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Maternal, Child, & Adolescent Health


MCAH Programs

Contact Information
Los Angeles County
Department of Public Health
Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health Programs
600 S. Commonwealth Ave., 8th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90005
Tel: (213) 639-6400
FAX: (213) 639-1034
Zika Information on Delaying Your Pregnancy

Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other severe birth defects. Zika virus has also been linked to a number of other poor pregnancy outcomes. Using condoms can prevent pregnancy, Zika, and STDs.

Delaying pregnancy if you or your partner frequently travels to a Zika-affected country is a way to reduce the number of pregnancies affected by Zika virus.

If you travel, you may consider delaying pregnancy
The 3-2-3 Rule
Methods to delay pregnancy

If you travel, you may consider delaying pregnancy

Some countries have mosquitoes that can transmit the Zika virus to you. Zika virus is currently spreading in Mexico and Central and South America. Before you travel, check the CDC website for the latest disease updates for the country you are visiting.

Most people who have Zika do not have symptoms. This means you could have Zika and not know it. To be safe, you should delay pregnancy if you or your partner has traveled to a Zika-affected area. Follow the 3-6-8 Rule below!

The 3-2-3 Rule

The 3-2-3 Rule is a guideline to follow after you have traveled to an area with Zika regardless of if you have symptoms or not.

3-6-8 Rule

Image of mosquito repellent Image of condoms

Methods to delay pregnancy

If you decide that now is not the right time to have a baby, talk to your healthcare provider about contraception, or birth control. If you are sexually active, the best way to prevent pregnancy is to use an effective form of birth control. There are many different types of birth control. The best birth control method for men and women is the one you will use.

  • Condoms are the only birth control that reduces your risk of pregnancy, Zika, and STDs.
  • If you want to have children later in life, there are options to temporarily prevent men and women from having a baby. Some options are more effective than others.
  • If you do not want to have children, there are options to permanently prevent men and women from having a baby.
  • More information about birth control methods can be found here:

Photo of contraception options Source:

If you are pregnant, find out more about how to protect your pregnancy. 


More Information:


It's Your Future. You Can Protect It. (March 2016). Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Microcephaly & other birth defects. (2017, April 26). Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from

Jamieson, D. J., Costello, C., Trussell, J., Hillis, S., Marchbanks, P. A., & Peterson, H. B. (May 2004). The Risk of Pregnancy After Vasectomy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 103(5), 848-850. doi:10.1097/01.AOG.0000123246.11511.e4 Reproductive Health. (2017, February 09). Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from  

Tulandi, T. (March 1997). Tubal sterilization. New England Journal of Medicine, 336(11), 796-797. doi:10.1056/NEJM199703133361110  



Revised: 08/16/2018

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