One of the most important pieces of information that pregnant women have to know about is hepatitis C transmission to fetus. The truth is that the course of hepatitis doesn’t change in the case of pregnant women, unless we are talking about hepatitis E.
Information about hepatitis C being transmitted to the baby
Usually women get pregnant between ages 20 and 40. This is the same age group that is typically affected by hepatitis C. If you have any risk factors connected to hepatitis C, you should be screened before and during your pregnancy.
When thinking about the transmission of hepatitis C to the baby you have to consider the following risk factors: exposure to transfusions, injected drug use and exposure to contaminated needles. The risk of transmitting the infection to the baby depends on the quantitative RNA levels in the mother’s blood.
Things to know
The chances of transmitting the infection to the baby are further increased by the possibility of the mother being HIV positive. The child has relatively small chances of being infected in case the mother doesn’t have HIV, she doesn’t have any history of drug use and she didn’t have blood transfusion.
High chances of transmitting to the baby hepatitis C
Those women have the highest chances of transmitting the infection whose RNA titer is over 1 mil. copies/mL. The good news is that even though the mother may have hepatitis C, if she doesn’t have high RNA levels in her blood, the chances of transmission are very low.
Preventing the hepatitis C transmission to fetus
The sad truth is that there is no way to prevent the transmission if the mother has hep. C. As it has been mentioned, even in this case it isn’t certain that the baby will have the disease. Since there is no treatment, at this point the transmission rate seems to be entirely random.
For the doctors to know more about transmitting hep. C to the baby in your case, you will be closely monitored throughout the entire pregnancy. You will have regular tests for the doctors to make sure that your liver is functioning correctly. This way they can also protect the baby.
Parents have to understand that when it comes to hepatitis C transmission to fetus, a great deal depends on chance. There is nothing that the parents can do to avoid transmission.