Zika virus infects people mainly by a bite from an infected Aedes species mosquito the same mosquitoes that spread dengue and chikunguny viruses.
With the increasing acceptance of the relationship between Zika virus infection and pregnancy complications, including having a baby with a smaller head size with incomplete brain development called microcephaly, pregnant women and couple considering conception must maintain their knowledge of the potential harm the Zika virus can cause.
To play it safe for women pregnant or trying to conceive, or egg donors:
- Do use over the counter ZEET spray (recently been shown to be safe for use by pregnant woman to avoid Zika infection)
- Do use barrier contraception in Zika endemic areas
- Do stay informed regarding updates on Zika at CDC.gov/Zika
- Do not travel to Zika endemic countries.
- Do not have sexual intercourse with a man who may be infected with Zika virus
- Do not try to conceive for at least eight weeks after onset of symptoms if infected with Zika (men should wait at least six months)
- Do not try to conceive for at least eight weeks if possible Zika exposure
- Do not donate eggs for 6 months following infection or exposure to Zika (applies to men donating sperm as well per the FDA)
* Adapted from the Centers and Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
By Mark P. Trolice, M.D., Director, The IVF Center
Update 5/22/17: Click here to see the CDC’s travel recommendations for Zika in that country.