The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced its recommendations for couples who may have been exposed to the Zika virus, but that are looking to conceive. The Zika virus is a mosquito-transmitted infection related to dengue, yellow fever, and West Nile virus. While it is common in Africa and Asia, it recently spread to the Western Hemisphere.

The concern comes for pregnant women who develop a temporary form of paralysis after exposure to the Zika virus. This temporary paralysis can result in babies being born with abnormally small heads, a neurological condition known as microcephaly.

Exposed to the Zika virus…

To reduce risks of Zika infection during pregnancy, men and women with possible exposure but without symptoms should wait eight or more weeks before conception attempts.

Infected with the Zika virus…

For those infected with the virus, women should wait eight or more weeks from the onset of symptoms and men should wait six or more months before conception attempts.

Zika virus has been detected in tissues and bodily fluids even after the virus is no longer detectable within the bloodstream, and can be detected in semen up to 10 weeks after the onset of symptoms. Given this uncertainty, six months is the recommended wait time before attempting conception.

The IVF CenterSM is applying these guidelines to all patients including egg/sperm donors.

Click here for more Zika resources from the CDC.

Update 5/22/17: Click here to see the CDC’s travel recommendations for Zika in that country.