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Fertility Treatment, Zika and Your Summer Trip

A sibling is a forever friend

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 traveling.  You might be at risk of 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 with an infected 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 medication for Zika.

Well, I’m not pregnant yet, so do I need to be concerned?  The CDC recommends that people who travel to at-risk areas 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, the CDC recommends abstaining from intercourse or using 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 intercourse or using 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 intercourse or using 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 interruption, avoid traveling to places reporting the Zika virus.  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.

Please do not hesitate to call our office with any questions or concerns.  We are here to help! Call us at 312.485.4847 today to learn more!

Source: accessed 6/8/17