Understanding Infertility

Zika Virus Guidance

American Society for Reproductive Medicine Issues Guidance on Zika Virus

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has issued a report that is intended to help physicians and other health care providers who are treating and counseling patients concerned about Zika’s impact on reproduction. The report titled: “Guidance for Providers Caring for Women and Men of Reproductive Age with Possible Zika Virus Exposure” focuses on patients planning pregnancy, testing issues and use of gametes in patients undergoing fertility treatments. Important messages contained in the report include:

  • Women who have Zika disease symptoms should wait at least 8 weeks after symptoms appear, and men should wait 6 months, before attempting reproduction.
  • Men and women with possible exposure to, but not showing symptoms of, Zika should also wait 8 weeks.
  • These same timelines should be used for sexually intimate couples using their own gametes in fertility treatments.
  • For donated reproductive tissue, FDA guidance should be followed. Currently, FDA rules a potential donor ineligible for 6 months following being diagnosed with, or having had a high probability of exposure to, the virus.
  • Testing for Zika virus is complicated, not universally available and routine serologic testing is not currently recommended.
  • In areas of active Zika virus transmission, the use of contraceptive methods to prevent unintended pregnancy is essential.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine urges patients who are pregnant, who are considering becoming pregnant, or those who may be involved as donors or recipients of reproductive tissues to exercise caution.

Further information can be found on the ASRM website http://www.cdc.gov/zika/