Long haul flights (Mexico) while preg... - Fertility Network UK

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Long haul flights (Mexico) while pregnant and zika


I'm 7 weeks pregnant and was planning to go to Mexico in September but I'm a bit worried the long haul flight might increase the risk of miscarriage.

Do people have opinions on this?

I know lots of people who fly while pregnant but it probably didn't take them ten years to conceive and I'm 42 now so I'm being overly cautious.

I was a flight attendant for a long time so I am aware of the health implications of flying (less oxygen in the air etc). Flight attendants have more miscarriages than nirmal but then they do fly a lot. Maybe I'm a bit more paranoid than most. I stopped being a flight attendant 8 years ago.

There is also a risk of zika virus in Mexico so pregnant women are advised not to go if they don't have to but I would be in Mexico City which is at an altitude so there are unlikely to be zika mosquitos . The zika part doesn't really worry me as the risk is so small. Its just the flight that worries me although I know there is no strong research to say it is damaging while pregnant (other than the risk of DVT).

Any advice or suggestions would be welcome.

24 Replies

I’m from Argentina and I have a friend that travelled there when she was around 6 months and everything was fine. But she didn’t have an IVF and she got pregnant at its first trial.

I’m 17w now and not going to Argentina until the baby is born because I want to be on the safe side.

For Mexico I would be very concerned about Zika, because you never know... Maybe it would be better to wait and go to a closer place.

Btw, did you check with the airline? Some requires a medical certificate to allow you to board.

Good luck!


After all the time and preparation you have done for IVF I certainly wouldn’t risk it, Mexico is high risk. My husband and I had to pay £290 to get ourselves checked that we were Zika free from a holiday in Barbados before we could even start IVF.

There has been 110 Zika cases so far this year in Mexico.

I am also 42 and 6 weeks pregnant after years of trying. I flew home to New Zealand from the UK recently and didn't feel it was a problem. I made sure I walked around lots during the flight but I don't think the increased risk of DVT would be there as much as in later pregnancy.

The Zika issue is a whole other thing and I'm not really sure what the risks are in Mexico City.

Congratulations on your pregnancy by the way.


Congratulations on your pregnancy, hope you get an answer that helps put your mind at rest

Congratulations on your pregnancy.

Completely understand why you’re uncertain about the trip. I went on a long haul flight when 7 weeks pregnant after IVF, and then stayed for several months in a place where zika was prevalent. I have to say the flight was actually fine, I just had lots of water, lots of food and moved about every hour (at least!). And to protect against zika when I got there I wore long trousers / shirts and sprayed myself with insect repellent daily. But I have to admit, personally I found it all pretty stressful and I worried a lot. So even though everything was absolutely fine in the end, I’m not sure I’d want to go through the worry again.

forMoira in reply to Eve16

Thank you. This is really helpful. I did speak to someone else who said they had gone to Angola while pregnant and covered themselves in mosquito spray and as they said it, I was thinking I don't even wear perfume as I'm being so cautious!

I would take the clinics advice, they may advise aspirin 75 or something stronger. I would use high concentration of deet spray whilst away and I'm sure it will be fine!!xx

forMoira in reply to Cinderella5

Thanks. I had my midwife appointment today and I think due to my age and the fact I had IVF they are going to put me on 75 of Asprin anyway. I'm still undecided about the flight.

Well I wouldn’t go - but I’m a worrier and I know The fear of long flight and getting bitten and then worrying and feeling guilty for the next few months about zika would drive me mad. I’m sure that’s not what you want to hear.. It’ll prob be fine and there’s loads of healthy babies being born everyday in Mexico City - but if you’ve spent this long to get here- and if it’s going to worry you- why take an unnecessary risk? .. and Mexico City has a lot more risks than zika! And isn’t it hurricane season?! Do you have to go- or want to go that much? I think you are right to be over cautious! Go with your gut instinct! Good luck with your decision x

forMoira in reply to Lu1u

Thanks for your reply.

Hi, congrats on your pregnancy!!

Our fertility specialist told us to cancel our planned holidays to Mexico if we wanted to start any IVF treatment as it’s too risky due to the Zika. The alternative would have been to wait 6 months after our return and freeze my dh sperm before departure.

Here in the Usa I’ve seen a couple of hospitals with posters about Zika and the risk of travelling to Mexico while trying to conceive or pregnant.

