I contracted Hep C from my mother at birth, but was not diagnosed until age 16. I am now 25 years old and have been married for 1 year. My husband and I have been together for 5 years now and we want to start a family, but I am very hesitant because of the virus. I live in a small city and do not wish to have my child at the HORRIBLE hospital here. Though my current OB/GYN is very nice, she is completely lost when I ask her questions regarding my Hep C and future pregnancy. I have sooo many questions and do not know where to start. When I search the internet, I find a lot of conflicting information in regards to C-section vs. vaginal birth, breastfeeding and etc. My husband and I decided that we would try to locate an OB in the Las Vegas area, since we are only a short distance away and their hospitals are 100 times nicer that ours. There are soooo many practicing OBs in the Las Vegas area, besides calling, is there a way to find out if any particular OB is familiar with Hep C and pregnancy??? Is there a website or place that anyone has found helpful with questions regarding Hep C and pregnancy??? I would greatly appreciate any information I can obtain. =)
Relros' comments were spot on! Thanks for that good info. I agree that you should certainly see a liver specialist and make sure about your infection status. You are more likely to find a liver person who knows about HCV who will work with an open-minded OB GYN. The chances of transmission to a baby are about 5 % give or take. Even if transmission does occur, there is every reason to believe that medications to cure the child will be available in the next 10 years or so. Stay in the bigger city of Las Vegas. You are more likely to find the specialists you need. The AASLD website lists liver specialists in all cities. Good luck! DTD
I'm in a similar position and I'm sorry to say there aren't a lot of answers out there and Obs don't know anything about this. As part of my pregnancy screening tests, I tested positive to to hep c antibodies. My later tests are pointing to a false positive, but maybe not. Like you, I do not want to pass this on to my child.
Here's what I've found: If you can, get an Ob who will work with your liver specialist-- and get one of those too. After reading all the studies, the best I can say is that if your viral load is extremely low, then your chances of passing on the virus is extremely rare. There have been small studies showing C sections where the membranes aren't ruptured first are safest, but these studies are so small that no one has adopted these findings as fact. The medical community seems to agree that the risk of transmission is higher if you are having a girl. They also agree that breast feeding is fine, but be careful for cracked and bleeding nipples.
I didn't find this info in one spot. I suggest google scholar or your local medical school to read the studies.
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