HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) is a family of sexually transmitted diseases that cause genital warts (conyloma) and cervical cancer. After you are sexually active, you have a 75 to 90 percent chance of being exposed to the virus during your lifetime. Some strains cause genital warts, some cause pre-cancerous cells on the cervix (which can be detected by a Pap), and some have no consequence.
HPV does not effect your ability to get pregnant, carry a baby, give birth and does not cause defects in the fetus. Rarely, if a woman has genital warts, or if a woman has extensive warts at the time of delivery, the baby can be infected with the virus. In most cases, HPV doesn’t harm the baby, but there are babies that have developed throat infections. Nonetheless because these infections are so rare, women with genital warts can have a vaginal birth.
Two vaccines- Gardasil- and Cervarix- can prevent infections from some of the most common strains of HPV. These vaccines are category B in pregnancy. However, because safety data is still limited, most doctors recommend waiting until after delivery to receive the vaccine. If you received a dose of the vaccine when you didn’t know you were pregnant, don’t worry because no birth defects have been linked to the vaccine.