Can HPV Affect Fertility?

hpv and fertility
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted infection that can have serious health consequences, including an increased risk of cervical cancer. But what about HPV and fertility? Can this virus affect a woman's ability to get pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term? Let's take a closer look.

HPV and Fertility: The Basics

HPV can affect the cervix, the vagina, and the vulva, all part of the reproductive system. When HPV is left untreated, it can cause abnormal cells to develop on the cervix, leading to cervical cancer. In some cases, treatment for cervical cancer can impact fertility, but this is rare.

However, even when cervical cancer is not a factor, HPV can still impact fertility. Research has shown that HPV can affect the quality and quantity of a woman's eggs, making it more difficult to conceive. Additionally, women with HPV may be more likely to experience infertility due to damage to the reproductive system caused by the virus.

hpv and fertility

HPV and Fertility: What the Research Says

Several studies have explored the link between HPV and fertility. One study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility found that women with high-risk HPV were more likely to have a lower ovarian reserve, which means they had fewer eggs available for fertilization. Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that women with HPV were more likely to experience irregular menstrual cycles, which can make it more difficult to conceive.

While these studies suggest a link between HPV and fertility, it's important to note that not all women with HPV will experience fertility issues. Additionally, many women with HPV can conceive and carry a pregnancy to term without issues.

HPV and Fertility: Prevention and Treatment

Prevention is critical when it comes to HPV and fertility. The HPV vaccine, recommended for both boys and girls starting at age 11 or 12, can help protect against the types of HPV that are most likely to cause cancer and fertility issues. Additionally, practicing safe sex and regular cervical cancer screenings can help prevent HPV from causing severe health issues.

In some cases, treatment for HPV may be necessary to protect your fertility. For example, if you have abnormal cells on your cervix, your healthcare provider may recommend a procedure to remove them. While these procedures can impact fertility, they are typically minor and have a low risk of complications.

Overall, while HPV can have an impact on fertility, it's important to remember that most women with HPV are still able to conceive and carry a pregnancy to term. By preventing HPV and seeking medical care if you are diagnosed, you can protect your reproductive health and increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy.

hpv and fertility