Make The Right Choices For You And Your Child

If you have HPV (Human Papillomavirus) and are considering pregnancy, you might be wondering how HPV could affect the baby. It's wise to learn as much as you can about the disease process and how it can affect your pregnancy. It's also smart to wonder how pregnancy can affect the course of your HPV infection. Armed with information, you can are better able to make the right choices for you and your child.

Podofilox Can Cause Birth Defects

It is true that when genital warts are present during pregnancy or during birth, these can cause the fetus or infant to contract the HPV disease.  Yet, despite this risk, it is important to realize that some medications prescribed for treating vaginal warts should not be used during pregnancy since many contain salicylic acid, a substance dangerous to the unborn child. Never take an over the counter treatment for vaginal warts during pregnancy without consulting your obstetrician. And please tell your doctor if you suspect you might be pregnant, because at least one prescription medication for warts, Podofilox, can cause birth defects.

Your Baby and HPV 

The risk of your baby catching HPV from you, though quite real, is very small. The vulnerability of your baby to the contagion of HPV is associated with only 2 strains out of some 30 known strains of HPV; strains 6 and 11. Even if your baby becomes infected with HPV, genital wart symptoms in children can be dormant for a period of up to three years after birth. However, keep in mind that many thousands of women infected with the HPV virus, even those with active genital warts during pregnancy and birth have given birth to babies who are born completely free of the disease.

If your baby does contract symptomatic HPV at birth, he may develop warts on the genitals or in the throat. This situation is not very common. Laser surgery is usually needed to remove warts found in the throat, a condition known as respiratory papillomatosis, since these warts can obstruct a child's airway.

Some doctors prefer caesarian delivery in mothers with active symptoms of the HPV infection. Still, this type of delivery, while offering some protection, is not a guarantee that your baby will not contract the disease.  In addition, a caesarian may not be the best option since the risk of your baby contracting respiratory papillomatosis during a natural birth is smaller than the general risks associated with complications from a caesarian delivery.