Pregnant with HPV
In the majority of cases HPV infection does not cause many problems in pregnant women. However, if a woman is pregnant with HPV she should talk about it with her health care provider. It is important to note that if the male partner of a pregnant woman has condylomas or other HPV-associated problems, it is also recommended to explain this to the doctor. HPV-positive women may require a closer medical surveillance during pregnancy in order to avoid possible complications.
Women that get pregnant with HPV usually have many questions about possible HPV-related problems. HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) is a very prevalent infection among sexually active people. This virus has an ability to trigger abnormal growths on skin or mucosal membranes. A typical manifestation of HPV infection is the appearance of different kinds of warts: plantar warts, flat warts, genital warts (condylomas), etc. There are some HPV strains that can initiate premalignant and malignant diseases, for example, dysplasia and cancer of the cervix.
Normally, our immune system can identify viral antigens and it uses different mechanisms to recognize and eliminate the virus. Different conditions may lower immune protection and it allows the infection to develop and cause health problems. During pregnancy a woman’s immune system is weaker, so those pregnant with HPV are more likely to develop HPV-related diseases.
Most often, even during pregnancy, HPV infection is asymptomatic. But in some cases women pregnant with HPV may experience several problems. If a woman had warts before getting pregnant, during pregnancy these warts may grow. Cervical and vaginal warts can cause problems in the period of pregnancy or during the delivery. Relatively rarely HPV can be passed from mother to the baby at the time of delivery, but the infection goes away in the majority of cases on its own within several months.
HPV-positive pregnant women should know more about HPV infection and related conditions, possible problems during pregnancy, screening tests and treatment. This information may help to prevent possible complications and ensure the healthy development of the fetus. It is possible to get the information about HPV and the course of pregnancy from health care providers and on different websites. Women that are pregnant with HPV should necessarily undergo regular check-ups, consult their individual obstetrician and follow all the doctor’s recommendations.