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What is pregnancy like with HPV?

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No link has been found between HPV and miscarriage, premature delivery, or other pregnancy complications.

Also, the risk of transmitting the virus to your baby is considered very low.

If you test positive for the high-risk types of HPV associated with cervical cancer, your doctor will monitor you during your pregnancy to watch for cervical tissue changes. You should let her doctor know if you've had surgical treatment of her cervix.

In some pregnant women with HPV, the tissue changes may increase during pregnancy. If possible, doctors postpone treatment, because it may lead to premature labor.

If a pregnant woman has genital warts, the doctor will monitor to see if the warts get larger. Hormone changes during pregnancy can cause the warts to multiply or get larger. Sometimes the warts will bleed.

Depending on the extent of the warts, the doctor may postpone treatment until after childbirth. But if the warts get so big that they might cause an obstruction in the vagina, they may need to be removed before childbirth.

Genital warts can be removed surgically, with chemical treatment, or with electric current.

From: HPV and Pregnancy WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:  Barbara Levy, MD, medical director, St. Francis Women's Health Center, Federal Way, Wash. Diane Harper, MD, MPH, professor of community and family medicine and obstetrics and gynecology, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, N.H. American Social Health Association fact sheets: "HPV Myths and Misconceptions;" "HPV Cervical Dysplasia Questions & Answers;""HPV Genital Warts Q and A;" and "HPV." National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases fact sheet: "Human Papillomavirus and Genital Warts." American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Practice Bulletin, "Clinical Management Guidelines for Obstetrician-Gynecologists," Number 61, April 2005. Alan Waxman, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on September 17, 2018

SOURCES:  Barbara Levy, MD, medical director, St. Francis Women's Health Center, Federal Way, Wash. Diane Harper, MD, MPH, professor of community and family medicine and obstetrics and gynecology, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, N.H. American Social Health Association fact sheets: "HPV Myths and Misconceptions;" "HPV Cervical Dysplasia Questions & Answers;""HPV Genital Warts Q and A;" and "HPV." National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases fact sheet: "Human Papillomavirus and Genital Warts." American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Practice Bulletin, "Clinical Management Guidelines for Obstetrician-Gynecologists," Number 61, April 2005. Alan Waxman, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on September 17, 2018

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What is childbirth like if you have HPV?

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