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If I Have Hepatitis C, Can I Get Pregnant and Have Children?

Does having hepatitis C mean that I shouldn't get pregnant and have children?

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No, not necessarily, although this is a highly personal choice. Although estimates vary, about 5 percent of pregnant women with chronic hepatitis C will transmit the virus to their babies. Even more importantly, you shouldn't get pregnant (or impregnate your partner) while undergoing hepatitis C treatment or for six months after, due to the risks to the fetus from the medications used to treat the disease.
If you want to have children, you'll need to decide if you want to have them before or after receiving treatment, but not during treatment. The risk of infecting the baby during pregnancy or childbirth is probably lower if you wait until after treatment to have children, particularly if treatment is successful in eliminating the virus from your body.
From a practical standpoint, we also suggest that it might make life easier on parents to be treated before having children, since the side effects often make people feel exhausted and miserable. For many people, it's probably easier to deal with these side effects before having kids. However, if you're getting older and your biological clock is ticking, waiting to have kids might not be desirable. Talk with your partner, talk with your healthcare providers, and create a plan that everyone is happy with.
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