Clinical Guidance for Healthcare Providers Caring for Women of Reproductive Age
- In the context of Zika virus transmission, it is important for women and their partners to plan their pregnancies. Healthcare providers should discuss reproductive life plans, including pregnancy intentions and timing of pregnancy with women of reproductive age.
- Healthcare providers should ensure that women who want to delay or avoid pregnancy have access to safe and effective contraceptive methods that best meet their needs.
- Women and their partners who want to delay or avoid pregnancy should use the most effective birth control that best meets their needs and that they can use correctly and consistently.
- Women and men who live in areas with active Zika virus transmission and who have symptoms like acute onset of fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis should be tested for Zika; if testing indicates possible Zika virus infection, healthcare providers should recommend that men wait to attempt conception at least 6 months from symptom onset and that women wait at least 8 weeks from symptom onset to attempt conception.
- Zika virus testing is not recommended for asymptomatic couples interested in attempting conception in which one or both partner has had possible exposure to Zika virus.
- For women and men who have had possible Zika virus exposure through travel or sexual contact and do not reside in an area with active transmission nor have ongoing risk of exposure, CDC recommends that healthcare providers advise
- Women to wait to attempt conception at least 8 weeks after their symptoms first appeared (if symptomatic) or last possible exposure (if asymptomatic) Men to wait to attempt to get their partner pregnant for at least 6 months from symptom onset (if symptomatic) or last possible exposure (if asymptomatic) . Men should be counseled to correctly and consistently use condoms for vaginal, anal, and oral (fellatio) sex or abstain from sex during this time period if they are concerned about the possibility of transmitting Zika virus to their sex partners.
Latest Changes: On September 30, 2016 CDC updated its recommendations about pregnancy timing for couples who want to get pregnant and updated recommendations regarding the prevention of sexual transmission. This updated guidance replaces the earlier guidance on preventing transmission of Zika virus through sexual contact from July 25, 2016, and the Interim Guidance for Health Care Providers Caring for Women of Reproductive Age with Possible Zika Virus Exposure from April 1, 2016. The updated recommendations for people who want to get pregnant depend on circumstances. The guidelines for couples trying to conceive include recommendations for men and women with possible exposure to Zika virus who do not have symptoms, and men and women who have symptoms of Zika virus infection. CDC now recommends all men with possible Zika virus exposure who are considering attempting conception wait at least 6 months after symptom onset (if symptomatic) or last possible Zika virus exposure (if asymptomatic). Recommendations for women planning to conceive remain unchanged; women with possible Zika virus exposure are recommended to wait at least 8 weeks after symptom onset (if symptomatic) or last possible Zika virus exposure (if asymptomatic) before attempting to get pregnant.
- UPDATE: Interim Guidance for Preconception Counseling and Prevention of Sexual Transmission of Zika Virus for Persons with Possible Zika Virus Exposure – United States, September 2016 (Sept. 30, 2016)
- HAN Advisory: CDC Guidance for Travel and Testing of Pregnant Women and Women of Reproductive Age for Zika Virus Infection Related to the Investigation for Local Mosquito-borne Zika Virus Transmission in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, Florida (HAN, Aug. 1, 2016)
- Interim Guidance for Health Care Providers Caring for Women of Reproductive Age with Possible Zika Virus Exposure – United States, 2016 (MMWR, March 25, 2016)
- Estimating Contraceptive Needs and Increasing Access to Contraception in Response to the Zika Virus Disease Outbreak – Puerto Rico, 2016 (MMWR, Mar. 25, 2016)
- Interim Guidelines for Health Care Providers Caring for Pregnant Women and Women of Reproductive Age with Possible Zika Virus Exposure – United States, 2016 (MMWR, Feb. 5, 2016)
- Contraception to Prevent Unintended Pregnancy during the Zika Virus Outbreak
- Page last reviewed: October 31, 2016
- Page last updated: October 31, 2016
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