Skip to content

    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.

    ByHealthwise Staff
    Primary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
    Specialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

    Current as ofNovember 14, 2014

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    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
    Article
     
    Get The STD Picture
    Feature
    cancer cell
    Slideshow
     

    WebMD Special Sections