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Women & Their Partners Trying to Become Pregnant

How to Protect Yourself

CDC recommends precautions for women and their partners thinking about pregnancy.

Consider Waiting To Get Pregnant if You Travel to or Live in an Area with Risk of Zika

If You Are Traveling to an Area With Risk of Zika

Talk with your healthcare provider about your pregnancy plans and possible Zika risk before travel. For specific recommendations related to the area where you are planning to travel, visit CDC’s Zika travel page.

Traveling Partner How Long to Wait
If only the male partner travels to an area with risk of Zika The couple should consider using condoms or not having sex for at least 6 months
  • After the male partner returns, even if he doesn’t have symptoms, or
  • From the start of the male partner’s symptoms or the date he was diagnosed with Zika
If only the female partner travels to an area with risk of Zika The couple should consider using condoms or not having sex for at least 2 months
  • After the female partner returns, even if she doesn’t have symptoms, or
  • From the start of the female partner’s symptoms or the date she was diagnosed with Zika
If both partners travel to an area with risk of Zika The couple should consider using condoms or not having sex for at least 6 months
  • After returning from an area with risk of Zika, even if they don’t have symptoms, or
  • From the start of the male partner’s symptoms or the date he was diagnosed with Zika

The timeframes that men and women should consider waiting are different because Zika can stay in semen longer than in other body fluids.

If You Have Ongoing Exposure (For Example, Live in or Frequently Travel) to Any Area With Risk of Zika

  • Take steps to prevent mosquito bites.
  • Because of your ongoing exposure to Zika, talk with your healthcare provider about your plans for pregnancy, your risk of Zika virus infection, the possible health effects of Zika virus infection on a baby, and ways to protect yourself from Zika.
  • If you or your partner develop symptoms of Zika or test positive for Zika, you should follow the suggested timeframes above before trying to conceive.

Talk With Your Doctor or Other Healthcare Provider

Decisions about pregnancy planning are personal and complex, and circumstances will vary for women and their partners. Women and their partners should discuss pregnancy planning with a trusted doctor or healthcare provider. As part of preconception counseling, women and their partners who are thinking about pregnancy should talk with their doctor or healthcare provider about

  • Their reproductive life plans, including pregnancy intentions and timing of pregnancy
  • Their potential exposures to Zika during pregnancy
  • Their partner’s potential Zika exposures

As a result of counseling with healthcare providers, some women and their partners living in areas with Zika might decide to delay pregnancy.

Graphic of a couple

Men and Zika

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