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Genital Warts and Pregnancy

Genital Warts During Pregnancy: What Is the Impact on the Child?

Genital warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV for short). For a woman with genital warts during delivery, there is a very low risk of transmitting HPV to the baby during a vaginal delivery. Fortunately, even if HPV is passed, the baby is most often able to get rid of the virus on its own.
In rare cases, a baby who is exposed to genital warts may develop warts in the throat or voice box (known medically as laryngeal papillomatosis). Although uncommon, this is a potentially life-threatening condition for the child, requiring frequent laser surgery to prevent obstruction of the breathing passages. These warts can occur up to five years after birth.
Because of the low risk of transmission, along with the increased risks with surgery (see Cesarean Complications), a c-section delivery is usually not recommended for a woman with an uncomplicated case of genital warts.
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