HPV During Pregnancy : Can it Affect My Baby?

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Human Papilloma Virus causes a viral infection that is passed between people through the skin to skin contact. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection that affects both men and women. It can affect many people as it spreads through skin contact. Every woman in this world wants her baby to be healthy. So, it is for sure that if she has HPV, she will be worried that the virus can harm her unborn child, but in most cases, it won’t affect the developing baby.

Here’s what women need to know about HPV pregnancy and will it affect her child.

HPV, Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy is not a chance it is a responsibility. A woman nurtures a life in her body, so she is worried about every small thing that can harm her baby. And when she learns about HPV infection, she wants to protect her baby. So, let me tell you that till now no linked has been found between HPV and miscarriage, premature delivery or any other pregnancy complications. Chances of transmitting the virus to the baby are very low. If a woman, tests positive for HPV, her doctor will help her. He will note the cervical tissue changes and genital warts (soft growths that appear on the genitals). In some women, tissue changes may increase during pregnancy. Since there are chances of premature labour because of the treatment of disease, doctors postpone treatment. If there are genital warts, the doctor will see if they are growing, the treatment can be delayed till childbirth, but if the warts are causing obstruction in the vagina, they may need to be removed before childbirth or your doctor will recommend that you have a caesarean delivery.

HPV During Pregnancy

It’s possible for you to pass the virus to your baby, but this doesn’t happen very often. Even if your child does contract HPV, he’s likely to overcome it on his own without any symptoms or problems. If your child gets the type of HPV  that causes genital warts, he may develop warts in his throat. This warty growth will obstruct upper airway and it is a presenting symptom. Other symptoms are:

  • hoarseness in voice: change in voice quality that affects the ability to speak
  • shortness of breath: the child may find it difficult to breathe or he may require extra strength to breathe.
  • difficulty in swallowing: difficulty in swallowing foods or liquids, because of blockage in throat.
  • cough: a sudden noisy expulsion of air from lungs that clears the air passage, child infected with HPV develop chronic cough
  • stridor: noisy breathing which can sound like a whistle or snore.

Treatment

There is currently no cure for the HPV infection for those people whose immune system cannot eliminate the virus on its own. Warts may be treated or removed. Your doctor can safely remove it by:

  • chemicals
  • freezing them off with liquid nitrogen
  • using a laser
  • using heated needle
  • performing surgery.

Prevention

We were always told that ‘prevention is better than cure’, it is very true. Even HPV can be prevented, two of the best ways to prevent it are:

  1. To limit the number of sexual partners you have
  2. to get vaccinated

Girls and young women between the ages of 11 to 26 are recommended to get vaccinated. The complete series involves three vaccines. You will need to get all the three vaccines to be fully protected. If you didn’t get vaccinated before your pregnancy or you started the vaccine series but didn’t finish it, you will need to wait to get or complete the vaccine until after the birth of your baby. Pregnant women are strictly prohibited from getting vaccinated.

HPV after Childbirth

If the test were abnormal during pregnancy, your doctor will tell you to do a test few weeks after childbirth. Sometimes, the cervical tissue changes go away on its own (i.e they are cured by themselves) after childbirth and no treatment is needed.

Sometimes, genital warts will also go away, if not doctor may recommend treatment. but, the best part is that your baby is safe.

These were the few things you need to be aware of. Knowledge about the problem will help you to find the solution. Try to be little careful, when it comes to your child. Don’t hesitate to ask your queries to your doctor. Your careful nature will help you in protecting your baby from such infections and right care at right time will lead to a safe and healthy delivery. So, learn and live healthy.

Hope this article was of help to you! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy, Healthy and Empowered Women!!