Zika Virus Update for Fertility Patients
The Zika virus has not gone away. In fact, it's even more relevant to be aware of as winter tends to be warm weather vacation time. If you are trying to conceive in the next six months or more, planning a vacation should include considering possible exposure to the virus.
Zika exposure leads to serious, well-proven health complications for pregnancies and babies. Severe and often fatal brain deformities are occurring regularly after exposure to the virus.
This is the last thing any of us wants, under any circumstances.
If you are considering or undergoing fertility treatment in the next 6-9 months, please read carefully before you make vacation plans.
Zika Virus Update for Fertility Treatment Patients
This is information taken directly from the CDC website:
"Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (aegypti and Ae. albopictus). These mosquitoes bite during the day and night.
Zika can be passed from apregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects.
There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.
Local mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission has been reported in the continental United States."
The CDC has a comprehensive, constantly updated page on their website that is focused on Zika. The CDC has three specific types of travel health alerts and notices- Level 3, warning, red- Avoid Nonessential Travel. Level 2, orange, Practice Enhanced Precautions. Watch Level 1- Practice Usual Precautions. The last update to this page was January 12th. At that time, there were no geographical areas listed in the red level. There were many, over 64 countries and regions, listed on the orange level.
The expanded version of the orange, level 2 alert is the following: "Increased risk in defined settings or associated with specific risk factors; certain high-risk populations may wish to delay travel to these destinations."
If you are trying to conceive, you are considered high risk. If you are trying to conceive in the next six months, you are considered high risk. Men are being advised that they are vulnerable for a minimum of six months after exposure- in fact, the advice from our fertility program is to freeze sperm if there is any travel to a Zika infected area.
3 Basics for Zika and Fertility Treatment
- Freeze your sperm if you are visiting any Zika affected areas.
- Stay informed- keep checking the CDC website for updates.
- Wait the recommended time if there is any possibility of exposure to Zika.
About Lisa Rosenthal
Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.
Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.
Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.
Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.