Adventure travel advice

For the use of medical practitioners only (Reviewed by Dr Ross Anderson Feb. 2013)

Download these notes on pregnancy

The risks to a healthy pregnant mother and child in remote areas are small but significant. Statistically the relatively safer time to travel is during the middle three months of a pregnancy.


Risks include life-threatening bleeding, miscarriage (20% of pregnancies end this way), tubal (ectopic) pregnancy, premature labour, and infection that can damage the foetus (especially malaria, rubella, hepatitis A and E).


Pregnant women should avoid unnecessary medications, many of which may damage the foetus.

The antibiotics amoxicillin, erythromycin and cefalexin are relatively safe to use in pregnancy. Drugs to avoid include ciprofloxacin, co-trimoxazole, doxycycline, tinidazole, metronidazole, tetracycline, most antimalarial medications, acetazolamide (Diamox™) and long term iodine use for disinfecting water.


Factors to consider: 

  • Time to hospital care in case of a complication (main ones being ectopic and miscarriage with severe bleeding which may become life threatening). Pregnant women are advised to avoid trips where evacuation to hospital within 12 hours is not guaranteed
  • Altitude: pregnant women should not ascend above 3500m
  • Malaria: pregnant women should avoid high-risk malarial areas
  • Scuba diving should also be avoided


Pregnant women should see a doctor with adventure travel medicine knowledge and their obstetrician, taking along a copy of their itinerary

Long haul air travel has its own regulations for pregnancy, which must be observed.


Adventure Medical Training Courses

First aid courses

Whilst we provide accredited outdoor and expedition first aid courses, the majority of our courses are combined with advanced training for remote overseas locations

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Advanced courses

We will take time to discuss your requirements and provide you with bespoke advanced training. This is intended for use overseas where medical help is more than approximately 3 hours away.

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