Rules and regulations for a pregnant endourologist: the European perspective

Patrick Juliebø-Jones, Amelia Pietropaolo, Anne-Francoise Spinoit, Anne K. Bergesen, Gigja Guðbrandsdottir, Christian Beisland, Nicola von Ostau, Nina N. Harke, Maria J. Ribal, Maria Zerva, Ewa Bres-Niewada, Patricia Zondervan, Liza McLornan, Stefania Ferretti, Ursula Tonnhofer, Ulrike Hendrika Necknig, Andreas Skolarikos, Bhaskar K. Somani

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Introduction: Working in surgery while pregnant is challenging. Navigating this period safely is of paramount importance. Anecdotal observation suggests that there exists great variation among European nations in regard to maternity leave and radiation safety. The aim of this article was to gain insight into policy patterns and variations across Europe regarding these issues. Methods: A series of core question items was distributed to representatives across 12 nations Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Republic of Ireland, Spain and the United Kingdom). Results: The total number of weeks with full pay ranged from as little as 4 weeks in Belgium to 32 and Iceland. All countries included in this study give the option of additional weeks beyond the initial period, however at reduced pay. Some offer unpaid leave beyond this. Only 5/12 countries had a specific policy on when the pregnant surgeon should come off the on-call rota. Only Austria, Italy and Poland stipulate a requirement for the pregnant clinician to be replaced or be completely exempt in cases involving radiation. Only Germany, Iceland, Norway and Poland highlight the need to limit radiation dose in the first trimester. Beyond this, Germany alone provides written guidance for reduction in gown weight and along with Poland, display arguably the most forward-thinking approach to resting. Conclusion: There is a marked range in maternal leave policies across Europe. There also exists a lack of universal guidance on radiation safety for the pregnant urologist. There is urgent need for this void to be addressed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWorld journal of urology
Early online date2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021


  • Endourology
  • Guideline
  • Maternity leave
  • Pregnancy
  • Radiation

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