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HPV and Pregnancy: The Ins and Outs of Having HPV While Pregnant

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The number of people with positive HPV diagnoses are climbing every year. Millions of Americans are newly diagnosed with HPV and are unaware of the potential consequences. HPV is now the most common sexually transmitted infection.

The Center of Disease Control now estimates that nearly everyone who is sexually active will have contracted a strain of HPV at some point in their lives.

The good news is, most strains will be cleared by your immune system and will not cause any health concerns.

There are a few strains that may cause genital warts and some high risk strains of HPV that have the potential to cause cervical cancer. This growing concern is a high concern for pregnant women, or those considering pregnancy in the near future.

Ultrasound Baby Happy Couple

What can you do if you plan on getting pregnant?

Get regular pap tests.

There are only 2 high risk types of HPV that have been known to cause cervical cancer. This is a serious complication in fertility and pregnancy. Most women do not ever reach the stage of cervical cancer, as cell progression is caught easily in pap tests, and preventative measures can be taken. The recommendation for disease control and prevention is to get one pap test every three years to keep an eye on your cervical cells, and more frequently if you have ever had an abnormal pap test.

Papillex is not recommended for pregnancy due to the mixed carotenoids in the ingredient formula. While beta-carotene, great against HPV, has not been associated with any complications in pregnancy, high doses of vitamin A have been.

It is always important to consult your healthcare practitioner when taking any new supplements, especially if you are pregnant.

However, Papillex may be a great supplement for you prior to pregnancy. It will help keep your immune system robust, fighting the HPV infection. This will bar any complications of HPV starting off in your pregnancy.

What can you do if you’re already pregnant?

Pregnant women are screened according to the current guidelines.

Being pregnant does not change the amount of pap tests you get; meaning you’re still allocated to one pap test every three years. If you have not had any abnormal cell findings in your past pap tests, you are likely to be in the clear until your pregnancy is complete.

Most pregnancies continue to full-term with no complications and babies are born with no signs of being carried by someone with an HPV infection.

What are the risks?

With high risk strains of HPV infection, HPV-16 and HPV-18, abnormal cervical cells can progress to cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. If you have ever gotten this diagnosis, you probably know if it as a CIN 1, 2, or 3 diagnosis.

CIN 1 is the least concerning, and CIN 3 is the most concerning and most likely to progress into cervical cancer. When an HPV infection causes CIN damage to the cervical cells, these lesions have been associated with premature labour and low birth weight in some cases.

There is a very low risk of transmission of the pregnant woman’s HPV infection to the child. One study followed 153 pregnant women through their pregnancies, some of which had previous HPV infections, and some with newly diagnosed HPV diagnoses through their pregnancies.

HPV DNA was detected at birth in 5.2% of the babies born to healthy women and was associated with the detection of HPV DNA in the mothers during any given trimester. (1)

To add: just because the child has HPV DNA, does not mean that they will get cervical cancer, or even show any symptoms throughout their life.

In the worst case scenario, the HPV strains causing genital warts may cause respiratory papillomatosis in the baby, which is the development of warts in the baby’s throat, which must be removed surgically.

If you have a high risk strain and must pursue treatment throughout your pregnancy, check out our blog post on HPV and Photodynamic Therapy to get the low-down on this potential option to treat warts and abnormal cervical tissue.

What else can you do as a pregnant woman with HPV?

Pregnant Couple

Most doctors will recommend a “watch-and-wait” protocol and may have some other suggestions with therapies for pregnant women.

The bottom line is, the earlier you catch any abnormal cell changes, the better. Starting treatment right away is a preventative measure to stop further progression.

This is as easy as making lifestyle changes, eating better, exercising, sleeping well, keeping your stress levels low, cutting out smoking, alcohol consumption, and other toxic components of your life.

This will all help to support your body through your pregnancy, and keep your HPV infection at bay while growing another human!

Why watch and wait, when you can be proactive? Order Papillex today!

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