Women and Their Partners Trying to Become Pregnant

CDC recommends precautions for women and their partners thinking about pregnancy to protect themselves from Zika around the time of pregnancy.

Considerations for Couples Planning to Conceive and Planning to Travel to an Area with a Zika outbreak (as indicated by red areas on the Zika map) or Other Areas with Risk of Zika (as indicated by purple areas on the Zika map)

If You are Traveling to an Area with a Zika Outbreak (as indicated by red areas on the Zika map) or Other Areas with Risk of Zika (as indicated by purple areas on the Zika map)

CDC recommends couples trying to become pregnant work with their healthcare providers to carefully consider the risks and possible consequences of travel to areas with a Zika outbreak or other areas with risk of Zika. Consider waiting to get pregnant according to timeframes below.

Travel Precautions
Traveling Partner How Long to Wait
If only the male partner travels to an area with a Zika outbreak or other areas with risk of Zika The couple should use condoms or not have sex for at least 3 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 a Zika outbreak or other areas with risk of Zika The couple should use condoms or not have 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 a Zika outbreak or other areas with risk of Zika The couple should use condoms or not have sex for at least 3 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

Female doctor shaking hands with couple

Graphic of a couple

Men and Zika

How men can protect their partners… More >

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

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.

This includes:

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

If You Have Ongoing Exposure (for Example, Live in or Frequently Travel) to An Area with a Zika Outbreak (as indicated by Red Areas on the Zika Map) or Other Areas with Risk of Zika (as indicated by Purple Areas on the Zika map)

  • 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, the possible health effects of Zika 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.

As a result of counseling with healthcare providers, some women and their partners with ongoing exposure to an areas with a Zika outbreak or other areas with risk of Zika might decide to delay pregnancy.

Graphic of a couple

Men and Zika

How men can protect their partners… More >

If You Have Questions About a Possible Infection or Diagnosis

If families would like to speak to someone about a possible Zika virus infection or diagnosis during pregnancy and risk to the baby, please contact MotherToBaby. MotherToBaby experts are available to answer questions in English or Spanish by phone or chat. The free and confidential service is available Monday-Friday 8am-5pm (local time). To reach MotherToBaby:

Related Fact Sheets

For Women in Areas with Zika: Plan Your Pregnancy

For Women: A Positive Zika Virus Test

For Nonpregnant Women: A Positive Zika Virus Test: What does it mean for me?

For Men: A Positive Zika Virus Test: What does it mean for me?