Understanding Hepatitis -- Diagnosis and Treatment
Hepatitis in Pregnant Women
Hepatitis in pregnant women usually does not increase the risk of birth defects or other pregnancy problems, and infection of the unborn baby is rare. However, hepatitis E can be fatal to a pregnant woman during her third trimester, and if the mother has hepatitis B, the baby is likely to contract the disease at birth.
If you are pregnant, your doctor will test you for hepatitis B; if you are infected with the virus, your baby will be given immune globulin shots and a hepatitis vaccination. This will help protect your baby from contracting the virus. In addition, it is recommended that a mother with active HBV receive treatment with an antiviral medication during the third trimester of pregnancy.
Other Points to Consider
If your hepatitis, either viral or nonviral, is in the acute stage (occurred within the last six months), avoid alcoholic beverages, as your body's efforts to process alcohol puts an added strain on an already injured liver. Also, be aware that your sexual partners, especially if you have hepatitis B, may run the risk of contracting the disease. Hepatitis C is difficult to pass through sexual contact, unless there is blood-to-blood contact.
Most adults recover completely from acute hepatitis A and B within six months. Mild flare-ups may occur over a period of several months as the disease is subsiding, but each flare-up is usually less severe than the one before it, and a relapse doesn't mean you won't make a full recovery.