Zika is a virus transmitted by the Aedes mosquito. Although symptoms associated with Zika are generally mild, there is a confirmed association of Zika and microcephaly – a condition where a baby is born with a small head or the head stops growing after birth.
For women and couples who are currently pregnant or trying to become pregnant it is important to be informed about Zika, the risks to pregnancy and what steps to take in order to prevent infection.
Although there are currently no reported local transmission of Zika virus in Australia, the virus has been reported in many South American and Pacific Island countries and has affected people travelling in and returning from these regions.
It should be highlighted that in addition to mosquito bite, Zika is also spread through sexual activity and Monash IVF recommend you discuss Zika virus with your GP and/or fertility doctor.
There is currently no vaccine for Zika infection and prevention relies on avoiding mosquito bites in areas where Zika virus occurs. People travelling in and returning from affected areas should practice safe sex to avoid transmission through semen. The World Health Organisation strongly recommend couples returning from Zika affected areas wait at least 6 months before trying to conceive.
If you have any concerns about Zika and your IVF treatment, please contact your clinician, speak with your fertility nurse or contact 1800 628 533.