Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

HPV/Genital Warts Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

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:

  • Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and bichloroacetic acid (BCA)
  • Cryotherapy
  • Laser therapy
  • Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP)
  • Surgical removal by electrocautery or excision

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.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last Revised June 21, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 21, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Today on WebMD

HPV Vaccine Future
Article
STD Overview
Slideshow
 
STD Facts Quiz
Quiz
Syringes and graph illustration
Tool
 
Sex Drive Killers
Slideshow
Genital Herpes Risks Quiz
Quiz
 
Young couple holding hands
Quiz
Herpes Vaccine Study
Video
 
Condom Quiz
Quiz
HPV Symptoms Tests
Medical Reference
 
Get The STD Picture
Feature
mother and daughter talking
Tool
 

WebMD Special Sections