Thursday, June 16, 2022

Can You Get Hepatitis From Sex

Does Hepatitis B Cause Symptoms

Hepatitis B Information for Pregnant Women

Hepatitis B is a sexually transmitted disease, but once it enters the body it attacks the liver. Most adults do not have symptoms right after infection. So, it is possible to have hepatitis B and not know it. When symptoms occur, many people mistake them for a bad flu or stomach flu. This includes , , , , , , and light or clay-colored stool. People may not realize these are symptoms of an infection they can spread sexually.

, which is yellowing of the skin or eyes, can occur as well. This is because affects how your liver processes bilirubin, a yellow-orange-colored product from old red blood cells that are breaking down. With hepatitis, bilirubin builds up in the blood and part of it ends up in the skin and mucous membranes , causing them to turn a shade of yellow.

People can spread hepatitis B whether they have symptoms or not. The only way to know if youor a sex partneris safe is with a blood test.

Other Sexual Practices And Risk Factors

Other sexual practices that increase the risk of hepatitis C transmission include:

  • sharing sex toys that have been used anally or during menstruation
  • fingering, which can cause bleeding
  • fisting, which can cause bleeding

The risk of hepatitis C transmission is also higher among people with HIV. This is because HIV weakens the immune system, which can raise the risk of contracting viral infections and other illnesses.

2.4 million people in the United States live with hepatitis C, according to 2016 estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

Understanding how the virus is transmitted and taking protective measures can help protect you and your sexual partners from hepatitis C.

To reduce the risk of transmission during sex:

  • Follow your doctors recommendations for STI testing. Talk with them about your sexual habits and other risk factors. Ask them if you should get tested for hepatitis C or other sexually transmitted infections .
  • Talk with sexual partners about their STI status. Ask them if theyve been tested since their last sexual relationship.
  • Get treatment forSTIs. Ask your doctor about treatment options if you test positive for hepatitis C or other STIs.
  • Use barrier methods like condoms during sex. This is particularly important if you have multiple sexual partners or youre having anal sex, rough vaginal sex, or sex during menstruation when you or your partner may have hepatitis C.

Other ways to prevent hepatitis C:

What To Know About Hepatitis C During Oral And Anal Sex

Oral sex does not pose an increased risk of transmitting the hepatitis C virus, according to the American Liver Foundation, unless there are open sores or cuts in the mouth. To be safe, however, the CDC recommends using a new latex condom whenever you have oral sex to reduce the risk of transmitting hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections like HIV.

Anal sex is high-risk, though, because rectal tissue is fragile and can easily tear when manipulated or pushed to expand. If the tissue tears and bleeds, theres a chance for blood-to-blood contact. For this reason, its best to always use a condom during anal sex. Its also important to liberally apply water- or silicone-based lubricant to keep anal tissue and condoms from tearing.

If you use sex toys, it may be safest to avoid sharing them. If youre engaging in rough sex that results in skin tears, even tiny traces of infected blood that remain on a toy can pass through openings in the skin although the risk of spreading bloodborne diseases remains very low. Whats more, the human papilloma virus has been transmitted via sex toys, even after cleaning.

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Can Hepatitis C Be Spread During Vaginal Sex

Its rare for the hepatitis C virus to be transmitted through vaginal intercourse. Unless the vaginal walls arent lubricated or intercourse is very rough and leads to tears in the vaginal wall, theres no opportunity for blood to be exchanged. The risk for transmission with vaginal intercourse is about 1 in 190,000, according to research published in the March 2013 issue of the journal Hepatology.

Research published in the Journal of Coagulation Disorders in March 2014 reinforces these findings, emphasizing that transmission of the hepatitis C virus by sex in monogamous heterosexual couples is rare. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that couples in monogamous heterosexual relationships do not need to use condoms routinely, even if one partner has hepatitis C. Concerned couples, however, can discuss using a condom to lower the already very low risk of spreading the virus, says Talal.

Just how safe sex is when a partner has hepatitis C hinges on some other factors as well. For example, its important to use a new condom with each sexual act that has the potential to expose the uninfected partner to the infected persons blood, even if youre in a committed relationship, says the CDC. Some of these situations include sex when you or your partner:

  • Has an open cut or sore
  • Has another sexually transmitted infection , especially one that causes sores or lesions
  • Is having her menstrual period

If You Have Large Amounts Of Virus In Your Blood Are You More Likely To Spread The Disease To A Sex Partner

Hepatitis A alert

Some studies suggest that a lot of the virus in the blood might make it easier to spread the virus. But even with high levels of the virus, you are still not very likely to spread the virus through sex. You do not necessarily have to change your sex habits if you have higher levels of the hepatitis C virus.

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More Ways To Reduce The Risk Of Infection

If you arent sure whether you have hepatitis C, get tested. Testing is especially important if you have sex with more than one person or if you have other risk factors for hepatitis C, including being born being 1945 and 1965, having had a blood transfusion prior to 1992, and injecting drugs .

