One of the beliefs associated with the condition is that in case of women, they are probably linked to pregnancy. So genital warts and pregnancy – is there a connection? Let’s investigate. Pregnant women, infected with HPV and suffering from genital warts, almost always run a high risk of transmitting this extremely contagious disease to the child. It is therefore highly advisable to treat the genital warts before the baby is delivered. Presence of genital warts during pregnancy sometimes leads to a number of problems.
The warts, during such times, often increase in size and make urinating difficult and even painful. Blame it on hormonal changes during pregnancy that cause genital warts to multiply in number, enlarge and even bleed.Genital warts and other types caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), are surprisingly common among men and women. But the reasons behind their attacks are still open to some degree of speculation. In such cases, it is advisable to seek the help of a health care provider who can provide relief.
What are Pregnancy Genital Warts?
External genital warts are generally caused by certain strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection that affects up to 75% of men and women who are sexually active. Often those who contract HPV will not know because it did not present symptoms and resolved on its own.
There are many strains of HPV, and some of them will result in the development of genital warts. These warts are very contagious and are easily spread from person to person via sexual activity. These warts will show up externally around the vagina, anus, in the rectum, or on the cervix. The warts are usually soft and skin-colored, varying in size. Aside from occasionally itching, burning or bleeding, the warts are usually painless.
For many women, the warts will resolve on their own and disappear within a few months. If this does not happen, treatment is effective in clearing the warts up. Some strains of HPV have been known to alter cells so much that cancer can result; however, this is not generally found in the strain of HPV linked to genital warts. Nonetheless, if you are sexually active, it is recommended you get regular Pap smears to assure your overall health.
If you have the strain of HPV that results in genital warts while pregnant, it is not likely to affect the health of your baby. Genital warts have been shown to grow faster during pregnancy due to discharge, as well as changes to in hormones and immune system. But genital warts during pregnancy are not generally considered to pose a serious risk to you or your baby.
There are some rare cases where the mothers have passed on the HPV that causes warts to their unborn baby, but the baby is usually able to overcome the symptoms on his or her own or through early medical intervention by the doctor.
Indications of Pregnancy Genital Warts
An abnormal Pap test may indicate the presence of HPV. To begin with, genital warts and pregnancy is not a happy mix.So if there has been a test recently, seek expert medical diagnosis and advice. Genital warts and pregnancy pose other risks as well. This is because the body’s immune system gets weaker during an HPV infection and this makes the lady vulnerable to viruses and infections. If the warts are inside the vaginal passage, they reduce the elasticity of the vagina and cause obstruction. This makes delivery difficult.
It is a comforting thought that pregnant women carrying an HPV infection usually do not give it to their babies. However, in some rare cases, mothers infected with genital warts may give birth to infants who develop warts in their throats, a condition also known as laryngeal papillomatosis. Although very rare, it poses a great life-threat to the newborn, requiring immediate medical attention and frequent laser surgeries to prevent blockage of the breathing passages. According to modern research, the use of interferon therapy along with laser surgery often slows down the course of the disease. Finding a treatment that works is what you need to think about doing because everyone is different in how they treat their warts. For all the (disagreeable) reasons above, it is strongly advised to abstain from sex with a partner who has HPV.
The infection spreads primarily through contact. If however abstinence is difficult, be choosy about the partner and stick to the dedicated partner. This minimizes the chances of contracting the disease and safeguards the pregnant mother as well. Remember, although condoms offer a modest degree of protection against the infection, but they are not foolproof. Pregnancy or no-pregnancy, genital warts are a nasty condition to have. Don’t do anything that might spread the infection or delay the process of cure. Do seek medical help as soon as possible. And pregnant mothers of course need to be more alert. After all, you owe it to your unborn child.
Treatment for Genital Warts While Pregnant
Treatment of genital warts while pregnant may vary from case to case. However, because the warts themselves do not usually cause any complications in pregnancy, your doctor may opt to not treat the warts at all during pregnancy.
This may cause increased growth but will not pose any threat to your health during pregnancy. However, if you doctor opts for removal, there are plenty for safe methods of removing genital warts during pregnancy that can be used including, freezing, surgical, or laser removal.
If you usually take a prescription for genital warts, tell your doctor so that he or she can inform you of the health risks. In many cases, if you are taking prescription medication for genital warts, the doctor may recommend you stop using it for the duration of the pregnancy.
Are You Pregnant?
Follow these simple pregnancy tips on safety and nutrition to stay healthy throughout the nine months before you give birth to a healthy baby.