For most people, the Zika virus is a mild concern. Symptoms of the virus are typically not serious and many who have the condition recover at home after a few days of mild illness. However, the Zika virus is an entirely different matter to those who are currently pregnant or are trying to conceive (TTC) because it can cause birth defects.
Zika virus news changes day by day
We’re learning new information about the Zika virus day by day. At first, we thought the virus was only transmitted through mosquito bites and that outbreaks were contained to a few countries in South America. We later learned that the virus can be transmitted sexually, with both men and women responsible for Zika transmission. Zika is spreading in the United States through both mosquitos and sexual contact.
It’s important for anyone, regardless of your family planning goals, to stay up-to-date with information about the Zika virus. We encourage you to check the CDC’s Zika virus guide, as it provides a wide range of information on prevention, risk, and treatment of the virus.
Zika virus and family planning
As a fertility patient, trying to conceive already consists of a whirlwind of appointments, testing, treatments, and medications that you and your fertility specialist monitor closely. The last thing any fertility patient wants to hear is that they may be at risk for a virus that could cause birth defects.
The Zika virus is linked to a serious birth defect called microcephaly, which is when the size of a baby’s head is much smaller than anticipated. Severe cases can stunt brain development or damage the brain during pregnancy. If you are currently trying to conceive through any means, there are common sense steps you can take to protect yourself from the Zika virus.
• Do not travel to areas with a known Zika virus outbreak.
• Avoid mosquito bites as best as you can by wearing clothing that covers your arms and legs, staying indoors when possible, use insect repellents that are safe for pregnant women, and keep away from areas with standing water.
• Use condoms or other birth control that guards against STDs if your partner has recently traveled to a Zika-prone area.
• Contact your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have about risk and protection while trying to conceive.
If you would like to discuss concerns about the Zika virus and your fertility treatment plan, please contact Fertility Solutions today.