Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Infection with the hepatitis B virus during pregnancy

In some countries, the infection with hepatitis B virus is most common during pregnancy. One can also be infected with the hepatitis B virus in his/ her early childhood. To gain some control over this method of transmitting hepatitis means to have a very good idea about the infection with the hepatitis B virus during pregnancy.

This knowledge of the infection with the hepatitis B virus when pregnant gives a good view on some of the following things: - the mortality rate of the person carrying the hepatitis virus; - the effect of the hepatitis B virus on the parturition process; - most important, the capability of the hepatitis virus to be transmitted to the foetus;

There are tests that can show can show the seroprevelance of the hepatitis B virus in a pregnant women. The infection with hepatitis can be either acute or chronic. The acute infection with the hepatitis B virus means that this infection happened only during pregnancy and the person was otherwise healthy, whereas the chronic infection shows that the infection with the hepatitis B virus was previous to the pregnancy.

Studies have shown that the hepatitis B infection is not perdilect to pregnant women and the percentage of non pregnant women suffering from hepatitis B is almost the same of those pregnant. More, the acute form of hepatitis B does not have more severe symptoms in pregnant women than in the non pregnant ones.

The symptoms for viral hepatitis are the same: fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting. The last two hepatitis symptoms may be also mistaken for pregnancy symptoms in women that do not suffer from hepatitis. If hepatitis resolves before there is a great liver injury, the symptoms of hepatitis may also be passes off as flu symptoms or even as effects of the pregnancy itself. In most of the cases, the acute hepatitis symptoms will pass in about six weeks.

If a pregnant women suffers from acute hepatitis, this may induce a premature labour, especially if she is in the last trimester. However, this has little or no effect on the foetus.

Chronic hepatitis is a very serious condition that has no symptoms. A person may develop hepatitis symptoms when this disease has done many damage to the liver. Most of the women that become pregnant, find out that they suffer from chronic hepatitis after they go to an obstetrician.

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