Having hep C won’t usually affect your pregnancy. Being pregnant won’t usually affect your hep C.

If you have cirrhosis, you might have more problems getting pregnant and staying pregnant.

Testing when you are pregnant

When you are pregnant, you will probably be given a lot of tests. As part of this, you will likely be tested for hep C. The first hep C test (antibody test) will tell you if you have ever had hep C. If the first test comes back positive, you will be asked to take another test. The second hep C test (PCR test) will tell you if you have hep C now. Your doctor or nurse will then work with you to keep you and your baby as healthy as possible during your pregnancy and birth.

Babies and hep C

Most babies are not at risk of catching their mum’s hep C. Of all mums with hep C, less than 6 in 100 babies will be born with hep C. If a baby is born with hep C, it will have a 50% chance of clearing their infection naturally. This will happen within the first 12 months of their lives.

Children with chronic hep C will benefit from seeing a paediatrician (children’s health specialist) who can monitor their hep C. Childhood hep C appears to be mild with very little liver inflammation.

For more information, call the Clinical Nurse Specialist in the Department of Gastroenterology, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead on 9845 3999 >>

Avoiding hep C treatment during pregnancy

Some hep C treatment drugs (for example, ribavirin or Ibavyr) can cause birth defects. If you are taking Ibavyr, avoid getting pregnant and for 24 weeks after treatment finishes. Women, and any male sex partners, must use two effective forms of contraception during sex (e.g. her using the contraceptive pill and him using condoms).

Also, if you are a woman having sex with a man on combination treatment, you need to avoid getting pregnant. The man’s sperm might be affected, so use 2 types of contraception while he is on treatment and for 24 weeks after treatment finishes.

It is very important to talk to your doctor about treatment, pregnancy, and contraception.

This page last updated 10 Jan 2018

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