All what a pregnant woman should know about HEPATITIS during pregnancy
1) What is hepatitis during pregnancy ?
Hepatitis is an infection and inflammation of the liver caused by a virus. There are several types of hepatitis viruses, including hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and hepatitis D.
2) What are the symptoms of hepatitis during pregnancy ?
Frequent symptoms of hepatitis are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- abdominal pain
- Jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes.
The problem is that, depending on the type of virus, the symptoms may not appear for months or years after the infection or you may have no symptoms.
3) Are there tests for hepatitis during pregnancy ?
A blood test may indicate the presence of hepatitis. Other blood tests can show how much the liver has been affected.
4) How is hepatitis contracted ?
Hepatitis B spreads in infected blood and body fluids. This means that you can get it from unprotected sex with an infected person or be stung with a needle used by an infected person.
Hepatitis C is mainly spread by contaminated blood, but in rare cases it can also spread through sexual contact.
Hepatitis A is commonly spread in excrement – there have been cases where people have been infected by eating foods handled by someone who has not washed their hands after using the bathroom.
5) How will hepatitis affect my baby ?
Your baby should be well enough throughout the pregnancy. The biggest risk is that your baby may be infected at birth. That’s why all pregnant women are tested for hepatitis B.
If your test shows that you are infected, your doctor will take steps to reduce your baby’s chances of infection.
6) What is the best way to treat hepatitis during pregnancy ?
If you are exposed to hepatitis during pregnancy, you may receive immunoglobulin. Advanced cases of hepatitis may require treatment with antiviral drugs.
7) What can I do to prevent hepatitis ?
To get vaccinated ! Highly effective vaccines against hepatitis A and B are now available. You should also practice safe sex and not share needles.
8) What are the symptoms of Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) ?
If you contract Hepatitis B, you may feel very tired. You may also have abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, joint pain, or jaundice (yellow skin or eyes). But many people do not feel symptoms and do not even know they are infected.
9) What will happen if my baby gets hepatitis B ?
If you are a HBV carrier, your chances of transmitting the virus to your baby at birth are 10% to 20% unless he receives treatment within 12 hours of birth.
The risk varies depending on your infection and the amount of HBV in your blood. There is a risk of 80 to 90% if you are infected with hepatitis B during your third trimester.
Infants who become infected may not have symptoms right away, but are much more likely to become chronic carriers than other children or adults. Chronic carriers can spread the virus throughout their lives, and the disease is transmitted so easily that children can not even share things like toothbrushes.