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Should a pregnancy test be required before scuba diving?
  1. Françoise Damnon,
  2. Maud de Rham,
  3. David Baud
    1. Materno-fetal and Obstetrics Research Unit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital, Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
    1. Correspondence to Dr David Baud, Materno-fetal and Obstetrics Research Unit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University Hospital, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), Lausanne 1011, Switzerland; david.baud{at}

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    In recent years, scuba diving has become accessible worldwide. The average age of female scuba divers is similar to their window of fertility, and many women dive annually without knowing their pregnancy status. These women seek advice concerning the potential teratogenicity of diving, and whether they can continue the pregnancy. Nevertheless, little is known about the consequences of scuba diving on pregnancy, and the scientific literature is poor1 (old studies,2 ,3 no controls,2 ,4 few participants2). Adverse pregnancy outcomes were observed in animal models, but were only conducted in late gestation.1 As a precaution principle, all international diving and medical organisations5 recommend avoiding scuba diving activity during pregnancy at any period of gestation. The aim of our study is to report …

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    • Collaborators Karine Lepigeon, RN Materno-fetal and Obstetrics Research Unit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology University Hospital, Lausanne Switzerland.

    • Contributors FD and DB conceived and designed the study, built the questionnaire and analysed the data. MdR and DB wrote the paper.

    • Funding This work was supported by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Maternity, Lausanne, Switzerland. DB is also supported by the ‘Fondation Leenaards’ through the ‘Bourse pour la relève académique’, by the SNSF grant number 310030_156169/1, by the ‘Fondation Divesa’ and by the ‘Loterie Romande’.

    • Competing interests None declared.

    • Patient consent Obtained.

    • Ethics approval The study was approved by the Ethical Committee of the University and Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland (Protocol 04/34, date of approval 8th of January 2013).

    • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.