Is Sex Safe For Someone With Hepatitis C?
- Health Hub 101, Taboo Topic
- 01 Aug, 2022
Although there is a small chance, several sexual behaviors can raise the risk of hepatitis C transmission. Here are some safety-related facts.
You don't have to give up sex if you or your partner have been diagnosed with hepatitis C.
Blood-to-blood contact is the primary method of transmission for hepatitis C, and while some sexual practices may raise the chance of contracting the virus, sexual transmission is a rare method of infection.
This does not imply that you should disregard prudence. Hepatitis C is a dangerous condition that, despite being curable, can destroy the liver and result in cirrhosis, liver failure, liver cancer, and other health issues.
Additionally, it has relatively few symptoms and can go unnoticed for years or even decades. The hepatitis C virus can therefore enter another body during sexual activity through even the slightest rip in skin or tissue.
Is It Possible To Spread Hepatitis C During Vaginal Sex?
Hepatitis C virus transmission through vaginal contact is uncommon. There is no chance for blood to exchange unless the vagina is not lubricated or the intercourse is really rough and results in tears in the vaginal walls. There is a 1 in 190,000 chance of transmission during vaginal intercourse.
Other factors will also affect how safe sex is when one partner has hepatitis C. It is advised to use a fresh condom with each sexual activity to avoid exposing the uninfected partner to an infected person's blood.
Get hepatitis C treatment for safer sex
By receiving medical care, you can reduce your risk of spreading the infection.
Within eight to twelve weeks of treatment, modern antiviral medicines can eradicate more than 90% of hepatitis C infections. In comparison to older medications, the current hepatitis C medicines have fewer and milder adverse effects.
Just be aware that transmission can still happen while receiving treatment. Additionally, a treatment does not offer perpetual immunity to the infection.
Additional Techniques to Lower the Infection Risk
Get tested if you're unsure if you have hepatitis C. Testing is especially crucial if you also have other hepatitis C risk factors, such as having received a blood transfusion before 1992 or having a prior history of sharing needles (even just once).
Discuss getting tested for hepatitis C and other STIs with your partner so that you are both aware of the dangers before engaging in sex.
Creating Sexually Healthy Relationships
Be open and honest. That's rule number one for a successful sexual relationship. Although having this talk can be challenging, it is necessary.
Talking about any past hepatitis C exposure you may have had, even in the distant past, is a part of describing your current situation.
You should discuss your sexual history as well as your prior exposure to other methods of viral transmission, such as needle sharing or coming into contact with objects like razors and toothbrushes that may have infected blood on them.
Even if you regularly use condoms during intercourse, other behaviors like sharing needles or straws raise your chance of acquiring hepatitis C or spreading it to others.
You might also want to think about meeting with a marriage and family therapist or sex therapist if you and your partner feel that having hepatitis C is interfering with your relationship or your sexual life.
Hepatitis C: How common is sexual transmission? - Mayo Clinic. (2021, September 29). Mayo Clinic; www.mayoclinic.org. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hepatitis-c/expert-answers/hepatitis-c/faq-20058441#:~:text=Hepatitis%20C%20is%20transmitted%20primarily,human%20immunodeficiency%20virus%20(HIV).
Sexual contact | Hepatitis C Trust. (n.d.). Hepatitis C Trust; www.hepctrust.org.uk. Retrieved August 1, 2022, from http://www.hepctrust.org.uk/information/risk-factors/sexual-contact
Can You Get Hepatitis C From Sex? (2020, July 18). WebMD; www.webmd.com. https://www.webmd.com/hepatitis/hepatitis-c-sex
Hepatitis C and Sex: Understanding and Managing the Risk. (n.d.). Hepatitis C and Sex: Understanding and Managing the Risk; www.healthline.com. Retrieved August 1, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/hepatitis-c/safe-sex-with-hep-c