If you are living with hepatitis C

If you have hepatitis C and want to conceive, it is recommended that you go through treatment before trying to get pregnant, because the medication can hurt the fetus. Right now there is also no way to prevent transmission of hepatitis C to the baby.

If you are co-infected with HIV, it is recommended that you begin antiretroviral therapy to bring your viral load down before trying to conceive. Studies suggest that co-infection increases the chance of passing hepatitis C to the baby by up to 40%. Talk to your doctor about which antiretroviral drugs are safe for pregnancy.

If your partner has hepatitis C

Because hepatitis C can be sexually transmitted, it is important for your partner to seek treatment before you try to conceive. If the virus is passed on to you during pregnancy, you will not be able to take medications for it, increasing the risk that the virus will be transmitted to the baby.

Bottom line

When possible, you and your partner should be tested for hepatitis C and treated if needed before getting pregnant. Once treatment has been completed, you should wait a few months before trying to conceive. Your doctor can talk to you about how long to wait.