Zika and Trying to Conceive

In recent years, the spread of Zika virus and the threat of Zika exposure has become a concern for couples planning conception. The virus can be transmitted through:



In rare instances, a man can contract Zika through unprotected sex with an infected female.

Fears over the mosquito-borne virus and its impact on fetal development have caused concern for couples who are considering starting a family.



Zika is not new, it is a virus that has been around since the 1940s, but in recent years the virus has been associated with microcephaly (small head circumference). The majority of individuals infected with the Zika virus experience only mild symptoms such as fever, rash, headache, malaise, joint and muscle pain and conjunctivitis. Treatment is aimed at symptom relief and includes over-the-counter medications for fever and discomfort.

The real concern is for pregnant women who contract Zika since the virus increases the risk of miscarriage and fetal brain damage.

Updated information has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to release the following new recommendations:


Males traveling to an area with the risk of Zika should use condoms or avoid engaging in sexual intercourse for at least six months

Females traveling to an area with the risk of Zika should not attempt reproduction and should use condoms or avoid sex for a minimum of 2 months

Male and female partners who both travel to an area with the risk of Zika are advised to use condoms or abstain from sex for at least six months


Additionally, the CDC recommends men or women who are planning to conceive in the near future avoid nonessential travel to areas with active transmission of Zika.



There is a temporary restriction on egg donation for women who:



These limitations are lifted after the 6-month period, and a woman can once again become an eligible donor.

Although research is continuing and new information is quickly becoming available, couples planning to conceive should be aware of current guidelines and take every precaution to ensure they wait the recommended period of time before attempting pregnancy.

Contact your local URA clinic in Hasbrouck Heights, Hoboken, and Wayne, NJ for more information. Your friendly URA team will be happy to consult you about Zika virus and how it can affect your family.

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