zikaYou’ve probably seen the frightening news reports of hundreds of Brazilian babies with microcephaly, a serious birth defect characterized by abnormal smallness of the head and incomplete brain development.

Infectious disease experts have attributed their condition to the Zika virus, carried by two species of mosquitoes as well as through sexual intercourse with an infected person. The Zika virus can affect pregnant women and their babies at any point in the pregnancy, and currently testing for Zika is complicated and not readily available. Still, the risk of catching Zika, particularly in the U.S. and southern California, is very low and research is rapidly ongoing—especially for a vaccine.

In April, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine issued a document developed from CDC and FDA reports to help infertility physicians counsel patients about Zika’s impact on reproduction. Key takeaways include:

At HRC, we are confident about  your ability to conceive safely and successfully through infertility treatments, and subsequently to have a healthy pregnancy and baby. We urge all patients to learn what they can about Zika and the extremely small risk to infertility patients in the U.S., as well as to take a few simple precautions.  

Author: Jane Frederick