Last update Jan. 15, 2019

Maternal Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection

Very Low Risk

Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most frequent found in adults, with more than 200 different types that, depending on the type, can cause cutaneous warts (types 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 22 ...), anogenital warts (types 6, 11, 42 ...), laryngeal papillomatosis (types 6, 11) or genital cancer (types 16, 18, 31, 45 ...).
Transmission is via direct contact of skin and mucous membranes. Contagion may be due to sexual transmission, during childbirth or simply due to normal cohabitation, with no blood transmission (Gavillon 2010). HPV DNA is detected in up to 21% of pharyngeal secretions and up to 15% of genital samples of children under 3 years of age (Rintala 2005).

HPV DNA has been found in 1% of colostrum samples (Teixeira 2015), in 10% of breastmilk samples in the first week and in 30% of milk samples at 6 months, persisting in 6% of breastfeeding mothers (Louvanto 2017), without there being (oral) contagion in breastfed infants (Louvanto 2017).

DNA from high-risk oncogenic HPV strains was detected in 2 out of 80 breastmilk samples (2.5%), with negative detection in the cervix of these two mothers and in the oral cavity of their two infants (Yoshida 2011). Other authors did not detect HPV strains of high oncogenic risk in any milk sample (Mammas 2011 and 2010).

There are no studies documenting mother-to-child transmission of HPV through breastmilk or nipple lesions, so breastfeeding is considered compatible with any type of maternal HPV infection, including nipple lesions (Lawrence 2016 , Mammas 2010, Gavillon 2010).

For the purposes of processing milk donated to a milk bank, Holder pasteurization is known to inactivate both high risk oncogenic and low risk HPVs (Donalisio 2104).

See below the information of this related product:

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Maternal Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection is also known as


Maternal Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection belongs to this group or family:


  1. Louvanto K, Sarkola M, Rintala M, Syrjänen K, Grenman S, Syrjänen S. Breast Milk Is a Potential Vehicle for Human Papillomavirus Transmission to Oral Mucosa of the Spouse. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2017 Abstract
  2. Lawrence RA, Lawrence RM. Breastfeeding. A guide for the medical profession. Eighth Edition. Philadelphia: Elsevier; 2016
  3. Teixeira LO, Amaral SC, Finger-Jardim F, da Hora VP, Gonçalves CV, Soares MA, de Martinez AM. [Frequency of Human Papillomavirus in the placenta, in the colostrum and in the umbilical cord blood]. Rev Bras Ginecol Obstet. 2015 Abstract
  4. Donalisio M, Cagno V, Vallino M, Moro GE, Arslanoglu S, Tonetto P, Bertino E, Lembo D. Inactivation of high-risk human papillomaviruses by Holder pasteurization: implications for donor human milk banking. J Perinat Med. 2014 Abstract
  5. Mammas IN, Zaravinos A, Sourvinos G, Myriokefalitakis N, Theodoridou M, Spandidos DA. Can 'high-risk' human papillomaviruses (HPVs) be detected in human breast milk? Acta Paediatr. 2011 Abstract
  6. Yoshida K, Furumoto H, Abe A, Kato T, Nishimura M, Kuwahara A, Maeda K, Matsuzaki T, Irahara M. The possibility of vertical transmission of human papillomavirus through maternal milk. J Obstet Gynaecol. 2011 Abstract
  7. Mammas IN, Spandidos DA. No evidence of mother-to-infant transmission of human papilloma virus via human breast milk. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2010 Abstract
  8. Gavillon N, Vervaet H, Derniaux E, Terrosi P, Graesslin O, Quereux C. [How did I contract human Papillomavirus (HPV)?]. Gynecol Obstet Fertil. 2010 Abstract
  9. Rintala MA, Grénman SE, Järvenkylä ME, Syrjänen KJ, Syrjänen SM. High-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA in oral and genital mucosa of infants during their first 3 years of life: experience from the Finnish HPV Family Study. Clin Infect Dis. 2005 Abstract

Total visits


Help us improve this entry

How to cite this entry

Do you need more information or did not found what you were looking for?

   Write us at

e-lactancia is a resource recommended by IHAN of Spain

Would you like to recommend the use of e-lactancia? Write to us at corporate mail of APILAM