Most of the pregnant women are worried about getting an X-Ray done during this critical time. They are anxious about the impact of the procedure on the health of their baby. The chances that an X-ray performed during pregnancy will harm to the unborn child are scarce.
Generally, the advantages of the diagnostic information obtained from this treatment outweigh the potential side effects to a baby. However, getting exposed to a lot of abdominal X-ray radiation over a small time before being aware of the pregnancy, can impact your baby. Let us know more about the consequences of X-Ray during pregnancy.
Working of X-Rays
Before we talk on the impact of X-rays on your as well as baby’s health, let us learn about how this technology works. X Rays are small bursts of radiation. When a person is exposed to them, these radiations make their way into the body through the different body tissues.
The extent of radiation used for performing this method depends on the type of X-ray, the device used to perform it and the size of the person. In X-rays, the radiation dose is mostly measured in the terms of milligrays. If your doctor recommends you for an X-ray during pregnancy, then the lowest levels of radiations will be used.
How safe is it to receive x-rays during pregnancy?
Though doctors believe X-Rays to be generally safe while pregnancy, but before you perform it you should learn about the advantages that the treatment will provide you. This procedure should only be advised and done when it outweighs the risks associated with it. X-rays can serve as the best means to provide lifesaving and valuable information to your health care provider.
It will give him important insights into any medical conditions. With all these benefits, X-Rays makes an important procedure to be performed to learn about health status at every stage of pregnancy.
Are all types of X-Rays safe during pregnancy?
X-ray examinations that are performed for the diagnosis of the arms, head, legs, chest or teeth are not harmful to the reproductive organs and the fetus as they are not exposed to radiation. By wearing an apron with a leaded collar would be sufficient to guard your body against any scattered radiation.
However, there is one exception. Abdominal X-ray exposes your abdomen and the baby to the direct radiation beam. The level of risk to your baby is dependent on his/her gestational age and the level of exposure to radiation.
When exposed to a very high dose of radiation, quite soon in pregnancy, can result in a miscarriage or no development of the baby. Exposure to extremely high levels of radiation in the period between the second and eight weeks of pregnancy increases the possibilities of restriction on fetal growth or birth defects. On the other hand, exposure to X-Ray after 8th week of pregnancy can increase the risks related to intellectual and learning disability in the baby. There are chances that the baby can develop cancer in his/her early childhood.
What sort of precautions can be taken before undergoing this treatment?
To prevent any of the adverse effects associated with X-Ray, it is important for a pregnant woman to consult with her doctor. This is also required in cases when you are unsure of your pregnancy. A prior consultation will provide you the guidance that will help you in deciding the right course of action. Depending on your health state, the doctor can decide about postponing the X-ray or lower the level of radiation.
Can my X-Ray treatment wait?
Your doctor can assist you in deciding whether your X-Ray treatment can wait till you deliver a baby. In addition to this, they may even replace X-Ray by other types of imaging methods like an ultrasound scan.
However, there are negligible chances for X Rays done for teeth, legs, arms, and chest to impact the abdomen. So, performing such type of X Rays during your pregnancy is safe for you as well as your unborn baby.
A lot of people have this belief that an X-Ray during pregnancy can be detrimental for the baby. This is not completely true. Not all types of X-Rays are harmful. Only the ones performed for the diagnosis of the abdominal region can impact the fetus. Make sure you perform this treatment under the supervision of your doctor. Finally, you must remember, that getting yourself periodically diagnosed will keep you and your baby healthy. So, don’t hesitate to perform an X-Ray and enjoy a safe and healthy pregnancy.