Can Hepatitis B be transmitted during IVF?
My husband is negative for Hep B, while I am a Hep B carrier. We wish to undergo IVF. Is this possible, and will the embryo be infected with Hep B?
Great question. This is a complex discussion that requires the input of both your gastroenterologist and IVF doctor.
Current evidence states that the transmission of viral hepatitis in assisted reproduction is possible, but the degree of risk is unknown.
Your partner who is negative for Hep B should be vaccinated against Hep B. Once his anti-hepatitis B surface antibody titer (HBsAB) is positive, you can commence with IVF treatment.
As for yourself, the risk of Hep B transmission from mother to child during an IVF procedure is no different from spontaneous pregnancy, and thus "there is no reason to advise against an IVF procedure in Hep B carriers" (Steyaert et al., 2000).
For protection and to minimise the risk of Hep B transmission, your newborn should receive immunoprophylaxis within 12 hours after birth. This consists of both HBV vaccine and immunoglobulin, and is repeated when he or she is 6 months old.
After your newborn has received immunoprophylaxis, you can breastfeed him/her.
Here's some good resources for further reading: