Dr Jessica Garcia Cataño from Clínica Tambre explains whether there is a relationship between HPV and fertility
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus commonly transmitted sexually. There are more than 100 types of HPV classified into high risk and low risk strains, depending on their risk of cervical cancer. HPV causes alterations in women’s cervical cytology and condyloma in genitals of both sexes, mostly without long-term consequences.
Both women and men can be affected by this virus. Don’t worry too much if you’ve been diagnosed; HPV is very common, and it’s estimated that more than 80 percent of the sexually active population will have an HPV infection at some point in their lives. Most of those affected are young, and frequency decreases with age.
The majority of HPV infections are sexually transmitted, but infection can also occur through contact with infected objects or from mother to child during childbirth.
HPV is most often diagnosed after a routine pap test, but there are also tests for men and women to detect it. In most cases the infection subsides spontaneously, but in other cases it may persist. Once detected, close monitoring is required to prevent its development.
Does it affect my fertility?
As for males, the impact of HPV on fertility is controversial, recent studies show a decrease in semen quality, but other studies have not been able to find similar results. For women, multiple studies show different results; it has not been proven that HPV alone affects fertility.
The role of HPV in assisted reproduction treatments is not defined, we believe that it has no positive effects, but it is also not clear that it has a negative impact on the results.
HPV is frequently accompanied by other sexually transmitted infections such as Chlamydia and Herpes. Chlamydia infection can lead to alterations in the function and structure of the tubes and thus affect fertility. These infections along with HPV can be transmitted at birth, so depending on the situation, proper care should be established to prevent it.
What can I do if I have HPV?
For 90 percent of patients the HPV infection subsides spontaneously within in two years, for the remainder it could persist longer. Check-ups with your gynaecologist are essential to prevent complications.
A balanced diet, regular exercise and low alcohol or tobacco consumption have proven useful for a speedy recovery. Vaccination against HPV for men and women can help reduce the rate of infection.
In the case of doing any assisted reproduction treatment at Clínica Tambre, your doctor will indicate the guidelines to follow to obtain the best results while also supporting you medically and emotionally at all times.