Hepatitis B Symptoms
Hepatitis B Prevention
There are many ways to prevent Hepatitis B. Getting vaccinated is one of the best ways as it can offer protection for life. Like many others, you might have been vaccinated at birth or during your childhood. Not sure if you’ve been vaccinated? You doctor can help you determine if getting the vaccine is best for you or not.
It is important to know how Hepatitis B can be transmitted to better protect yourself and your partner from contracting it. HBV is very contagious, reports from the Center for Disease Control state that Hepatitis B is 50 to 100 times more infections than HIV. Hepatitis B is contracted though bodily fluids: vaginal fluids, semen, blood, and urine. It can be transmitted through vaginal, anal, and oral sex.
Practicing safe sex is another way to prevent Hepatitis B. Safe sex practices include, but are not limited to, the use of dental dams or condoms and abstinence.
Sharing needles, toothbrushes, razors, or other instruments that can transfer infected blood from one individual to another can place you at risk for contracting Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is not transmitted by means of kissing, breastfeeding, sharing food, coughing, sneezing, hugging, or hand holding.
If there is a chance you may have been exposed to HBV or if you are experiencing symptoms of Hepatitis B, we recommend you get tested as soon as possible. We also recommend regular testing for you and your sexual partner, or partners to help prevent transmitting any STDs.
Testing for Hepatitis B
Testing for Hepatitis B can prove to be beneficial for your health. If there is a chance you might be pregnant, the importance of testing for Hepatitis B is even greater. The virus is highly contagious and can be passed to your baby, so testing is imperative.
Even individuals who get regular physicals and gynecological exams should be tested regularly for Hepatitis B since it isn’t typically checked for during a usual routine visit unless it has been requested.
Testing requires a blood test. If you have been infected in less than two months, your test may come back as a false negative. This can be true even if you currently have symptoms of Hepatitis B and have HBV in your system. You’re probably wondering why. It takes approximately two months after being infected to develop the HBV antibodies the test detects. Retesting may be necessary to ensure the accuracy of negative results.
Pregnancy and Hepatitis B
HBV is extremely contagious. Unfortunately, transmitting the virus to the baby during birth is possible. If you are pregnant, or think there is a possibility that you are pregnant, we recommend testing so you can know the status of your health. When properly treated, babies can experience recovery from the virus. However, when left untreated, your child could develop chronic symptoms of Hepatitis B.