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There are ways you can reduce your risk of catching cytomegalovirus (CMV). Especially if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant.

Ways you can reduce your risk of catching CMV:

  • Wash your hands with soap and hot water. Especially after changing nappies, feeding children or wiping their noses and before eating.
  • Wash toys or other items that get young children's saliva or urine on them.
  • Do not share food, cutlery, drinking glasses or soothers with young children.
    Do not get saliva in your mouth when kissing a child.

CMV can survive on toys and surfaces for up to 6 hours. It’s more likely to survive on wet absorbent surfaces. For example, a wet tea towel or cloth.


Bring an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with you wherever you go. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth if you have body fluids on your hands.

Preventing cytomegalovirus (CMV) in pregnancy

When it is safe to get pregnant after a primary CMV infection

You may have recently been diagnosed with a primary CMV infection. If so, you should not get pregnant for 12 months.

Delaying pregnancy is not always an option for women, for lots of reasons including age. Speak to your GP about this. They can talk to you about any risks from delaying a pregnancy. When you have all the information you need you can make the choice that is right for you and your family.


If you are worried about your risk of CMV, speak to your GP, obstetrician or midwife. They may recommend that you get a blood test to check for CMV.

Page last reviewed: 12 February 2024
Next review due: 12 February 2027

This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 123.