Pregnancy course and outcome in women traveling to developing countries

Rami N. Sammour, Rabia Bahous, Moti Grupper, Gonen Ohel, Shmuel Steinlauf, Eli Schwartz, Israel Potasman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background The issue of travel to developing countries during pregnancy has not been sufficiently studied. The aim of this study is to investigate the rate, course, and outcome of pregnancies in women who traveled to developing countries while pregnant, or became pregnant during such travel. Methods Women visiting two major travel clinics in Israel for consultation within the years 2004 to 2009, who were pregnant or declared an intention of becoming pregnant during travel were contacted. This was followed by a telephone interview by an obstetrician with those women who were actually pregnant. Background characteristics, morbidity during travel, and pregnancy course and outcome were collected. Results Overall 52,430 travelers' records had been screened. Of these, we identified 49 women who were pregnant during their trip, but 3 declined participation. Of the remaining 46 women, 33 were pregnant at departure, and 13 conceived during travel. The incidence of pregnancy during travel was thus 0.93/1000 travelers. Thirty-three women traveled to East Asia, 8 to South and Central America, 5 to Africa. More than two thirds of women received pretravel vaccinations. Adherence to the World Health Organization recommendations regarding food and drink was high (87%) and travelers' diarrhea occurred in only 11% of women. Five of 22 women traveling to malarious areas had taken antimalarial prophylaxis. Six women required medical therapy during travel. Pregnancy outcome was not different from the normal population except for an unusually low rate of preterm delivery. Conclusions In this cohort, travel to developing countries was not associated with adverse pregnancy outcome. Larger studies are needed to support these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-293
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Travel Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2012


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