Many things are especially important during pregnancy, such as eating right, cutting out cigarettes and alcohol, and being careful about the prescription and over-the-counter drugs you take. Diagnostic x -rays and other medical radiation procedures of the abdominal area also deserve extra attention during pregnancy.
There is scientific disagreement about whether the small amounts of radiation used in diagnostic radiology can actually harm the unborn child, but it is known that the unborn child is very sensitive to the effects of things like radiation, certain drugs, excess alcohol, and infection. If radiation or other agents were to cause changes in these cells, there could be a slightly increased chance of birth defects or certain illnesses, such as leukemia, later in life.
It should be pointed out, however, that the majority of birth defects and childhood diseases occur even if the mother is not exposed to any known harmful agent during pregnancy. Scientists believe that heredity and random errors in the developmental process are responsible for most of these problems.
There are, however, rare situations in which a woman who is unaware of her pregnancy may receive a very large number of abdominal x -rays over a short period. This is important for many medical decisions, such as drug prescriptions and nuclear medicine procedures, as well as x -rays.
At UVA Radiology and Medical Imaging, we want to give you all the information you need to work with your doctor and make the best decision for you AND your baby. And it is important to keep in mind that the benefit of allowing your doctor to have a clear image of your medical condition most likely outweighs any potential risk to you or your baby.
In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (COG) recommends that pregnant women maintain good oral health by keeping up with such routine dental procedures as X -rays, teeth cleaning, cavity-filling, and root canals. It's a still a good idea to use a leaded apron to protect your abdomen to minimize your baby's radiation exposure when you've having other parts X-rayed.
In weeks 11 through 17, at the 5-10 rad dose, “Potential effects are scientifically uncertain and probably too subtle to be clinically detectable.” Though ACR notes that toucan have IQ damage over the 10 rad mark, increasing with exposure.
When you are pregnant, new health considerations arise that you usually wouldn’t think about. Understanding any potential health implications will help you make the best choice for you and your baby.
Any does of radiation under 50 may has no negative effects on a developing fetus. Doses between 50 and 100 may could have effects on a fetus between the 1st and 15th weeks.
Ultrasounds and MRIs do not use radiation, generally making them safe during pregnancy. A technologist should not use gadolinium contrast during an MRI unless absolutely necessary.