How does HPV affect fertility? – VnExpress

The HPV virus can make it difficult for women to conceive, increase the risk of miscarriage, and interfere with sperm motility in men.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the name for the most common group of viruses that are primarily sexually transmitted. In the US, up to 80% of people have HPV at some point in their lives without even knowing it. Most strains of HPV are benign, causing only skin warts, which resolve on their own without treatment within 2 years.

The two strains of HPV that pose the highest risk are HPV 16 and HPV 18, which can cause serious complications such as cancer. Research shows that 96% of HPV-infected patients with cervical cancer and 93% of anal cancers are caused by these two strains. Additionally, HPV can affect fertility in both men and women.

The HPV virus can affect fertility in both men and women. Image: Printest

Research shows that any infection, including HPV, makes it harder for women to conceive. HPV can reduce an embryo’s ability to self-implant into the uterine wall or uterus. HPV infection can also damage embryos and lead to miscarriage. Research shows that there is a link between the HPV virus and the risk of miscarriage and spontaneous preterm birth, but it depends on the type of HPV a person has.

According to a study, men infected with HPV are 3-4 times more likely to have fertility problems. The reason is that the presence of HPV virus in sperm negatively affects the pregnancy process, hinders the ability of sperm cells to move freely, increasing the risk of infertility.

HPV infection in both sexes can negatively affect pregnancy outcomes by increasing the risk of miscarriage. In addition, research has also shown that HPV-positive couples may have more difficulty conceiving with intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Prevention and treatment

Vaccination is the best way to prevent HPV. Currently, there are two types of HPV vaccines used in Vietnam: Gardasil (USA) and Cervarix (Belgium). HPV-positive people should still be vaccinated because there is evidence that vaccination increases pregnancy rates and reduces miscarriage rates even in people who already have HPV.

Using safe sex methods and using condoms during sex reduces the risk of HPV transmission. However, condoms are not as effective as vaccination, because HPV can affect areas not covered by a condom.

Regular cervical cancer screening, a cervical cytology test, also known as a Pap test, helps screen for HPV, including strains that can increase the risk of cervical pre-cancer.

If vaccination is not possible, or if a person is already infected with HPV, practicing safe sex or choosing a vaccinated partner will help reduce the risk. The complications of HPV depend on the specific strain. People with HPV should know which strain they have and be familiar with the risks to help avoid HPV-related cancers.

Bao Bao (Follow Medical News Today)


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