Last year, the news was filled with reports about birth defects that were caused by the Zika virus – and Dallas IVF was flooded with patient questions about how to protect against the virus. Although Zika did not make headlines in the winter months when mosquitoes weren’t active, it is still a concern. Our team of DFW fertility specialists explains what you need to know.
There are still many unknowns about the Zika virus
Our DFW fertility specialists have been carefully monitoring the situation with the Zika virus. Since last year’s outbreak, doctors and researchers have learned several important facts about the virus:
- Zika can be spread through infected mosquitoes or unprotected sex with someone who has the virus.
- Pregnant women can transmit the virus to their babies.
- Babies who are infected with the virus are at risk of being born with a birth defect called microcephaly that impacts head size and brain development.
- There is currently no vaccine for the virus and no medication to treat it.
However, there are still several factors that the medical community doesn’t know.
- Whether there’s a “safe time” for pregnant women to travel to an area that’s impacted by the virus.
- How likely it is that a Zika infection will impact a woman’s pregnancy and baby.
There are precautions you can take to protect yourself and your baby
Although there are still several unknowns about the Zika virus, our DFW fertility specialists have some recommendations for women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant.
- Don’t travel to an area that is impacted by the virus.
- If you live in or must travel to an area that is impacted by Zika, take steps to avoid mosquito bites and practice safe sex to avoid virus transmission. Use condoms every time. Talk to our DFW fertility specialists to discuss how long you should delay attempting conception after travel to these affected areas.
- If you have traveled to an area that is at-risk for Zika, talk to your doctor about whether you should get tested for the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a useful chart to help determine whether you should be tested for Zika.
If you would like to learn more about how to protect yourself and your baby from the Zika virus, please contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of the physicians at Dallas IVF. We are committed to helping our patients have healthy families.