Protecting Your Baby from STDs

Genital Warts

One percent of sexually active adults contract genital warts. Appearing as small, cauliflower-shaped clusters, warts commonly appear as pink, white, or gray swellings in the genital area. The warts, which are caused by a large group of viruses called human papilloma, can itch or burn, though many women don't have symptoms. Some of these viruses can also increase the risk of cervical cancer.

Unfortunately, pregnancy-related hormones can cause genital warts to grow. Occasionally, these growths can become large enough to block the birth canal, making a cesarean delivery necessary. However, infected mothers rarely pass the virus on to their babies, so cesarean deliveries are not routinely recommended. If you have large, uncomfortable growths, removal with laser surgery or cryotherapy (freezing) is a safe option, but chemical treatments should be avoided. After pregnancy, genital warts often return to their prepregnancy size or may go away without treatment.

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