There is a broad range of sexually transmitted infections and diseases out there today. It’s natural to be curious if your steady partner or fling has been tested recently or may have had a dirty secret lingering around. We’re more familiar with herpes, chlamydia and gonorrhea, as those are the ones we hear about more often. However, what if you find out that the person you’ve been dating for a while has hepatitis? Understandably, you’ll be a bit shaken, but the most important question you should be asking is, “Can You Get Hepatitis From Sex?”
What is Hepatitis?
The first thing to know about hepatitis is what it is. Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that is a fairly common affliction. The liver is vital for breaking down food for digestion and aiding in metabolism.
Types of Hepatitis and How They Are Transmitted
There are five types of hepatitis: Hepatitis A-E. Since most of the types involve transmission of the disease through bodily fluids, it is very much likely that you may contract hepatitis from sex, especially unprotected sex.
Hepatitis A – this type of hepatitis is spread through contact with fecal matter from an infected person. This can be directly or indirectly, by cross contamination in food or water. Symptoms include fever, light stool, dark urine and jaundice.
Hepatitis B – HBV or Hepatitis B virus, can be transmitted through urine, semen, body fluids or after birth from mother to infant. Symptoms include fever, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, joint pain or jaundice.
Hepatitis C – the method of transmission of HBC (Hepatitis C) is most commonly exposure to contaminated blood or needles. Symptoms are similar to HBV.
Hepatitis D – HDV is often transmitted by people with HBV, via contaminated blood and having unprotected sex with a person that is infected.
Hepatitis E – more so found in underdeveloped civilizations of the world and spread via oral/fecal method. This form of hepatitis is more acute and will go away on its own.
Preventive Measures Hepatitis A – proper hand-washing is a great way to prevent against hepatitis A.
Hepatitis B – you will need to take a blood test to diagnose yourself for HBV. Vaccinations are available for those who may be at risk for infection. Check with your local doctor for your options.
Hepatitis C – this also needs a blood test to determine your diagnosis.
Hepatitis D – as with HBV, you will need to test yourself or get a vaccination.
Hepatitis E – limit oral or fecal contact.
Communicate With Your Partner
As mentioned before, communication with your partner is key here. You need to have a frank conversation about your sexual health. Get tested at the beginning of your relationship so that you are both clear on where you stand. If you find that you have any sexually transmitted infections or other afflictions, be very meticulous as to not transmit them to others. Also, if your partner does have hepatitis, be supportive. It’s not a choice to have transmitted hepatitis. Having a supportive partner can help give them a bit of a confidence that will help them accept the situation for what it is.