Women of child-bearing age are at risk for serious complications related to the Zika virus. In particular, the Zika virus has been associated with microcephaly (an underdeveloped brain) in infants of mothers infected with the virus. The Zika virus is not fatal, but it can remain in the body for several weeks. The Zika virus is primarily transmitted through mosquito bites, but experts have recently discovered that the virus can be transmitted through sexual activity, blood transfusions, and donated tissues. This virus has been identified in over 30 countries and experts are recommending that pregnant women or women who are attempting pregnancy avoid travel to affected areas.
Because the Zika virus can be transmitted through human tissue, the FDA is working to protect recipients who are using donated eggs. The FDA has stated that any potential donor who has visited an affected area within the past 6 months or has a male partner who has visited an affected area within the past 6 months will be considered temporarily ineligible for egg donation. Once 6 months have passed from the time of travel, the donor can then be reassessed for eligibility. Please see the CDC website for an updated list of affected areas. The list includes, but is not limited to parts of: Cape Verde, the Caribeean, Central America, Mexico, Pacific Islands, and South America.