Care programme for prospective parents with an infectious disease

The CRG of UZ Brussel has a worldwide reputation for its expertise in Assisted Reproductive Treatment (ART) and all related treatments.
In our work, patient care is key and over the years we have always paid a great deal of attention to improving – in terms of comfort and effectiveness – our treatments.

Based on this philosophy, we have developed an appropriate treatment plan (or care programme) for prospective parents with an infectious disease.
Whether you are a man or a woman who is infected, or perhaps you are both infected, it is possible to bring a healthy child into the world.

Recently stayed in a high-risk Zika virus area?

The Zika virus is transferred to humans through mosquito bites and causes a fever. There is no treatment or vaccine for the Zika virus. The illness passes on its own.However, infection with the virus during pregnancy can result in serious abnormalities of the child.

High-risk Zika areas are tropical and subtropical areas. This map shows a current overview of the areas where the Zika virus occurs.

In view of the dangers of the viral infection during pregnancy and in view of the possible transfer of the virus via sperm, the CRG is taking the necessary precautions. This is why we ask every person (patient or donor) who gives eggs or sperm for an ART treatment or for frozen storage whether they visited a high-risk Zika area in the past month.
If this is the case, treatment or donation is not possible (for the time being).
A patient may not become pregnant either within a month after returning from a high-risk area.

What is the consequence of an infection?

Recovered from Zika?

Most people recover from a Zika infection on their own.
'Recovery' means the absence of flu symptoms.

For your own treatment

  • If you are a female prospective parent you must postpone the treatment:
    • up to four weeks after your return from a high-risk area, or
    • up to four weeks after recovery.
  • If you are a male prospective parent you must postpone the treatment:
    • up to four weeks after your return from a high-risk area, or
    • up to six months after your recovery.
      This period can be shortened after a negative Zika test via a blood or sperm sample.

Sperm donors

Sperm donors must wait six months after returning from a high-risk Zika area to make a donation.
This period can be shortened with a Zika test on serum and sperm.

Egg donors

  • For egg donors who did not have any symptoms after staying in a high-risk Zika area, the donation cycle can start four weeks after the return.
  • For egg donors who did show symptoms after staying in a high-risk Zika area, the donation is postponed to four weeks after recovery.

Transport

Transport of cells and tissue from a high-risk Zika area is only possible after a negative Zika test.