Genital warts in pregnancy is a common problem for every women. Genital warts can grow and flourish and become easily irritated during pregnancy due to increased vascularity and altered immunity. However, in most cases, they may resolve on their own after childbirth without any treatment.
It is obvious for every woman to worry about the consequences that genital warts might have on their baby or the birth. Good news is that, HPV does not affect a woman’s fertility or ability to carry a pregnancy to term. This means that HPV in pregnancy doesn’t affect your risk of miscarriage, premature delivery or other pregnancy related complications. If a pregnant woman wants the warts to be removed, it is her choice, but genital warts do not require any special treatments during pregnancy. However it is very important to inform your doctor about your genital warts so your doctor can monitor them for any changes that could affect the birth process.
It is estimated that the risk of transmission of the virus to the baby is very low. Cesarean delivery is not always necessary in case of genital warts (only in few cases where warts grows abruptly and block the vaginal passage). In extreme rare cases of vaginal delivery a baby can develop warts in the throat called as respiratory papillomatosis which can be treated with laser surgery. Most babies coming in contact with HPV during pregnancy or birth are usually able to overcome the virus. Your baby may initially show the presence of HPV, but this often disappears within a year.
Today genital warts is very prevalent among all population and races. It is estimated that 75-80% of sexually active population may acquire HPV sometime during their life. Most of the people are unaware or will never know they have virus as these individuals do not show any signs and symptoms. It’s our immune system that keeps the virus under control or destroys it. HPV may only show-up when your body immune system is low. As in case of a pregnant woman, immune system is already somewhat compromised as her body needs to provide immune for another life in addition to hers.
Final notes, HPV often get worse during pregnancy as your immune system is suppressed in pregnancy. However there is no any documented research claiming HPV specific complications during pregnancy. Few complications that people talk about may usually be due to other associated diseases that go undiagnosed. Also, the risk of transmission from mother to child is very low. Just make sure you do a regular follow-up with your doctor and let him know any changes in your condition. As far as treatment is concern, some doctors recommends treating it during pregnancy, while others suggest waiting till delivery as in many cases they go away after child birth.