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HSR Research > HPV and pregnancy

HPV and pregnancy

There are a lot of questions about HPV and pregnancy. HPV is a virus which infects skin and mucosal membranes and cause abnormal cell changes. A common manifestation of HPV infection is the presence of warts. Warts are benign growths of tissue that can appear on the hands, feet, face and other parts of the body. Warts that occur in the genital area are called condylomas. Some types of HPV may also be associated with precancerous and cancerous conditions, like cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer. 

Usually HPV-induced lesions appear when the immune system is weakened. Normally, immune protective mechanisms do not let the virus reproduce itself and cause damages to cells. There are a lot of conditions that contribute to the development of diseases associated with HPV and pregnancy is one of them. During pregnancy the immune system is weakened, so there is less protection against HPV-related diseases. 

In most pregnant women HPV does not cause many problems. However, if a woman gets pregnant and she knows she is infected by HPV, she should talk about HPV and pregnancy with her doctor. Also, if the sexual partner of a pregnant woman has genital warts or other HPV-related problems, it is better to tell about it to the health care provider. HPV-infected women may require more medical attention in order to prevent possible complications. 

In some cases, relatively rare, women experience several problems related to HPV and pregnancy. In the period of pregnancy, warts may grow and increase in size. Genital warts, especially cervical and vaginal condylomas, may cause some complications during pregnancy or at the time of delivery. Sometimes HPV infection is transmitted from infected mother to newborn during childbirth, but in most of cases it disappears within several months, without causing any harm to the baby.

HPV-infected women need to know more facts about HPV-related diseases, their possible complications during pregnancy, diagnostic methods and treatment options. Preventive measures help to ensure the good health of the mother and the fetus. Pregnant women can find a lot of information about HPV and pregnancy on medical sites, but it is also strongly recommended to consult their individual obstetrician.  

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HPV
Cervical Dysplasia
Genital Warts
Plantar Warts
Genital Herpes
Oral Herpes
Other Conditions


Dr. Joe Glickman, Jr., M.D.

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