EBCOG Scientific Review: Commercial Air And High-Altitude Travel by Pregnant Women

Please visit our Publications page to view the article in full.


Air travel and long distance travel may have adverse effect on the pregnancy-induced physiology and these
effects are more marked among those with pre-existing medical conditions. There are significantly increased risks
of deep venous thrombosis, inflight transmission of infections, preterm labour, and other significant obstetric and
medical complications that may be exacerbated by the flight and may require emergency care. Transient changes
in cardiotocographic tracings during third trimester of pregnancy have been reported following air travel. It has
been suggested that pregnant members of the flight crew may be at a slightly higher risk of spontaneous miscarriages.
There are no contra-indications for healthy pregnant women on air travel. Those with underlying
medical conditions should only embark on long distance travel following consultation with their obstetrician.
Pregnant women should be advised to familiarise themselves with the healthcare system in the country/region
they will be visiting and draw up an emergency plan of how they will contact the healthcare system at their