Fertility Treatment, Zika and Your Summer Trip

Ahhh summer… It’s the perfect time to take a break, relax and enjoy a vacation.  Before you book those plane tickets, this is what you need to know before you travel.  You might be at risk for coming into contact with Zika.

What is Zika? Zika is a virus most likely spread by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito, HOWEVER, Zika can also be transmitted through sexual contact from an infected person to his or her partner. A Zika infection can also pass from a pregnant woman to her unborn child and it can cause severe birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.

Well, I’m not pregnant yet, so do I need to be concerned?  The CDC recommends people who travel to at risk areas need to abstain from sexual contact or use condoms for a specified amount of time before trying to conceive. If only the female partner travels to an at risk area, CDC recommends sex or use condoms for at least 8 weeks upon return. Because the Zika virus survives longer in semen than any other body fluid, if the male partner travels to an at risk area, then the CDC recommends no sex or use condoms for at least 6 months!  The recommendation is the same for male and female partners who travel together to an at risk area.  No sex or use condoms for 6 months!

What does this mean for my fertility treatments? Although there are no reports of Zika transmission through assisted fertility technology, the transmission through gametes or embryos is theoretically possible.  If you want to continue fertility treatments without interruptions, avoid travel to places with Zika.  If you or your partner is going to travel to an area with Zika, freezing sperm or completing an IVF cycle and freezing the embryos before travel could be an option.  Delaying fertility treatment up to 6 months after travel would also be an option.

Where is Zika now? Check out the CDC website for the most up to date information.https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/world-map-areas-with-zika

Please do not hesitate to call our office with any questions or concerns.  We are here to help!

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html accessed 6/8/17