Pregnancy and childbirth with hepatitis C: possible risks
Pregnancy and childbirth with hepatitis C: possible risks

Video: Pregnancy and childbirth with hepatitis C: possible risks

Video: Pregnancy and childbirth with hepatitis C: possible risks
Video: How to dilate faster during labor – 10 PROVEN ways to dilate faster during early and active labor - YouTube 2023, December

Problem-free pregnancy, easy childbirth, the birth of a he althy child - this is all that every sane woman dreams of. But not everyone has a smooth waiting period and the birth of a baby. Due to weakened immunity, the body of expectant mothers is susceptible to various diseases, in which case doctors need to take measures to preserve the pregnancy and give birth to the full-fledged crumbs. This article will address one of the most serious topics about how labor with hepatitis C goes.

What is this?

Such a diagnosis for expectant mothers sounds like a death sentence. What kind of disease is hepatitis C and how is it transmitted? This is a viral disease, the affected area of which is the liver. It is transmitted only in one way - through the blood. The main problem is that it is very difficult to recognize the disease at an early stage, and then it develops into a chronic form.

pregnant woman
pregnant woman


Number of patients withsimilar diagnoses increases annually. In total, there are several main reasons why absolutely he althy people become carriers of this virus:

  • Using drugs. One injection is enough for hepatitis to enter the body.
  • Tattooing.
  • Manicure. The infection can be transmitted to the client during a cosmetic procedure through nail scissors.
  • Blood transfusion or syringe use after a sick patient.
  • Sharing scissors, razors and other personal hygiene items with a carrier.
  • Unprotected intercourse.
small syringe
small syringe

If the disease was diagnosed in the mother, then hepatitis C can naturally occur in children. The virus enters the baby's body through the placenta or birth canal. It is important to remember that hepatitis C is not transmitted by household contact or airborne droplets, it enters the body only through the blood.

Risk group

Before finding out information about how hepatitis C is born, it is required to list the groups of people who are more susceptible to acquiring this virus:

  • medical workers;
  • addicts;
  • children and relatives of people with a similar disease;
  • people who had surgery before 1992;
  • women and men having promiscuous unprotected sex;
  • people with liver disease or HIV infection.

Expectant mother shouldtake care of your baby and avoid contact with infected people. In particular, it is not recommended to use other people's hygiene items. To distinguish a he althy person from a carrier of hepatitis C will allow characteristic symptoms.

schematic representation of hepatitis C
schematic representation of hepatitis C

Symptoms of disease

It is quite difficult to hide a progressive disease from prying eyes, and you can easily recognize the presence of such a virus yourself. In total, there are several characteristic signs of hepatitis C in women:

  1. Change in skin color, in most cases it darkens or turns yellow.
  2. The appearance of circles and swelling under the eyes.
  3. Dramatic weight loss.
  4. Appearance of general weakness and decreased performance.
  5. Sharp loss of appetite.
  6. Appearance of nausea and vomiting.
  7. The most obvious symptom is a feeling of pain or mild discomfort in the liver area.
  8. Another symptom is a change in the color of urine, in the presence of a virus in the body, it changes color from light yellow to dark brown, similar to the color of beer.

The first signs of hepatitis C in women appear only in 20% of cases. Most often, it is possible to recognize a viral disease only when it has passed into the chronic stage and has led to the destruction (cirrhosis) of the liver.

What if the disease is detected before pregnancy?

Chronic hepatitis C has no cure. The only thing that the patient can achieve is the achievement of remission under the condition of constant medication. Can a man or woman with a similardiagnosed to become parents?

Doctors say that you can get pregnant with this disease. In addition, chronic hepatitis C is not a contraindication for IVF. But patients with a similar diagnosis are under special control by doctors, they more often than other patients have to take blood and urine tests to determine the degree of stress on the liver.

hepatitis C
hepatitis C

If a woman becomes pregnant from a man with a similar diagnosis, then the risk of contracting hepatitis C is quite high. In this case, she needs to undergo a diagnostic examination. If the virus has not been transmitted, then she will have to refrain from sexual intercourse with a partner for the duration of the pregnancy.

