18 Feb Viral warts during pregnancy: remove or not?
During pregnancy, woman’s body is undergoing significant changes. It completely rearranges its work to provide full development and meet all the requirements of an actively growing child. However, such changes may have consequences. For example, a temporary immune deficiency increases the frequency of cold-related diseases in women and activates human papillomavirus infection (accompanied by the appearance of viral warts). To figure out whether you should remove the unpleasant formations on the skin and mucous membranes during pregnancy, MedAboutMe appealed to the trusted sources of information.
Skin changes during pregnancy — norm and pathology
Most women face different skin changes at one or another stage of pregnancy. Part of them is physiological. They are absolutely normal and even act as proof of an “interesting position” (for example, stretch lines/stretchings, melasma, and pigmentation in the midline of the abdomen). Other changes (rashes and itching) require treatment.
Benign formations on the skin and mucous membranes (warts and condylomas) caused by human papillomavirus are the pathologies any future mother can face. It has different manifestations: from miniature single painless warts to large ulcerated defects causing significant discomfort.
Conditions for infection and activation of HPV in pregnant women
During pregnancy, there is an important pre-requisite that contributes to the primary infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) and activation of infection slumbering in a woman’s body. This condition is a temporary decrease of body defenses (immunodeficiency) necessary for gestation. Incomplete antiviral immunity makes the main ways of virus transmission more dangerous: domestic (using the personal items of a sick person, wearing reusable shoes in public place, visits to the baths, saunas, pools, etc.); sexual (during sexual intercourse). Papillomavirus penetrates into the body through the injured skin and mucous membranes — small cuts, scratches, abrasions, etc. HPV can be present in a woman’s body for a long time without manifesting itself and become apparent only during pregnancy.
Removal of warts during pregnancy
For women, any skin formations look ugly, especially warts. They want to get rid of them and forget them as soon as possible. However, during pregnancy, thoughts about beauty take second place, while the health of a child and a mother becomes a priority. It should be understood that painless and non-traumatic skin warts can wait. They should be removed after delivery because not all methods of destruction are safe and acceptable for a pregnant woman. Thus, it is undesirable to use the methods, accompanied by severe pain or requiring anesthesia. If a wart located on the feet hinders walking, gets injured and bleeds, it is better to start the treatment in accordance with the following rules: the procedure must be performed in medical institutions; treatment is possible upon approval of an obstetrician-gynecologist (if there is no threat of abortion or premature birth). You should strictly adhere to the recommendations on the treatment of the wound at the place of removed formation.
Treatment of genital warts is a separate issue. During pregnancy, they can grow actively, which is fraught with injury and bleeding during delivery, as well as a potential risk of infecting a child. Treatment of pregnant women is carried out with the use of cryodestruction or electrocoagulation with the participation of obstetricians-gynecologists. In some situations, operative delivery is indicated to prevent the infection of the newborn. Warts are the problem women can face during pregnancy. However, this is not a cause for alarm, excitement, and immediate treatment. Not every formation should be removed at once. Some of them can wait until the delivery, especially since not all procedures are safe for a future mother and baby.