Talk to your partner about getting tested as well, for hepatitis C and other STDs, so you know the risks before having sex. People who are at risk for hepatitis C are also at risk for HIV and other STDs, emphasizes Talal.

How Does A Person Get Hepatitis

A person can get hepatitis A through the following sources:

  • Food or water contaminated with the fecal matter of an infected person
  • Sexual contact

A person can get hepatitis B in many ways, which include:

  • Having sexual contact with an infected person
  • Sharing needles
  • Being in direct contact with an infected persons blood
  • Transferred from mother to the fetus
  • Getting an infected needle prick
  • Being in contact with an infected persons body fluid

A person can get hepatitis C through:

  • Sharing infected needles
  • Being in direct contact with an infected persons blood
  • Getting an infected needle prick
  • Having sexual contact with an infected person

Hepatitis D can be spread through:

  • Transferred from mother to the fetus
  • Being in contact with the infected fluid or blood
  • A person can get hepatitis D only if they are infected previously with hepatitis B.

Hepatitis E mainly infects people who eat or drink food or water contaminated with the virus. Under-cooked foods can also spread hepatitis E. It is more dangerous in pregnant women.

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How Do You Get Hepatitis A And How Common Is It

Hepatitis A can affect anyone. The virus is passed out in the stools of infected people. In areas of poor sanitation, or where disposal of sewage is poor, hepatitis A can become common due to dirty water and food. This means you may become infected with hepatitis A by eating uncooked food prepared or washed in contaminated water, or by drinking contaminated water. Shellfish caught in contaminated water can also carry the hepatitis A virus. Someone who has hepatitis A infection may pass on the infection to others. This can occur through preparing food, or through close contact with another person, if they have not washed their hands properly after going to the toilet.

The highest-risk areas of the world for hepatitis A infection include: the Indian subcontinent , Africa, parts of the Far East , South and Central America and the Middle East.

Hepatitis A has become uncommon in parts of the world where sanitation is generally good, such as the UK and Western Europe. Most cases of hepatitis A infection in the UK are diagnosed in people returning home after travelling to a country where sanitation is poor and risk of hepatitis A infection is higher. Outbreaks in schools and families can sometimes occur in the UK, as the virus is quite easily passed on from person to person if personal hygiene is not good. For example, the virus may be passed on if infected people do not wash their hands after going to the toilet.

How Do You Treat Hepatitis C

How Does Hepatitis C Hurt Your Liver? | WebMD

People with acute infection do not always need treatment, because their immune system may clear hepatitis C on its own. If you test positive during the acute stage, your doctor may ask you to come back after a few months to re-test and to see if you need any treatment.

If people develop chronic infection, they will need treatment to help clear the virus. Where available, treatment with drugs called direct-acting antivirals can cure hepatitis in most cases. These are usually taken for 8-12 weeks. Your doctor will also check your liver for any damage.

If youve had hepatitis C in the past, youre not immune to future infections which means you can get it again. You can also still get other types of hepatitis, and having hepatitis C together with another type is more serious.

If youve already had hepatitis C, its advisable to have the vaccination against hepatitis A and B to protect your liver from further damage.

Whether you have symptoms or not, dont have sex until your healthcare professional says you can.

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Giving Blood And Organ Donation

If you have hepatitis C, you cannot give blood.

In a recent research study in America kidneys from people with hepatitis C who had died were transplanted into patients who did not have the virus.

All of the recipients subsequently contracted hepatitis C but were treated for it and all were cured. The benefit of receiving a kidney outweighed the risk of not clearing hepatitis C.

Can You Pass Hepatitis C Through Other Types Of Sexual Contact Such As Oral And Anal Sex

Sex and Sexuality

There is no proof that anyone has ever spread the virus through oral sex, although it may be possible. Anal sex may damage the lining of the rectum and make it easier to pass the virus through the blood.

Using condoms will help prevent spreading the hepatitis C virus and will also protect you against other sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis B.

You cannot spread the hepatitis C virus through other types of contact, such as hugging or kissing someone on the cheek.

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Sex And Dirty Needles

Hepatitis A can also be passed on through sex without a condom or dental dam with someone who has the virus, even if they dont have symptomsIn particular, via anal sex, fingering, rimming, fisting, or exploring the area around the anus with your fingers, mouth or tongue. Touching used condoms, sex toys and douching equipment that have been in someone elses anus can also pass the virus on.

You can protect yourself by:

  • Knowing the status of your sexual partners.
  • Using a new male or female condom or dental dam every time you have vaginal, anal or oral sex.
  • Using a new dental dam or latex gloves for rimming and fingering or using latex gloves for fisting.
  • Covering sex toys with a new condom and wash them after use.
  • Avoiding sex that involves contact with faeces .
  • Washing your hands after touching someones anus or handling used condoms and sex toys.
  • Using a new condom for every sexual partner and having regular STI tests.
  • Having the hepatitis A vaccine if youre in close contact with someone with hepatitis A or if youre in a high-risk group. This can also be provided as prophylaxis if provided within two weeks of exposure.

