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hepatitis C treatment and pregnancy
Nov 24, 2012

my husband is planning on undergoing the interferon treatment for his hep c. we want to have more chrildren, everything i look up says about woman that are undergoing the treatment. what about how it effects his ablity to have a child. after the 48 weeks?

Response from Dr. Taylor

Interferon is typically taken with ribavirin pills in order to make the treatment work better (lead to a higher chance of cure). Ribavirin is teratogenic, meaning that it can cause damage to a developing fetus (cells inside a woman's womb that develop into a baby). Ribavirin can be teratogenic even when a man takes ribavirin, when he has vaginal intercourse (penis inside the vagina) with a woman who is pregnant or who can become pregnant. So, it is important to avoid pregnancy while your husband takes ribavirin.

Ribavirin lasts in the body for a long time. Therefore it is important to avoid pregnancy for at least 6 months after your husband stops taking ribavirin. Six months is the shortest amount of time to wait to get pregnant after your husband stops ribavirin; I recommend waiting a year. Use two forms of birth control while your husband takes ribavirin and for a year afterwards. After that time there should not be issues regarding his hepatitis C treatment and you having more children. The hepatitis C treatments do not impact his ability to get you pregnant. Let him handle his own ribavirin pills during his hepatitis C treatment.

I suggest that you discuss these issues with his hepatitis C doctor.

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