Zika Virus and the Implications in a Surrogacy Process

Do you have travel plans, and you are worried about the impact the Zika virus may have before or during a surrogacy or egg donation journey?

Whether you are considering becoming a surrogate mother or you are looking for a gestational surrogate, there are different things that you need to pay attention to before beginning your process. One of them is the Zika virus.

Why Zika Virus?

  • Zika virus can be easily spread from mother to fetus during pregnancy – The virus can lead to congenital disabilities.
  • There is no vaccine or medication for the virus. You can only prevent it.
  • The Aedes mosquito spreads the Zika virus. These mosquitoes can bite you at any time of the day or night. The other way the virus spreads is through sex and blood transfusion- although there are not enough studies to confirm this, and also from the mother to the fetus.

How Does the Virus Affect the Surrogacy Process?

There are some precautions about the Zika virus for surrogate mothers and intended parents thinking about surrogacy.

If you have the virus or you have a possible exposure to Zika, you cannot be a surrogate or donate eggs for fertilization unless you have been cleared.

According to the CDC, due to the possible presence of the virus in semen or other body fluids, the suggested time frames for waiting to get pregnant after potential exposure are:

  • Women returning from areas where Zika virus transmission is known to occur are advised to wait at least two months after the last possible exposure or when the symptoms start manifesting.
  • Men returning from areas where Zika virus transmission is known to occur should wait at least six months after the last possible exposure or when the symptoms start manifesting.

So, if you are in the screening process of a surrogacy journey, a trip to an area affected (either you or your husband/partner) could delay the embryo transfer by six months.

zika surrogacy

How to Protect Yourself

First and most important, if you are considering starting a surrogacy journey, avoid travelling to areas with Zika. However, if you must travel, you must consult the physician before your trip.

Different countries reported to have a high rate of the virus. Some of these countries are Mexico, Barbados, Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Peru, and Venezuela, to mention a few.

If you live in or travel to areas infested with the virus, you must take the necessary precautions to ensure you are safe.

  • You can use the mosquito repellent.
  • Wear the protective clothes always.
  • Take the necessary steps to protect your home from these mosquitos. You need to use the screens on your doors and windows. It is also essential for you to repair any holes that may be present to keep the mosquitoes out.
  • Always sleep under a mosquito bed net, especially if you are pregnant.
  • You also need to protect yourself against the transmission of the virus through sex. If your partner has traveled to any virus-prone areas, you must take the necessary precautions.

Final Thoughts

Decisions about surrogacy planning are complex, and the circumstances for surrogates and intended parents will vary. Surrogates and intended parents should speak to their doctor or healthcare provider before making international or domestic travel plans for areas with Zika risk.

You can get more information on the Zika virus by visiting the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Also, the CDC gives up-to-date information on areas with Zika risk. Check here for the most up-to-date information before travelling.

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Written by David
I work daily to make surrogacy available to as many intended parents, surrogate mothers and egg donors around the world as possible.
1 Comment
  1. So many things to consider when you start your surrogacy journey…
    This is a very helpful information about the implications of Zika virus in a surrogacy process

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