The Zika Virus

Updated September 2016

Information about the Zika Virus, and the associated risks with pregnancy, are updated continuously. We are kept up to date by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). We base our recommendations on their guidelines. Please review the CDC website dedicated to the Zika virus for additional information, and on methods to prevent exposure if you must travel to an area of transmission.

Women and men who have Zika virus disease:

Women and men should wait at least 6 months after onset of illness to attempt reproduction. The
temporal relationship between the presence of viral RNA and infectivity is not known definitively and,
thus, the absolute duration of time to wait before attempting pregnancy is unknown. Male and female
partners who become infected should avoid intimate sexual contact or use condoms for the same 6
months. Intimate sexual contact includes vaginal, anal and oral sex and the sharing of sex toys.

Women and Men with possible exposure to Zika virus:

Women and men with possible exposure to Zika virus but without clinical illness consistent with Zika virus
disease should consider testing for Zika viral RNA within 2 weeks of suspected exposure and wait at least 8
weeks after the last date of exposure before being re-tested. They then should consider attempting
pregnancy only if the test is negative. Ideally, if the rRT-PCR results were negative one would obtain
antibody testing if and when available. This testing paradigm will not necessarily guarantee lack of Zika
virus infectivity.

Possible exposure to Zika virus:

Exposure can occur two ways:
• travel (or recent residence) to an area of active Zika virus transmission
• sexual contact of any kind (without a condom) with a man who traveled to or resided in an area with the Zika virus

Areas of active Zika virus transmission are kept up to date on the CDC website. If attempting to conceive, or if pregnant, we advise against travel to areas with active Zika virus transmission.


September 19, 2016

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