What HPV Means for Your Reproductive Health

If you’ve been diagnosed with human papillomavirus (HPV), you’re probably wondering how the virus impacts your health. One of the most common questions women with HPV have is if they can safely have a baby.

The HPV virus is extremely common, and the vast majority of women who’ve contracted HPV go on to have healthy babies. Here at Richard Bardowell, MD, we regularly guide women with HPV through successful pregnancies.

If you’re considering having a baby, here’s what you need to know about conception and fertility with HPV.

HPV and fertility

Most women with a history of HPV don’t experience any additional difficulties conceiving. In 90% of cases, HPV resolves on its own and won’t remain active in your body. However, sometimes the active virus can make it harder for an embryo to implant in the uterus after fertilization.

If you’ve previously had certain treatments for HPV, such as cryotherapy or a cone biopsy, to remove precancerous cells, they can make it more challenging to conceive. These treatments sometimes narrow or weaken your cervix or impact your body’s cervical mucus.

HPV can also cause male infertility. If your male partner has active HPV, some evidence suggests the virus may slow down his sperm’s motility and viability, making fertilization more difficult.

HPV and pregnancy

Having had a previous HPV infection that fully cleared up should not impact your pregnancy. Research shows that women with a history of HPV do not carry any significant additional risks of pregnancy complications, difficulties during birth, or chances of passing the virus on to their baby.

Women who have active HPV usually have healthy pregnancies and babies, too. However, these women need to be monitored throughout the pregnancy.

If you or your male partner have active HPV, your risk of miscarriage or early labor increases. Certain strains of HPV can sometimes cause changes in cervical tissues, and if you have genital warts, your warts might bleed or change in size during pregnancy.

Planning parenthood if you have HPV

If you have a history of HPV, you might need additional support on your journey to having a baby. Before trying to conceive, schedule an appointment with us to discuss your health.

Dr. Bardowell looks at your specific history and discusses any additional needs you might have during pregnancy. During pregnancy and delivery, you’ll be monitored carefully to ensure you and your baby remain healthy.

Whether it’s a past or current diagnosis, don’t let HPV get in the way of your dreams of having a family. Many women with a history of HPV have healthy babies every year.

If you have a history of HPV and are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant, schedule an appointment by calling our office or using the online booking tool.

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