Female surgeons damage fertility due to radiation and other hazards of the operating theatre, study suggests – Telegraph.co.uk

Female surgeons are more than twice as likely to suffer fertility problems due to radiation and the other hazards of operating theatres, a new study suggests.

Its authors are calling for hospitals to make alternative roles available for women of childbearing age after identifying links between infertility and the specialism.

Experts have suspected for some years that working as a surgeon harms womens chances of having a baby, but assumed the stress and physical demands of the role explained the trend.

However, the new analysis argues there are direct medical risks from working as a surgeon, including from radiation, surgical smoke, anaesthetic gases and other toxic substances.

The potential consequences range from difficulty getting pregnant, spontaneous abortion, preterm delivery, growth restriction and congenital abnormalities.

Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the study points to a survey of 1,021 US females surgeons across different specialisms that found 32 per cent of respondents reporting difficulty with fertility, compared to 10.9 per cent in the general population.

The same study saw a pregnancy complication rate of 35.3 per cent, compared to 14.5 per cent generally.

The authors, from Western Health Surgical Department in Australia and Harvard Medical School, said: Occupational hazards exist in the operating room that may be factors in increased rates of infertility and adverse pregnancy outcomes for surgeons.

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Female surgeons damage fertility due to radiation and other hazards of the operating theatre, study suggests - Telegraph.co.uk

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