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Most people infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) carry the virus for the rest of their lives. But treatment helps some people get over HCV infection. Ask your healthcare provider about your options and how likely it is that treatment will work for you.
Deciding whether or not to get treatment for HCV infection is not easy. Treatment doesn’t work for everyone. Your age, gender, and HCV genotype may affect how well treatment works. And because hepatitis C progresses slowly, not everyone needs treatment. Here are some things to think about:
How healthy are you? People who are in good health now may never develop health problems from hepatitis C. Ask your healthcare provider if treatment is likely to benefit your health.
Are the benefits worth the risks? Treatment for HCV infection can take up to a year and may cause side effects that make you feel sick. But after treatment, your body may be free of HCV. Discussing the pros and cons of treatment with your doctor and loved ones can help you reach a decision.
Is now the right time? Think about how treatment will fit into your daily routine. During treatment, you may be too tired to keep up an active lifestyle. Talk to family members and close friends about how treatment would fit into your life and schedule.
Do you plan to have a baby soon? HCV sometimes passes from mother to baby during birth. You may want to try to prevent this by getting treatment. But medications used to treat HCV infection can cause problems during pregnancy. If you and your partner are planning to have a baby soon, this will likely affect your hepatitis C treatment plans. Talk to your healthcare provider.