Genital Warts and Pregnancy

If you are pregnant with genital warts you must make your physician or gynecologist aware of your situation and seek appropriate treatment.  HPV bumps are increasingly common, affecting more than five million people every year within the United States alone.  Many of those affected with genital warts are pregnant women.

Genital Warts are typically caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which can be transmitted by skin contact in the genital area from an infected individual. Genital Warts are a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can take months or years to become a visible problem.  An individual may be infected with HPV and be unaware of it, thus passing the infection to others. Since an HPV infection is so difficult to detect, many women are not aware they have genital warts prior to becoming pregnant. A gynecological exam may be the first time genital warts are discovered.

For those who are not infected, vaccines that protect against HPV and genital warts as well as helping to prevent cervical cancer exist.  It is recommended that women be vaccinated against HPV as well as to reduce the risk of cervical cancer.   Gardasil and Cervarix are the two most well known HPV vaccines.

Pregnant women who have genital warts or HPV bumps often experience the distressing fact that outbreaks often become worse during pregnancy. This occurs because the body’s immune program is naturally suppressed during pregnancy, making you more vulnerable to viruses and infections. This often causes the genital warts to become larger.  Of course, removing genital warts is possible, but that does not eliminate the problem.
There are several reasons why genital warts during pregnancy pose a more serious problem than in the general population at large.  HPV Genital warts and pregnancy is a serious situation that must be properly treated in consulation with your obstretician.

HPV Genital Warts Treatment and Pregnancy

First, HPV treatment options for genital warts for expectant mothers isn’t the same as that prescribed for other individuals due to potential harm some medications can have on the unborn child. Pregnant women during their period during pregnancy shouldn’t use any over the counter medication for genital warts without consulting a doctor. The reason for this is that the majority of over the counter genital wart treatment products contain salicylic acid.  Salicylic acid can be harmful to the fetus. In addition, some prescription treatments for genital warts and HPV bumps such as pondofilox, have the potential to cause birth defects as the chemicals can be absorbed through the skin.

Giving Birth With Genital Warts

Secondly, it is possible for the unborn child to become infected with genital HPV warts which is a potentially fatal situation for a newborn known as laryngeal papillomatosis. Symptoms of laryngeal papillomatosis could take as 3 many years to appear following birth. This condition develops when genital warts occur within either mouth or throat of the child. The virus is transmitted during birth via the infected birth canal of the mother. The moist, warm environment of the mouth and throat provide an ideal atmosphere for the HPV virus.

HPV warts may then multiply unnoticed until it’s too late. An infant who is infected with laryngeal papillomatosis usually requires laser surgery to eliminate the warts and prevent them from blocking the airway.

Your physician or obstetrician should be your best source of information on how to deal with HPV bumps or genital warts during pregnancy. Your physician knows the details of your particular situation and will be able to help you develop a HPV wart treatment strategy that’s appropriate for your situation.  There are many women with genital warts during pregnancy who have delivered healthy babies with no HPV genital warts infection.