of any rapid cell changes.

Pregnant With HPV

There is no connection between HPV and miscarriage, premature birth, or other pregnancy-related issues. Additionally, there is very little chance of spreading the virus to the unborn child. The doctor will keep an eye out for changes in cervical tissue if a pregnant woman tests positive for the high-risk HPV types linked to cervical cancer. If they have had their cervix surgically treated, they should also tell their doctor.

The tissue changes in pregnant HPV-positive women may intensify throughout the pregnancy. Doctors delay treatment whenever possible because it could trigger early labor. When a pregnant patient has genital warts, the doctor will keep an eye on them to see if they grow in size.

Pregnancy-related hormonal changes can result in warts growing or multiplying. Warts occasionally bleed. The doctor may defer treatment until after childbirth, depending on the severity of warts. However, warts might need to be removed prior to childbirth if they grow to such a size that they could obstruct the vagina. Warts on the genitalia can be removed surgically, chemically, or electrically.

HPV and Childbirth

There is very little chance that HPV in childbirth will result in the virus being transmitted to the newborn during delivery. Even if infants do contract the HPV virus, their bodies typically rid themselves of it.

The majority of the time, an infant born to a mother with genital warts do not experience complications from HPV. Very rarely, a baby born to a woman with genital warts will also have throat warts. Respiratory papillomatosis is a serious condition that necessitates routine laser surgery to keep warts from obstructing the baby’s airways. Additionally, the baby can be delivered safely even if the mother carries an HPV virus that has been linked to cervical cancer.

Managing HPV After Childbirth

You doctor will probably perform another Pap test a few weeks after childbirth if a Pap test during pregnancy reveals an abnormality. After childbirth, the cervical cell changes may occasionally disappear without the need for treatment. Genital warts can also disappear on occasion. If not, your doctor might suggest postpartum care.