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Pregnancy

Pregnancy and warts

03/02/2001

Question:

I was told by my doctor when I was pregnant with my son that I had warts on my vaginal area and that it was common during pregnancy. Also while I was pregnant I had warts on my toes, soon after I had my son the warts went away on my feet. My question is did they go away from my vaginal area too. I havent seen any but would like to know what causes this and what are the chances thet they`ll show up when I decide to have another child?

Answer:

Both vaginal warts (condyloma accuminata) and warts on the hands or toes are cause by a virus called Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Different strains of the virus (there are over 90) are seen in the vagina than other places. The virus is transmitted sexually or by direct contact.

Warts will come and go for reasons that are not completely clear but probably has to do with the the immune system. Stress (which lowers the body`s immune system) seems to increase warts in some people. Warts are also unpredictable so you cannot predict when or if they will return.

There seems to be no effect of vaginal warts to the baby. There is a theoretical risk of laryngeal papillomatosis (small warts growing on the baby`s vocal cords) but this is not commonly seen in the US.

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Response by:

Arthur T Ollendorff, MD Arthur T Ollendorff, MD
Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati