Can A Woman With Genital Warts Have A Baby?

Maybe you've known for a while that you have the HPV virus (Human Papillomavirus) that can cause genital warts and which can lead to cervical cancer. You've been dealing with the issues relating to this STD (sexually transmitted disease) as they come up: How do I tell my partner? Am I contagious when there are no warts? Do condoms work?

Is it safe for you to have a baby?

You're finding that the answers are not very clear and that there are a variety of opinions even among medical experts. Now, you've gotten past those early, scary days, and you're in a committed relationship. HPV has not stopped your biological clock from ticking. But you wonder, is it safe for you to have a baby?

In a pregnancy, there are two people to consider: mother and baby. In HPV, both are at risk, and this should be kept in mind when considering the possibility of pregnancy. The thrust of this article discusses the risk to the pregnant woman with HPV.

Pregnancy and HPV

Pregnancy has the tendency to suppress the immune system, and as a result, pregnant women often find that their HPV symptoms worsen during pregnancy. The immune system protects you from viruses and infections. When the immune system is suppressed, the warts associated with the HPV virus can grow faster and become quite large. There are other factors associated with pregnancy that can cause vaginal warts to grow. Extra vaginal moisture that is present during pregnancy, which provides a warm, moist growing environment, along with the hormonal changes of pregnancy can speed the growth of genital warts.

Many Women Are Unaware They Have The Virus Until Pregnancy Brings On Symptoms

In fact, many women are unaware they have the virus until pregnancy brings on symptoms. Cases have been reported in which genital warts grow so large they block the birth canal. There is also a concern that warts will tear and bleed during the birth process. Some physicians opt to perform caesarian sections on women who have genital warts, even if there is no large warts or the risk of excessive bleeding during birth.

Treating vaginal warts during pregnancy can be tricky because of the risk some medications pose to the unborn child. However, there are proven methods of treatment that can be used safely during pregnancy. Your physician might, for example, decide to remove the troublesome warts by laser or electrocautery. She also might decide to remove them with a special acid solution, or freeze the warts with a liquid nitrogen solution.