If you’re pregnant and have genital warts, you might be worried about passing them on to your baby during childbirth. While the chances are slim, it’s still possible. Genital wart treatment options for pregnant women are different from those available for other women, so be sure to talk to your doctor about the best way to treat your warts.
Pregnant women who have genital warts often find that their genital warts symptoms get worse during pregnancy. This is because your immune system is naturally suppressed during this time, making you more vulnerable to viruses and infections. As a result, you may find that your warts grow larger.
Genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and can be transmitted to both unborn babies and newborns. Although most pregnant women who have had HPV and genital warts in the past have healthy pregnancies, births, and babies, some active cases of genital warts can cause negative birth outcomes. In particular, genital warts can make it difficult or impossible for a woman to give birth vaginally.
Pregnant women should not use over-the-counter treatments for genital warts without consulting their physician first. Many of these products contain salicylic acid, which can be dangerous to the unborn child. There are also certain prescription medications that should not be used by pregnant women. One such example is podofilox, a medication used to treat genital warts. It shouldn’t be used during pregnancy as it’s absorbed through the skin and may cause birth defects. As such, always check with your doctor before taking any medication while pregnant.
Pregnant women who have contracted HPV and are displaying symptoms of genital warts may be worried about passing the virus onto their child. Genital warts, while incurable, are generally not a large threat to your child’s health during pregnancy.
When genital warts grow large and block the birth canal, vaginal birth may not be possible. There is also the risk that warts may bleed during delivery if they are in the birth canal. In some cases, a woman may need to have a cesarean section to prevent excessive bleeding or if the warts completely block the birth canal.
HPV can cause warts in your baby, which can grow on the genitals or in the throat. Though it’s rare, these warts might need to be removed with laser surgery if they block breathing. Genital warts in children can lie dormant for up to three years after birth.
As your obstetrician is your best source of information on how to deal with genital warts during pregnancy, they will be able to help you develop a treatment plan that is safe and effective for you and your baby. Keep in mind that you are not alone in this as thousands of women have had genital warts during pregnancy and have delivered full-term, healthy babies with no HPV infection. So although it may feel daunting, there is a light at the end of the tunnel!