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Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection During Pregnancy


Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection During Pregnancy

A pregnant woman who has human papillomavirus (HPV) is more likely to develop genital warts than a woman with HPV who is not pregnant.

  • Genital warts may increase in size, bleed, or become infected with bacteria.
  • In rare cases, genital warts may affect the birth canal. In these cases, a cesarean delivery, or C-section, may be needed to prevent bleeding that could result from tearing the warts during a vaginal delivery.

Treatment may be recommended to prevent complications during the pregnancy. The following treatments are safe for a pregnant woman who has genital warts:

During a vaginal delivery, a woman can transmit the HPV infection to her baby, although this is very rare. The baby may develop growths in his or her throat (laryngeal papillomas) rather than genital warts. Because HPV can be present but not active (latent), it is possible for warts that were transmitted during delivery to appear up to 3 years after the baby is born.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last RevisedJune 21, 2012

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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