Topic: What to Know About Hepatitis and Pregnancy
Hepatitis and pregnancy is a complicated topic because there are many different types of hepatitis. Hepatitis just means any disease that causes inflammation of the liver. It can be caused by a virus or a noninfectious cause.
Viral hepatitis can be caused by a number of different viruses, including hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. Nonviral hepatitis can also occur during pregnancy. Treatment, prevention, and effects on the pregnancy vary significantly between the types of hepatitis.
This article will discuss how hepatitis affects fertility, gestation, and life after birth for both the parent and the child.
Hepatitis and Fertility
There is some limited evidence that viral hepatitis may negatively impact male fertility and sperm function. In contrast, viral hepatitis infections with hepatitis B and hepatitis C have not been shown to have a significant effect on maternal fertility.
However, hepatitis infection may indicate an increased risk of other sexually transmitted infections that can affect fertility. Individuals and couples who are experiencing fertility problems in the context of hepatitis infection should discuss that with their doctor.
Assisted reproduction techniques may need to be altered to reduce the risk of viral transmission between the partners. If only one partner is infected with a hepatitis virus (known as a serodiscordant couple), vaccination may also be an option to reduce the risk of sexual transmission.
Hepatitis and Gestation
Hepatitis can complicate pregnancy, but it is also possible for pregnancy to complicate hepatitis. In rare circumstances, pregnancy can cause a chronic hepatitis infection to flare up and increase liver damage. Hepatitis treatment during pregnancy may be recommended for this reason, as well as to reduce transmission to the infant.
Topic Discussed: What to Know About Hepatitis and Pregnancy
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