Zika and Pregnancy

Key Facts

  • Zika virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus.
  • Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a birth defect called microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects.
  • Zika primarily spreads through infected mosquitoes. You can also get Zika through sex without a condom with someone infected by Zika, even if that person does not show symptoms of Zika.
  • There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika.

CDC recommends special precautions for pregnant women. Pregnant women should not travel to areas with risk of Zika. If you live in or must travel to one of these areas, talk to your doctor or other health care provider first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites and practice safe sex.

If you are planning to become pregnant…

Women and their partners who are thinking about pregnancy should talk with their doctor or health care provider about

  • The potential risk of getting Zika during pregnancy
  • Their partner’s potential Zika exposures

Decisions about pregnancy planning are personal and complex, and the circumstances will vary for women and their partners. As part of counseling with health care providers, some women and their partners living in areas with Zika might decide to delay pregnancy.