5 Signs And Symptoms Of HPV During Pregnancy You Should Be Aware Of

hpv and pregnancy

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During pregnancy, you tend to be extra cautious about everything. Be it the diet, health or infections, you will get easily worried even with those uncomfortable minor ailments. Sexually transmitted diseases are not far off if you have an active sexual life during pregnancy. A lot depends on the types of infections contracted and the seriousness of their impact on your baby while pregnant.

One of the most common infections is HPV or human papillomavirus. The severity of this infection when not treated on time can lead to the development of cervical cancer. It is very important to understand the signs and symptoms of HPV and start the treatment immediately.

Transmission Of HPV – General Facts:

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease. Here are some common facts you should know about the same:

  • Around 40 different types of HPV are prevalent that are known to infect male and female genital areas.
  • Apart from vaginal and anal intercourse, in some cases, the infection is also transmitted during oral sex through the throat and mouth.
  • HPV mostly do not show specific symptoms and different infected people may show varying health symptoms.
  • The transmission is also possible in between partners of the same sex during genital-to-genital contact.
  • Since there are no visible symptoms, people do not know that they are passing on the infection to their sex partners.
  • One person can acquire more than one type of HPV infection.

[ Read: Oral Sex During Pregnancy ]

Transmission Of HPV – From Mother To Baby:

Very rarely the virus is transmitted to the baby through the mother at the time of birth.

  • In case the baby gets infected through mother at the time of delivery, the child will acquire a rare condition known as RRP or Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis.
  • In this condition, a wart develops in the throat of the child.

Getting Pregnant With HPV History:

If you have a history of HPV infection and want to conceive, then it is advisable that you consult your caregiver first.

  • You should tell her everything about the infection.
  • Tell her about the treatment you had before consulting her.
  • Also discuss the symptoms if you have been suffering from, such as genital warts, changes within the cervix and more.

[ Read: Gonorrhea During Pregnancy ]

HPV And Its Effects On Unborn Baby:

HPV (Human papillomavirus) is a sexually transmitted disease that forms skin lesions in the form of warts. Most mothers are concerned that once they have HPV during pregnancy, their unborn baby is at risk.

  • It has to be noted that HPV does not impact your growing baby inside the uterus in any way.
  • There has been no link found between HPV and miscarriage, premature birth or any other pregnancy related complications.
  • The possibility of HPV transmitting to your baby is also very minimal.
  • Some babies rarely get HPV during childbirth that they clear out on their own.
  • In high risk cases, an infection manifests in the form of a respiratory papillomatosis that may require a laser surgery.
  • Even though your baby is not at risk, it does not mean that you are not. Untreated HPV infection that grows can lead to cervical cancer.

Signs And Symptoms Of HPV:

It is important to watch out for those early signs and symptoms of HPV to get the treatment. The signs of HPV pregnancy mainly being the formation of warts in or around the following areas:

  1. Vulva (outer female genital area)
  2. Vagina
  3. Anus
  4. Groin
  5. Cervix

Diagnosis For HPV Infection:

HPV test during pregnancy is highly recommended. Your doctor will do one or all of the following tests to confirm the presence of HPV and the possible cancer cells:

1. Pap Test: Your doctor will remove a sample of cells from your cervix area and examine them under microscope. High risk HPV associated with cervical cancer is then diagnosed.

2. Colposcopy: A colposcope is used to shine the light and magnify the view on cervix. A vinegar solution is then placed on the lining of cervix that turns the abnormal cells infected with HPV into another color.

3. DNA Test: A DNA test is done on the sample of cells collected from the cervix and analysed for the presence of cancer.

Treatment For HPV During Pregnancy:

At present, no permanent cure for the HPV problem has been found.

  • People who are naturally immune to this virus are saved from its onset.
  • People who get infected by this virus have to face the symptoms and treat the warts by freezing, surgery, chemicals, laser or burning.2

Here are the types of treatment as per your stages:

a. Treatment Of HPV: 

During Pregnancy:Your doctor will postpone the treatment of HPV until your delivery, so that you have less complications of preterm labor. Meanwhile you will be under observation and monitored for the following:

  • Researchers have found out that 70% cervical cancer cases have been caused due to the presence of HPV.
  • In case you are diagnosed with high risk HPV cancer, your doctor will start monitoring your cervix more closely for any kind of tissue changes.
  • You will also be regularly checked on the warts to confirm if they are growing in number. Sometimes, these warts may also bleed due to hormonal changes.
  • In case your warts are growing in number and obstructing the vagina, they will be removed via chemical treatment or with painless electric current.
  • In case of cervical cancer, your doctor will make sure that you will have a safe labor, before proceeding with necessary treatment that is done only after childbirth.

b. Treatment Of HPV: After Childbirth:

After your delivery, a second pap test is performed.

  • This second test is done to check the extent of infection and a necessary treatment to go with it.
  • Most times, the genital warts go away after childbirth when you are not at high risk.
  • Your doctor will take a call on the type of treatment based on the seriousness of the infection in your cervix.

c. Prevention Through Vaccination:

As per the recent studies, over 30 HPV infections cannot be prevented by any health measure. 2There are only some types of HPV such as 18, 16 and 11, whih can be cured by using Gardasil vaccine.


  • While sexual intercourse and physical intimacy is allowed in most pregnancies, you need to be careful to ensure that you take all necessary precautions.
  • It is important to take adequate precautions and undergo necessary treatment to rule out the possibility of cervical cancer.
  • Talk to your health care provider on more details on the HPV infection and the possible options in case of high risk diagnosis.

Enjoy your time with your partner, but remember to be safe too. Share your thoughts and experiences on HPV and pregnancy facts with other readers in the comment box below.

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