Can HPV Cause Difficulties During Pregnancy?

difficulties during pregnancy caused by HPV

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common STI. If you are pregnant, you may have concerns. There are possible difficulties during pregnancy caused by HPV, but in general, they are not that serious.

First, if you are trying to get pregnant, you shouldn’t have difficulties conceiving. But, if you are already pregnant you may experience some changes in your existing genital warts. Since estrogen levels rise when you are pregnant, existing warts may bleed, multiply, or get bigger.

Treatment for existing or active warts is usually postponed until after delivery. There are risks like infection and bleeding. So, your doctor will be hesitant to treat them until afterward. However, if you are asymptomatic, or don’t show symptoms, HPV should not impact your pregnancy.

Next, delivering your baby when you have HPV is slightly riskier. If you are concerned about passing the infection onto your baby, don’t worry. It generally doesn’t happen. Unless you have active warts. If you do, there is a chance you may pass the virus to your child.

If the child does become infected, they may get laryngeal papillomas. These are warts on the throat. If the child develops this condition, it could be potentially dangerous because it will affect child’s breathing.

Additionally, another risk if you have active warts is if they grow big enough to obstruct the birth canal. Either case is rare and dependent on your having active genital warts. But, it is possible that your doctor will suggest a cesarean delivery anyway. This will protect your baby’s health and lower the chances of HPV impacting delivery.

Finally, it’s highly unlikely you will pass the HPV infection along to your baby. But, if you are still concerned you can discuss it with your obstetrician.

Final Thoughts

There may be a chance of difficulties during pregnancy caused by HPV. However, if you are not showing symptoms, you have little to worry about. Chances of complications only increase with active genital warts.