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HPV and Pregnancy

HPV and Childbirth continued...

Most of the time, a baby born to a woman with genital warts does not have HPV-related complications. In very rare cases, a baby born to a woman who has genital warts will develop warts in the throat. This serious condition is called respiratory papillomatosis and requires frequent laser surgery to prevent the warts from blocking the baby's breathing passages.

And even if the mother has a type of HPV virus that has caused cervical cancer, the baby can be delivered safely.

Experts disagree about the value of a cesarean section in trying to prevent HPV transmission from mother to newborn baby. Some say it could offer some protection against HPV for the baby. But because babies rarely get HPV during childbirth -- and can clear the infection on their own -- the risks of surgery don't outweigh the possible benefit, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Managing HPV After Childbirth

If a Pap test was abnormal during pregnancy, the doctor will likely do another Pap test a few weeks after childbirth. Sometimes, the cervical cell changes go away after childbirth and no treatment is needed.

Sometimes, genital warts also go away. If not, the doctor may recommend treatment after childbirth.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Debbie Bridges, MD on August 02, 2012

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