HPV May be More Dangerous During Pregnancy (Details! Details!)

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Pregnancy and HPV

Women with high-risk HPV strains were significantly more vulnerable in the second trimester of pregnancy.– Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research (1)

Many women infected with HPV worry about the risk of being infected during pregnancy. Research shows that the virus is more dangerous during the second trimester of pregnancy.

Specifically,HPV causes more rapid changes in the cervix that might lead to cancer.

WebMD notes that “No link has been found between HPV and miscarriage, premature delivery, or other pregnancy complications.” (2) In fact, “Risk of transmission to the baby is very low” (drweil.com) (3)

However, “If you are found to have a strain of HPV associated with cervical cancer … your obstetrician should monitor you throughout your pregnancy to make sure no harmful cervical changes occur.” (3)

HPV in pregnancy

As Dr. Kim and colleagues wrote “Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a necessary factor in most cases of cervical cancer, but malignant transformation requires the presence of additional cofactors such as pregnancy.” Dr. Kim is from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ewha Womans University School of Medicine in Seoul, Korea.

But, even if they do “treatment most likely will be postponed until after delivery because of the danger of premature labor posed by intervention.

If you have genital warts, your physician will monitor them for any changes that could affect the birth process. If the warts do grow appreciably, they may have to be removed before delivery (by chemical treatment or use of a painless electric current).” (3)

The bottom line?

In some pregnant women with HPV, the tissue changes may increase during pregnancy.” (2)


(1)  Kim YH1, Park JS, Norwitz ER, Park JW, Kim SM, Lee SM, Park CW, Kim BJ, Koo JN, Oh IH, Song YS. “Genotypic prevalence of human papillomavirus infection during normal pregnancy: a cross-sectional study.” J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2014 Jan;40(1):200-7.

(2) WebMD.com – Sexual Conditions Health Center – HPV and Pregnancy

(3) Drweil.com – Q & A Library – HPV and Pregnancy?


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