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Can Having HPV Hurt my Baby?

The human papillomavirus (or HPV) is an exceedingly common virus that is sexually transmitted, with up to 80 percent of sexually active American women testing positive for this virus at some point in their lives. There are many different strains of the virus, and they can lead to two very different conditions: genital warts and precancerous changes in the cervix that, if left untreated, can progress to cervical cancer. Neither of these can harm your pregnancy or your baby, even if you deliver vaginally. Having tested positive for HPV is not a reason to not get pregnant or to have a C-section!

Keep in mind that once you have HPV, it is forever as there is no cure. The best way to avoid contracting the virus is through safe sex practices, such as using condoms. The HPV vaccine can prevent you from getting certain common strains, but it is not safe to receive this vaccine if you are pregnant (it is OK, however, if you are breastfeeding).

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