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Preconception Topics..

You are here : home > Preconception > Tests before Pregnancy > Importance of Hepatitis B Test

Importance of Hepatitis B Test

Importance of Hepatitis B Test

Hepatitis test should be done before planning conception so that if the results are positive, a proper treatment plan can be chalked out. The test for Hepatitis is done by taking a blood sample and the test is aimed to detect a protein produced by the virus. The screening for Hepatitis is called Hepatitis B surface antigen and it is a very sensitive test. Read on to know about the importance of Hepatitis test before planning conception.

Every individual regardless of his age or sex can fall victim to Hepatitis, especially Hepatitis B. It is important to get the Hepatitis test done before planning conception because the virus can get transmitted into the blood stream of the fetus from the mother if she is a carrier of the virus.

Why is the Hepatitis Test Important?

It is essential to get the test done especially for the women who fall into the high risk category. They include the health care workers, women belonging to certain ethnic communities which are prone to Hepatitis B, or women whose partners are affected with the virus. Serious care needs to be taken because this virus gets spread through direct contact with someone with infected blood or body fluid. Even the tiniest amount can result in a serious infection. In this context it is essential to know how the virus gets spread:

  1. If the needles are shared while injecting drugs to an infected person 
  1. If there is intercourse with an infected person
  1. Passed on from the mother to the child during birth

If the mother contacts the Hepatitis infection after conception, the doctor needs to be sure of the condition. He is required to chart out a separate medication plan so that the baby remains protected during delivery. It is important to note here, while the mother is pregnant, Hepatitis B does not usually cause any harm to the either the mother or the unborn child. According to data, if there is a slack in proper medications and precautions, the baby has almost 95% chance of being born with chronic Hepatitis B.

Babies born with the infection are likely to become carriers and thereby pass on the infection throughout their lives without being really aware of it. The problem gets convoluted as during or even after birth, the baby if he happens to have contacted the virus from the infected mother, may not really show any signs of infection. But as they grow up, the liver damage gets apparent. It has been found that 25% of the babies born with Hepatitis infections die due to serious liver infection or liver cancer. 

Dangers of Developing Hepatitis B

It has been found that majority of the infected people get back to their normal health even without medical intervention, but the cause of concern is when about 3% of them become carriers. Again those whose liver gets affected due to the virus, are exposed to the risk of progressive liver damage that can result in liver cancer and might even prove to be fatal. Basically Hepatitis B makes the liver inflamed. The common symptoms are nausea, fatigue and in acute cases, jaundice. 

How is the Screening for Hepatitis Done?

The screening test procedure is known as Hepatitis B surface antigen. It is a very effective test as it can successfully detect a protein that is produced by the virus, thereby detecting a Hepatitis B infection even prior to the condition where the symptoms are expressed. When you are planning conception and you discover that you are testing positive for Hepatitis B, you get ample time to chart out a medical treatment with the doctor and later go on to deliver a healthy baby. 

The test is done by taking a blood sample from the arm of the woman. If the woman tests negative, it means that currently there is no infection. This also be translated into, the amount of antigen is so miniscule that it cannot be detected. Therefore, it is important to regularly go for a screening particularly, if the woman is exposed to high risk lifestyle like, professional health workers or unprotected multiple sexual contacts.

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Sohum.7 years ago
screening for hepatitis B is very important for people in the high risk category. screening for this disease is easy and done at all major hospitals and nursing homes. a little care can help in preventing the disease.
Prakash.7 years ago
this is an informative article. it has made me realize how important it is to get hepatitis B test done especially before planning conception. this article has explained about the causes and possible dangers and screening of hepatitis B. Thanks for making me aware of this disease.
Raghav.7 years ago
recently i donated blood at a blood donation camp. i am afraid that i may have contracted a disease. do i need to undergo tests. can i get hepatitis B through blood donation.
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