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An Important Message from Stanford Medicine Fertility and Reproductive Health

As you have probably seen in the news, the CDC has issued a travel notice for people traveling to areas where Zika virus has been reported. Also, the FDA has identified Zika virus as a relevant communicable disease for directed and anonymous donors. Your health is our priority and we want to inform you about how this may affect you in your family planning at this moment.

1- What we know about Zika virus:

  • Zika is spread to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito.
  • Common symptoms: Most people won’t even know they have it, but some individuals may experience fever, rash, joint pain and conjuctivitis.
  • The virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus.
  • Infection during pregnancy may be associated with birth defect in babies.
  • Zika virus can be sexually transmitted, including male-to-female and female-to-male transmission.
  • Zika can be sexually transmitted from asymptomatic people.
  • There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika.

2- Zika virus and pregnancy

If you are pregnant:

  • Do not travel to any of the countries on the CDC list (current list is provided below). Regions affected by Zika are often difficult to determine and the list is likely to change over time. If traveling, please visit the CDC website for the most updated travel information: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information
  • Inform your OB doctor if you or your spouse/partner have traveled to any of the countries where infections of Zika have been reported. Pregnant women with sex partners who have traveled to an area with zika should use condoms or abstain from sex.

If you are trying to get pregnant or are planning fertility preservation:

  • Do not travel to any of the countries on the current CDC list. Regions affected by Zika are often difficult to determine and the list is likely to change over time. If traveling, please visit the CDC website for the most updated travel information: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information
  • If your male partner needs to travel to any of the countries on the list, he should freeze sperm before traveling for use during the IVF or IUI process.
  • If you or your partner recently traveled to any of the countries on the list and are trying to get pregnant, we recommend waiting 6 months after a male has traveled or 8 weeks after a woman has traveled before starting an IVF or IUI cycle. Women with sex partners who have traveled to an area of Zika, should use condoms for 6 months.

If you are not trying to get pregnant but:

  • You are planning to cryopreserve tissue (eggs, sperm or embryos) for a future surrogate cycle or are doing a fresh cycle with a gestational carrier
  • You are a directed or anonymous ovum or sperm donor

THEN the FDA regulations are as follow:

  • You will be considered ineligible if you have any of the following risk factors in the preceding 6 months:
  1. Diagnosis of Zika virus infection
  2. Lived in or traveled to a country with active Zika virus transmission
  3. Had sex with a person who is known to have either of the risk factors listed in the two questions above.
  • Do not travel to any of the countries on the CDC list until collection of the tissue (ovum and/or sperm) is completed.
  • If you traveled to any of the countries on the list, you will not be able to proceed with a cycle until 6 months after you traveled.
  • For gestational carriers, these same guidelines are to be followed before starting a cycle and during pregnancy.

As of 1/3/17 countries on the list by CDC report: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information

  • Americas: Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Argentina; Aruba; The Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Bolivia; Bonaire; Brazil; British Virgin Islands; Cayman Islands; Colombia; Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (US territory); Costa Rica; Cuba; Curaçao; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; El Salvador; French Guiana; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Guatemala; Guyana; Haiti; Honduras; Jamaica; Martinique; Mexico; Montserrat; Nicaragua; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Saba; Saint Barthelemy; Saint Lucia; Saint Martin; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Sint Eustatius; Saint Maarten; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Suriname; Trinidad and Tobago; Turks and Caicos Islands; United States (Miami Dade and Broward counties; Florida AND Brownsville; Cameron County, Texas); US Virgin Islands; Venezuela
  • Asia, Oceania and Pacific Islands: American Samoa; Fiji; Kosrae; Federated States of Micronesia; Marshall Islands; New Caledonia; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Samoa; Singapore; Tonga; Bangladesh; Brunei; Burma (Myanmar); Cambodia; India; Indonesia; Laos; Malaysia; Maldives; Pakistan; Philippines; Thailand; Timor-Leste (East Timor); Vietnam; Easter Island; Vanuatu
  • Africa: Cape Verde; Angola; Benin; Burkina–Faso; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Côte d’Ivoire; Egypt; Ethiopia; Gabon; Guinea-Bissau, Kenya; Liberia; Mali, Mozambique; Niger; Nigeria; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Somalia; Tanzania; Togo; Uganda; Zambia

We encourage all patients to check the CDC website frequently and notify your physician if any changes on health or travel plans occur: http://www.cdc.gov/ZIKA/

Wishing you the best as you proceed with your cycle,

Stanford Medicine Fertility and Reproductive Health
1195 W. Fremont Ave
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
Phone: (650) 498.7911
Fax: (669) 233-2888