Moms diagnosed with hepatitis may need to take extra precautions when planning a family

Hepatitis is a medical condition characterized by inflammation of the liver. The liver is the body’s largest internal organ and is responsible for a range of functions, including but not limited to detoxification, synthesizing fats and proteins, and creating bile to aid in digestion. There are seven different forms of hepatitis that have been identified (e.g. Hepatitis A; Hepatitis B), each with different causes and symptoms. The condition can either be acute (short-lived) or chronic (longer-lasting).

Some types of hepatitis, such as Hepatitis B, are typically transmitted via blood or bodily fluids (e.g., during medical and dental procedures, or with sexual contact). It is also possible that a hepatitis infection could be spread during fertility treatments. To reduce this risk, fertility clinics must abide by strict regulations and procedures when undertaking assisted reproductive treatments.

Mothers diagnosed with Hepatitis B (and other infectious viruses such as HIV and Herpes) are at risk for transmitting the virus to their babies. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) 1.5% of pregnant women are chronic carriers of the Hepatitis B virus. Risk for a first trimester miscarriage (i.e., spontaneous abortion) appears to be higher for women with acute viral hepatitis. There is also increased risk of preterm labour and delivery if a woman develops a Hepatitis B infection during the third trimester of her pregnancy. The transmission of Hepatitis B from a mother to her baby can be reduced through injections (e.g., a vaccination).

If you are concerned about the impact of hepatitis on your reproductive health, you should speak with your medical practitioner before starting your family.

For more information about Hepatitis B and pregnancy, click here.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: