Pregnancy & ZikaJan 28, 2021
Can you try to conceive even if you may have been exposed to the zika virus? How long after being exposed to the zika virus should you wait before trying to get pregnant? What if you might have been exposed to Zika but have no symptoms?
The following article should give you all the answers you need, quickly and efficiently.
WHAT IS ZIKA?
The Zika virus is transmitted through mosquito bites. Although not harmful to most non-pregnant adults, it can have serious consequences on growing fetuses. In non-pregnant individuals, the Zika virus is usually a mild and non-severe infection. In fact, many individuals contract the Zika virus and never know.
- The Zika virus is transmitted through mosquito bites
- The zika virus is not dangerous to non-pregnant women
- The Zika virus may cause birth defects such as microcephaly
Microcephaly causes abnormally small brains in newborns that were infected in the womb. Babies infected with the zika virus when still in the womb can be born with underdeveloped brains and die shortly after birth. Infants and toddlers with prenatal zika infections have been found to have development delays ranging from mild to severe.
Pregnant women should not travel to any known zika infected areas.
SO CAN YOU GET PREGNANT IF YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO THE ZIKA VIRUS?
It is important to note, that if you, your partner, or both may have been exposed to the zika virus, you must use condoms or refrain from having sex for a set recommended period of time to prevent infecting one another, regardless of planning a pregnancy or not.
- 2 months if only a male partner was exposed
- 3 months if only a female partner was exposed
- 3 months if both female and male partners have been exposed
HOW LONG AFTER ZIKA EXPOSURE SHOULD YOU WAIT TO BECOME PREGNANT?
You may begin to try and become pregnant 3 months after your initial exposure. It used to be, that the recommended wait period was 12 months. Recent studies have demonstrated that it is safe to conceive prior to this. Here are the general guidelines taken from the Center for Disease Control and prevention website:
- If only your male partner may have been exposed: Wait two months after possible zika exposure
- If only a female partner may have been exposed: Wait three months after possible zika exposure
- If both male and female partners have been exposed: Wait three months after possible zika exposure
WHAT IF YOU WERE EXPOSED TO THE ZIKA VIRUS BUT HAVE NO SYMPTOMS?
As mentioned above, the Zika virus may present no symptoms in an infected adult that is otherwise healthy. In some cases the symptoms may be so benign that it may be mistaken for a cold. That being said, no matter if you have symptoms or not, you should follow the rules explained above for condom use.
PROTECTING YOURSELF AGAINST THE ZIKA VIRUS
How to prevent Zika infections in known infected areas:
- Wear EPA recommended insect repellent
- Rid your home of any stagnant water ponds
- Equipe your doors and windows with screens
- Wear long sleeve shirts and pants tucked into your socks