Sharing contaminated needles and syringes during recreational drug use can also pass hepatitis A on. Make sure you use new injecting equipment every time you inject drugs.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis does not prevent you from getting hepatitis A, nor does the contraceptive pill or other forms of contraception .

How Is Hepatitis A Diagnosed

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Your doctor will ask questions about your symptoms and where you have eaten or travelled. You may have blood tests if your doctor thinks you have the virus. These tests can tell if your liver is inflamed and whether you have antibodies to the hepatitis A virus. These antibodies show that you have been exposed to the virus.

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Tips For Preventing Transmission Through Sex

If youre sexually active with a person who has hepatitis C, there are ways that you can prevent contracting the virus. Likewise, if you have the virus, you can avoid infecting others.

A few steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of sexual transmission include:

  • using a condom during every sexual contact, including oral sex
  • learning to use all barrier devices correctly to prevent ripping or tearing during intercourse
  • resisting engaging in sexual contact when either partner has an open cut or wound in their genitals
  • being tested for STIs and asking sexual partners to be tested too
  • practicing sexual monogamy
  • using extra precautions if youre HIV-positive, as your chance of contracting HCV is much higher if you have HIV

If you have hepatitis C, you should be honest with all sexual partners about your status. This ensures that youre both taking the proper precautions to prevent transmission.

What Is Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is part of a group of hepatitis viruses that attack the liver. It can be passed on via unprotected sex , through contaminated needles and from a pregnant woman to her baby during birth.

You may be more at risk of getting hepatitis B if you inject drugs, are a sex worker, are a man who has sex with men, change partners frequently, are in close contact with someone who has chronic hepatitis B, or your occupation exposes you to the virus, for example, a nurse.

Vaccines for hepatitis B are routinely offered to infants. Adults at a higher risk of getting hepatitis B may also be offered the vaccine.

Hepatitis B does not always cause symptoms and can pass in a few months without treatment . People can also have a lifelong infection , and without appropriate treatment and care, it can become more serious and lead to liver damage or death.

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Contaminated Food And Water

Hepatitis A is most commonly passed on by eating food prepared by someone with the virus whose hands have not been washed properly. You can also get it by drinking dirty water and by eating raw or undercooked shellfish from dirty water.

You can protect yourself by:

  • Washing your hands each time you go to the toilet, before you prepare or eat food, after coughing or sneezing, or handling rubbish or other dirty items.
  • Peeling and washing all your fresh fruit and vegetables avoiding raw or undercooked meat and fish avoiding all drinks if youre not sure if theyre safe with or without ice.
  • If tap water isnt safe and bottled water isn’t available, boil tap water before drinking it.
  • People living in places with poor sanitation and hygiene are at a greater risk of hepatitis A infection. You may also be exposed to hepatitis A through your work, for example, sewage workers, staff in institutions where levels of personal hygiene may be poor , people working with animals that may be infected with hepatitis A and daycare centres.

Sexual Transmission And Hepatitis A

Hepatitis C Virus

Transmission of hepatitis A virus can occur from any sexual activity with an infected person and is not limited to fecal-oral contact. People who are sexually active are considered at risk for hepatitis A if they are MSM, live with or are having sex with an infected person, or inject drugs. Vaccination is the most effective means of preventing hepatitis A transmission among people at risk for infection. CDC has published recommendations for prevention of hepatitis A that identify all groups recommended for vaccination, including hepatitis A vaccination for MSM.

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What Is The Treatment For Hepatitis A

There is no specific treatment needed for hepatitis A. It is usually a self-limiting illness, which means it usually goes away on its own. Your immune system will normally clear away the infection. Most people with hepatitis A infection don’t need to be admitted to hospital. However, admission to hospital may be suggested if you are severely ill or you are being sick and are lacking in fluid in the body .

Treatment is aimed at relieving your symptoms. It is common to feel more tired than usual when you have hepatitis A so you may need to have plenty of rest. Your doctor may be able to suggest some painkillers and some antisickness medication if needed. To help ease the symptom of itch, keep cool, wear loose clothing and avoid hot baths or showers. Avoiding fatty foods may help to reduce the feeling of sickness. Also, you should not drink alcohol whilst you are ill.

During your illness, your doctor may also want to keep a check on how your liver is working by repeating blood tests from time to time to look at this.

It is important to have excellent personal hygiene to reduce the risk of passing the virus on to others. Thoroughly wash your hands after going to the toilet. You should also avoid handling food and having unprotected sex when you are infected with the virus. Ask your doctor when it is safe for you to return to work, or for your child to return to school or nursery.

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