To understand the action and interaction between pregnancy and HPV, it is very important to first know what exactly is HPV or human papillomavirus. This infection is caused due to a virus from papillomavirus family that specifically targets moist areas of the body, such as feet, fingers, throat, nails, cervix and anus.
HPV And Cancer Risk:
More than 100 types of such virus are prevalent, out of which 40 are known to affect the genital area alone. Although the majority of the virus does not show any symptoms, in some cases, verrucae (warts) can develop. Recent studies, however, suggest that HPV can increase the risk of different types of cancers such as penis, anus, cervix, vagina and oropharynx. This vital link connects pregnancy and HPV.
Having HPV And Getting Pregnant – Is It Possible?
Can you get pregnant with hpv? There is no direct connection between having HPV and getting pregnant. The virus cannot affect your ability to conceive technically. However, there are a f
1. Cancerous Cells In Cervix:
Since HPV can lead to the formation of cancerous cells in the cervix, it affects your ability to carry a baby full term or conceive.
2. Warts In Cervix:
Presence of warts in the cervix and vaginal area is a common indication of the presence of HPV strains. Most of these warts are very small and at times so small that you cannot see them with naked eyes.
3. Presence Of HPV Strains:
Generally not cause harmful, but the presence of the HPV strains is certainly a great cause of concern. The virus damages cervical cells and you are always at a risk of getting cancer.
Precautions And Treatment For HPV:
It is not necessary that every woman suffering from HPV can get cancer. But the chances are much higher. Hence, if you want to conceive, you need to take all the precautions and carry out certain tests before thinking of conceiving.
1. Precancerous Changes:
The onset of cancer is always indicated by precancerous changes that occur in the cervix.
- These indications can be severe or mild.
- If you suffer from low-grade dysplasia or mild changes no treatment is necessary.
- You need to plan your pregnancy in consultation with your gynecologist.
Depending upon the precancerous changes in your cervix, the doctor decides whether you require the removal of precancerous cells before they develop into cancer.
- In such cases, the doctor will make use of any of the following three techniques:
- A cone biopsy or removing a small affected cervix portion.
- Cryosurgery, destroying, or freezing the abnormal tissue.
- The LEEP electrosurgical excision procedure for removing cells using electrically charged wire- loop.
Does HPV Affect Getting Pregnant?
All the above procedures can interfere with your ability to conceive or complete the full term of pregnancy:
1. Production Of Cervix Mucus:
When the cervical cells are removed, they affect the amount of cervical mucus production. This limits the possibility of the sperm reaching inside the reproductive tract, as it is with the help of mucus that sperm swims and find its way inside. Thus, removal of cervix portion can make it difficult for the sperm to reach the egg.
2. Weakens Cervix Area:
The amount of cervical tissue removed weakens the area. This causes other serious condition known as cervical insufficiency or incompetent cervix. This increases the chances of miscarriage as the cervix can open up abruptly midway during the pregnancy.
3. Affects On Your Baby:
You may have the question does hpv affect pregnancy? Despite all these hurdles you may still manage to get pregnant and deliver your baby. In case of normal deliveries, chances are that your baby may come in contact with the warts and get infected. So, even though HPV does not directly affect your ability to become pregnant, it indirectly greatly reduces your chances of delivering a healthy baby or carrying a full term pregnancy.
One of the first steps to ensure both you and your baby are healthy is to take all precautionary measures and go for all the needed tests in consultation with your doctor.
If you know of any options that can help with healthy delivery of an infant from a woman with HPV please share with us.
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