Don't worry about pregnancy with hepatitis C. In most cases, pregnancy in patients passes without complications, women manage to give birth to a he althy baby. But still there are risks. Firstly, due to the increased load on the body, he alth may deteriorate. Secondly, there is a high probability that the baby will be born prematurely or with a low birth weight due to the high activity of the liver processes. If a woman is aware of her illness, then in the early stages of expecting a baby, she must visit an infectious disease specialist who will select gentle therapy.

What to do if the disease is discovered during pregnancy?

There are cases when hepatitis occurs during pregnancy. In this case, the chances of his cure are much greater. The fact is that a pregnant woman periodically takes tests and visits doctors, thereforedetecting the disease at an early stage of its development is much easier even before the onset of symptoms of hepatitis C during pregnancy. Accordingly, it is possible to take timely measures and begin therapeutic measures even before the liver is affected. Hepatitis during pregnancy can be transmitted from a partner during unprotected intercourse or through a medical instrument during medical procedures.

How does the virus affect pregnancy?

Expectant mothers always take care of their child. That is why they are very concerned about the question of whether it is possible to give birth with hepatitis C. Experienced gynecologists have found how this virus affects the course of pregnancy:

  • Transaminase levels may increase dramatically. This will make the patient feel much worse.
  • Hepatitis C during pregnancy can lead to other chronic diseases, such as diabetes (or gestational) mellitus. Doctors strongly recommend that the expectant mother eat right and prevent strong weight gain.
pregnant woman talking to doctor
pregnant woman talking to doctor

As a rule, if a woman adheres to all the doctor's recommendations, then pregnancy and childbirth with hepatitis C does not harm her he alth.

How will the virus affect the baby?

Separately, you should consider what will happen to the baby in a similar situation. It is worth noting that the risk of developing hepatitis in newborns is quite high. Moreover, a dangerous disease can be detected even during pregnancy, at birth, and even a few months after childbirth.

Risktransmission of the disease from mother to baby is quite low, this probability is only 5%. To protect the baby from this disease, a woman needs:

  1. Visit two specialists: an infectious disease specialist and a geneticist. Doctors of narrow speci alties will give the necessary recommendations and prescribe effective therapy in order to protect the baby as much as possible.
  2. Most often there is a need to do a caesarean section for hepatitis. This is due to the fact that there is a fairly high risk of infection when the crumbs pass through the birth canal, since the child in the process of being born comes into contact with the mother's blood secretions.

The second risk for the baby is premature birth and low birth weight. These factors can adversely affect the full development of the baby. To prevent their occurrence, the mother needs to eat right, maintain hygiene, lead a he althy lifestyle and take medications prescribed by a doctor. In this case, the consequences of hepatitis C during pregnancy for the fetus are minimal.

Diagnostic examination

Before talking about whether birth with hepatitis C is possible or not, you need to make sure that the diagnosis is correct. For this purpose, a diagnostic examination is carried out, consisting of a set of procedures:

  1. Examination by a gynecologist or therapist. The specialist will listen to the patient's complaints and compare them with the possibility of contracting this virus.
  2. If the specialist has any suspicions, he will additionally prescribe a blood and urine test forthe content of antibodies, virus and bilirubin in the blood.
  3. Ultrasound of the liver organs is performed only if any abnormalities were found in the analyzes.
  4. Liver tissue biopsy.
hepatitis C test
hepatitis C test

The first thing that can be revealed as a result of the study is the presence or absence of a virus in the human body. To obtain this information, it is enough to pass a blood and urine test. Often, doctors recommend re-analysis after a certain period of time to accurately confirm the diagnosis.

If the presence of hepatitis C is not confirmed, then further examination is not carried out. If there is a virus in the body, a person will need to do an ultrasound and a biopsy. These diagnostic methods will allow you to assess the degree of liver damage. Based on the data obtained, the doctor will already be able to determine whether natural childbirth is possible or whether a caesarean section will still have to be done.

Features of pregnancy

Experienced gynecologists and infectious disease specialists do not see the interaction of hepatitis C with pregnancy and childbirth. In extremely rare cases, a number of complications may occur:

  • risk of early miscarriage up to 12 weeks;
  • small chance of developing fetal hypoxia;
  • possibility of infection and development of hepatitis C in a child;
  • risk of increased liver damage due to increased workload.

