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HPV, Breastfeeding, & Fertility Things you should know…

By Zawn Villines   Fact Checked by Dr Michelle Dillon

Human papillomavirus or HPV is a sexually transmitted infection or STI with links to some types of cancer, including cervical and throat cancer. Breastfeeding women may worry about spreading the virus to babies through breast milk.  But, for most women with HPV, breastfeeding is safe, and the benefits outweigh any potential risks.

There is no transmition of HPV in breast milk , so no worries to those that have HPV and would like to breast feed.

In general, research shows that any infection, including HPV, makes it more difficult for a woman to conceive and remain pregnant. However, it is important to remember that most cases of HPV clear up without any need for treatment.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) list scarring and blockages in the fallopian tubes as potential risk factors for infertility.

This type of damage can sometimes be due to STIs, such as HPV, but the ACOG do not list HPV as a specific contributor to infertility. How much HPV influences a woman’s fertility still needs more study.

Women with HPV may experience:

  • Difficulties getting pregnant: HPV may reduce the embryo’s ability to implant itself in the wall of the womb or uterus. HPV infections can also damage the embryo.
  • Increased risk of miscarriage: There is a link between HPV and the risk of pregnancy loss and spontaneous preterm birth, but these risks depend on the type of HPV a person has contracted. Studies show a significant association between cervical HPV infections and pregnancy loss.

It is vital to remember that the body’s immune system clears most HPV infections without any additional treatment.

Natural Approaches to HPV include:

  • Improving and supporting the immune system (as HPV is a virus that needs to be controlled).
  • Cleaning up the diet avoiding junk foods, high sugar sweets, sodas, and excessive alcohol.
  • Increasing bright colored veggies as well as berries and fruit.
  • Increasing the intake of vitamin A and methylated folate to aid in lowering inflammation and aiding in proper cellular growth.

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