If you are considering becoming a surragte mother or you are looking for a gestational surrogate, there are different things that you need to pay attention to before you begin 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 birth defects.
– There is no vaccine or medication for the virus. You can only prevent it.
Zika virus is spread by the Aedes mosquito. These mosquitos can bite you any time of day or night. The other way that the virus spreads is through; sex, blood transfusion- although there are no enough studies to confirm this and also from mother to the fetus.
How does the virus affect the surrogacy process?
There are some precautions about Zika virus for surrogate mothers and intendent parents thinking about surrogacy.
If you have the virus or you have a possible exposure to Zika, you cannot be a surrogate, donate eggs or sperm for fertilization unless you have been cleared.
According to the CDC, due to the possible presence of the virus in semen or in other body fluids, the suggested timeframes for waiting to get pregnant after possible exposure are:
– Women returning from areas where transmission of Zika, are advised to wait at least 2 months after last possible exposure or symptoms start.
– Men returning from areas where transmission of Zika virus is known to occur should wait at least 6 months after last possible exposure or symptoms start.
How to protect yourself ?
First and most important, if you are considering starting a surrogacy journey, try to avoid any travel to areas with Zika, however, if you must travel, you need to consult the physician before your trip.
There are different countries that have been reported to have a high rate of the virus. Some of these countries are: Mexico, Barbados, Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Peru, Venezuela just to mention a few.
If you live in or travel to areas that have been infested by the virus, you need to take the necessary precautions to ensure that you are safe.
– You can use the mosquito repellant
– Wear the protective clothes always
– Take the necessary steps to protect your home from thee mosquitos. You need to use the screens on your doors and also windows. It is also important 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 travelled to any of the virus prone areas, you need to take the necessary precautions.
Decisions about surrogacy planning are complex, and the circumstances for surrogates and intendent parents will vary. Surrogates and intendent parents should discuss surrogacy planning with a trusted doctor or healthcare provider.
You can get more information on Zika virus visiting the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website