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hepatitis & pregnancy
Sep 13, 2004

I have been diagnosed with HepC. I have two questions, 1)Can i spred HepC without making blood contact during sex? In other words, can i have sex without transmitting the disease? 2)If i become pregnant, will my child contract the disease & if so,so is tere any way to prevent it? I want to ahve a child but am unsure because of the HepC. Thank you for your expedient response.

Response from Dr. McGovern

The transmission of hepatitis C can occur with sex but it is uncommon. It is estimated that with monogamous couples, the risk is about 1-3 percent. I tell couples about the risk and I think it is up to the couple to decide if the risk is too great or not for themselves. If even 1-3 percent is too high, then sex with condoms should always be practiced.

If you get pregnant, you can transmit hepatitis C to your baby, but again it is uncommon. The risk is about 5 percent. And even if you do transmit virus, infants often clear the virus on their own. If they do not clear, children can be treated and usually tolerate the medications much better than adults do. Dr. McGovern



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