The likelihood of complications is approximately 5%, but still it exists. It is for this reason that women with a similar diagnosisput under special control for the entire period of pregnancy.

There are some secondary factors. For example, a girl will worry about how the diagnosis will affect the development of the baby. Accordingly, she may be in a state of stress, which will negatively affect her state of he alth.

Did the baby get infected?

After a woman with hepatitis C is out of labor, doctors take a series of tests from her baby to check for the presence of the virus in her body. As a standard, blood and urine are taken to identify it. According to the indications identified in the first days of life, the diagnosis is not made, since these data are not reliable. Antibodies to this disease, formed during pregnancy, can affect a positive result, but they have nothing to do with the virus.

newborn baby
newborn baby

And, on the contrary, immediately after birth, this disease may not yet manifest itself, but it will make itself felt a little later. Accordingly, in order to make or refute the diagnosis, periodically the baby will have to take a series of tests before reaching the age of 1.5 years. If, nevertheless, the diagnosis is confirmed, then the baby will be observed by an infectious disease specialist and pediatrician for a long time and receive appropriate drug therapy.

Can hepatitis C be treated during pregnancy?

In modern medicine, there is no medicine and vaccine that would prevent or save a person from the onset of hepatitis C. But still, there are methods to suppress it. Doctors assure that the earlier the disease was detected, the greater the chance of it.get rid of. A pregnant woman with a similar diagnosis is prescribed a complex of therapy:

  1. Medications, namely "Ribavirin" and "Interferon", are prescribed only as a last resort, when other methods of treatment are impossible. This is due to the fact that they negatively affect the fetus.
  2. Reception of a separate group of drugs based on ursodeoxycholic acid. They contribute to the suppression of the virus and are absolutely harmless to the baby. Therapeutic therapy is prescribed in courses, after which a break is required.

In addition to treatment, infected patients are given dietary and lifestyle advice to follow.

Features of childbirth

For several decades, there has been an active debate between experienced specialists about whether it is possible to give birth with hepatitis C. As practice shows, there is still a high probability of bearing a he althy baby. But still, there are some features of childbirth.

Later in pregnancy, around 33-36 weeks, a woman will need to have urine, blood, and biopsy tests for liver function readings. If the results of the diagnostic examination are unsatisfactory, then the specialist will make an unequivocal decision - to perform a caesarean section, since natural childbirth will cause a significant risk to human he alth.


The task of medical personnel during labor is to completely exclude the contact of the baby with blood secretionsmothers through which infection can occur. If heavy bleeding occurs during labor, doctors take measures to perform an emergency caesarean section.

Can I breastfeed?

The birth was successful, the baby was born he althy and on time. But the mother's concern does not end there. The second question that will worry her is whether it is possible to breastfeed a baby with hepatitis C. Doctors say that infection through milk is impossible. They came to this conclusion as a result of numerous studies. But still, you will have to follow some measures so as not to harm the baby:

  • daily 2-3 times required to wash the chest with water;
  • before each feeding, the integrity of the nipples should be monitored, they should not have any wounds and microcracks.

If you follow these two important conditions, you can completely reduce the risk of transmission of the virus from mother to child.


Full bearing of a baby is possible, but only if the effect of the virus on the body is in the compensation stage, and the liver is minimally affected. No doctor can guarantee that pregnancy and childbirth will go well, since the risks of spontaneous miscarriage, threatened abortion, premature and complicated birth exist even when the mother is completely he althy. There is an equal chance of a baby being infected by either a caesarean section or a natural birth.

Preventive measures

In conclusion, it is worthlist preventive measures to avoid infection with hepatitis C virus:

  • Don't share toothbrushes, needles, cotton wool, tourniquets, utensils, or anything that injects. The virus can exist on objects for up to 4 days.
  • All procedures: manicure, piercing, tattoos - should be carried out only in elite salons in accordance with sanitary standards.
  • In the absence of trust in the he alth of a partner, it is mandatory to use condoms when having sex.
  • Close contact with infected people should be avoided.

In today's world, the number of infected patients is constantly growing. But doctors have already learned how to put this virus into remission. If, however, it was still not possible to avoid infection with hepatitis C, then do not despair. With this virus, you can fully live and give birth to he althy children.