When it comes to the hepatitis C virus (HCV), women might have natural factors that work both for and against their bodies while combating the disease, according to a new study published in the journal Hepatology and reported by the Guardian Liberty Voice.

The study points out that estrogen is said to provide a protective effect on the liver for women. However, when females with hepatitis C enter menopause, the subsequent reduction in estrogen could predispose them to hep C-related cirrhosis later on.

The study also looked into the potential risks of becoming exposed to the hepatitis C virus while a sexual partner is menstruating. Since HCV is transmitted by way of blood-to-blood contact, researchers say transmission is possibly more likely during this time, but is likely very rare and considered only in theory.

In general, the researchers found that the risk factors for contracting hepatitis C do not vary from gender to gender.

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