We ended up cancelling our holidays :(

forMoira in reply to gattonero

Thank you, yes I know that you can't have IVF treatment if you have been to a Zika country recently but I think that realistically if this pregnancy fails, there may be no more rounds for me and certainly not any in the near future. I think the risk of getting Zika in high up Mexico city at this time of year is really tiny so it isn't really the Zika that worries me, but as you say, there are other risks and I have to weigh these up carefully. Thanks for your advice.

I went to Mexico and started bleeding on the flight. It was a natural pregnancy and I was just over 6 weeks. I miscarried two days later when I was there. I know lots of other people though who have been away and been ok. Not sure if I’d risk it if I had IVF xx

forMoira in reply to Steadman80

Thank you for your reply. Sorry to hear about your miscarriage. I'm starting to think I will err on the side of caution and not go to Mexico. I do also have a trip to Spain booked for Christmas but I think I will still go to Spain as the flight is shorter and the healthcare good and I think the sun in gran canaria will do me good.

Steadman80 in reply to forMoira

Ah thank you. I think my body is just extra sensitive. My sister-in-law and best friend went to Spain and were fine. I think I would consider flying again if I was over 12 weeks xx

Am 39 (almost 40) and have travelled every week from ivf EC/ET right up to 36 weeks when airlines stopped me from traveling. I was on a plane the day after ET. Long and short haul. I gave birth at 39+2 via normal delivery with no pain relief with 3 pushes. My baby girl was born with 8’4” pounds and healthy! If you are healthy and baby is healthy then flying should not make a difference. At least they is my opinion🤗

Ps - same for my previous 2 pregnancies. I suffered a MC before but was due to chromosome issues and not related to external factors.

forMoira in reply to Kattalex

Yes that's what the NHS midwife said - that miscarriages are due to issues with the embryo not environmental factors, but my Chinese doctor takes a more holistic approach and keeps telling me to do less.

Hiya ... just don’t go :-( don’t risk nothing :) xx good luck

forMoira in reply to Seee


Congratulations on your pregnancy 💐💐

Before we started IVF, we booked to go to Cape Verde through TUI as the Zika virus was just kicking off. TUI had written out to all who had booked holidays to Zika countries that if you are pregnant or trying to conceive, they will change the holiday destination at no extra cost. We went as we hadn't started IVF then (beautiful place--recommend)

I am 4 weeks and 5 days pregnant and we've decided to wait until the 12 weeks milestone (🤞🤞🤞) to book a holiday. If we make it to 12 weeks, we have decided to avoid Zika countries - furthest looking at is Turkey. If not, we're splashing out on a long haul trip somewhere exotic.

It's personal choice of course, but if it will cause you to worry and stress, then I personally wouldn't.

Wishi g you all the best xx

I have been diagnosed as having sticky blood so predisposed to blood clots so I guess I am a bit different but I am also 42.. my consultant has told me not to fly long haul anywhere near doing a round of IVF let alone when pregnant. He told me this before the sticky blood result.. he just said 'why risk it after everything you have gone through'.

I ignored his advice when I got my BFP after my 2nd round. I had my viability scan at 7 weeks and saw a heartbeat and flew to the US for a conference at 7 1/2 weeks. Halfway through the trip I lost all my symptoms and I was diagnosed with a MMC at 9 1/2 weeks and the baby measured 7 weeks 6 days.

Maybe it was just a coincidence but ever since I have wondered 'what if' and kicked myself for going. Not flying long haul is a nightmare for me as I fly LH a lot with work and I am having to make excuses left right and centre as to why I can't travel, but I don't think I would ever risk it again xx

Ps just to clarify I didn’t know I had the blood condition until after this all happened x

I was meant to fly to florida with work when I was 12 weeks pregnant. It was at the height of the zika virus panic. I spoke to quite a few medical people about it, and their advice was they couldn't tell me what to do, but for them they wouldn't take risks. In the end I didn't go because what's a holiday/work trip when it's the safety of your child? I did manage to change my flight though and went long haul somewhere else with no complications.

The long flight is not risky but I wouldn’t put myself at risk of Zika while pregnant. Especially in Mexico since it’s not a low risk zone, but medium/high risk. Maybe choose a different destination that is Zika free and ask the gp the vaccinations that are needed for that country.

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