Vulnerability of Women to Hep C Infection

There appears to be a general consensus among medical experts that the vulnerability of women to Hep C infection is far less likely than a man but there are occasions or stages in a woman’s life when they may actually contract Hep C. If this is your situation, you must have available contact with your doctor and with a very reliable online pharmacy.

The impact of Hep C on women

Medical experts know that as a woman you are less susceptible to contracting Hep C than men but even so as a woman, you need to familiarize yourself with the Hep C virus especially during specific stages in your life.

It’s important they know how the virus can impact your life during those specific stages such as during menopause, when you are practicing birth control, during your pregnancy and while you are breastfeeding your child.

Control of family numbers

Not only has the practice of family planning or birth control continued and rising, the incidence of the Hep C virus has also shown a significant increase having doubled from 2009 to 2014. For this reason, the need to test pregnant women for the presence of Hep C in their bodies has intensified.

One of the main reasons for the spike in tests is the very real risk that a pregnant woman who has tested positive for the HCV disease will definitely pass the virus to the her unborn baby, meaning for the United States, an addition of about 4,000 new Hep C sufferers each year.

Another worrying aspect of a transmission of Hep C is that there’s nothing to prevent the transmission of HCV from a mother to her unborn baby in her womb. This is the reason why the women infected with Hep C should be strictly monitored.

End of the monthly cycle

As far as menopause is concerned, women have more chance (40%) of clearing their Hep C infection from their bodies than men who have less capability of clearing theirs (19%), while younger women stand an even better chance of ridding themselves of their infection.

The reason for this is that the sex hormones in women cooperate with cells a woman’s liver to protect the liver against the hepatitis C virus. This automatic response against the virus by women slowly declines when a woman reaches menopause or when her menstrual cycle stops to function.

So the older you get, the greater the ability of the hepatitis C virus to inflict more damage to the liver due to the absence of antibodies. With menopause approaching, a woman’s menstruation will flow strongly or lightly at times and a dryness of the vagina will be noticed.

Adding to family numbers

Pregnancy is another phase of women’s lives which they are expected to go through during their lifetime and when this condition is viewed together with the occurrence of Hep C, the position is clear. Today’s guidelines tell us that mature women who have the virus have to be treated before they become pregnant.

This is the case because the treatment of women for the Hep C virus during their pregnancy is definitely not recommended except for only the right reasons and circumstances. For instance, using ribavirin for treating the Hep C virus during pregnancy is out of the question.

Ribavirin has the capacity to cause defects in your unborn child before birth or more seriously, the very death of your unborn child. To be on the safe side, you yourself shouldn’t take ribavirin when you are pregnant.

From a man’s perspective, he should ensure that his partner doesn’t take ribavirin when she is pregnant. Ribavirin is such a threat to you and your unborn baby that the US FDA requires manufacturers to affix warnings on the labels of ribavirin products.

If pregnancy does take place while you are taking ribavirin, or 6 months after your treatment for your Hep C has stopped, you should tell your medical provider about your finding.

Breastfeeding

You can now relax because breastfeeding while being infected with Hep C will neither infect nor harm the baby. How is this possible? Well, as a mother, your breasts can automatically produce antibodies for protecting you suckling baby from the Hep C virus.

You may be surprised to know that mothers are actually told it’s perfectly safe to breastfeed their baby while being infected with the virus and that it’s also recommended that mothers breastfeed their baby while being infected. You really should know this.

The most amazing thing is that you may have to convince even the people who work in the delivery room about this information because many healthcare experts don’t even know about this surprising reality. Everyone has assimilated HCV with HIV which is simply not the case.

HCV is completely different from HIV but since everyone knows that HIV can pass from the mother to the baby from breastfeeding they automatically assume that the same applies to the transmission of Hep C which is entirely false.

Menstruation

The majority of women infected with hepatitis C experience very little or no problems with their menstruation. Those who do experience acute symptoms because of their Hep C infection can also feel significant alterations to their menstrual cycle.

In many cases the changes in your menstrual cycle may be caused by various factors but whatever the cause, you should discuss the problems that arise with your doctor because the cause may not be hepatitis C.

It’s definitely the case that the hepatitis C virus can only be transmitted through blood to blood contact. It’s important to remember that menstrual fluids contain not only your blood but also many other kinds of body fluids, a mixture that suits the transmission of Hep C very well.

This mode of transmitting the Hep C virus is very rare if it does occur at all. For instance in Australia, no evidence has been found to confirm the transmission of Hep C through this monthly flow of bodily fluid in women.

Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, every precaution should be taken so as to decrease any risk of transmitting the Hep C virus through menstrual fluids. Supporters of this approach recommend that safer sex should be observed to minimize the risk of transmission.

For instance to make it a lot safer in having sex during the menstrual cycle, the use of items such as gloves, water-based lubricants, dams and condoms should be used especially open cuts, abrasions and wounds are found on  the other sexual partner.

To counter the danger of transmitting Hep C from sanitary articles, the items should be placed in hygienic units that can be disposed and of course, you should thoroughly wash your hands after handling blood soaked items.

Conclusion

While it’s true that a woman has less chance of being infected with Hep C, there are stages in a woman’s life when there is a higher risk for a woman’s health to be impacted by a Hep C infection and it becomes an issue.  These stages may or may not highlight the vulnerability of women to Hep C infection but they do indicate how women can cope with Hep C infection when and if it happens

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