How worried should you be about Zika virus and pregnancy?
As spring heats up and the mosquitoes come out, it’s time to start thinking about the risk of Zika virus. Zika can pass from a pregnant woman to her fetus, and may cause a birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other serious brain defects. Arming yourself with knowledge about Zika virus and pregnancy is the best way to protect yourself and your future family.
Pregnant women can contract the virus by being bitten by infected mosquitoes, or by having unprotected sex with someone who is infected. To help you stay safe, our Las Vegas fertility experts share the latest update from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Update on Zika virus and pregnancy
CDC recently issued guidelines for travel, prevention, testing and preconception counseling for pregnant women and couples who are trying to conceive. The agency also created a world map highlighting two areas: Zika active transmission areas, or “red areas,” and Zika cautionary areas, or “yellow areas.”
At this time, Nevada is not considered a risky area for Zika virus and pregnancy, as the only two U.S. states affected are Texas and Florida. If you are considering travel to an area where Zika virus has been reported, be sure to tell your Las Vegas fertility experts, and keep CDC guidelines in mind.
- If you are pregnant, do not travel to red areas, and consider postponing travel to yellow areas.
- If you are trying to conceive (or are a surrogate), avoid non-essential travel to red areas. If you must travel, follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.
- Women who are planning to conceive and have been exposed to Zika virus should wait at least eight weeks to try to conceive.
- If you are an egg donor or considering donating your eggs, delay travel to yellow and red areas until after your donation cycle has completed.
- Men who may have been exposed should wait at least six months after symptom onset or the end date of the last possible exposure.
If you don’t know, ask
Researchers do not yet know if there is any safe point during pregnancy to travel to a high-risk area, or how likely it is that your baby will be affected if you become infected. Your Las Vegas fertility experts stay continually updated on the latest information about Zika virus, and are happy to answer your questions and address your concerns. Please be sure to tell your fertility specialist if you think there’s a chance you may have been exposed, and talk to your doctor if you’re considering travel to any area where Zika virus is a threat. Ask us about freezing sperm, eggs or embryos prior to travel.
To find out more about Zika virus and pregnancy, contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our Las Vegas fertility experts.