An examination that is apparently so simple and performed quietly and quickly among babies, children and adults, may be the cause of concerns during pregnancy. X-ray in pregnancy is a very discussed and worrying issue during the gestational phase, especially when performed without knowledge of the pregnancy.
What is the X-Ray for
The x-ray is an examination used by several medical specialties to complement dental treatments or to verify the health of bones and some internal organs, also called radiography. The examination works on the basis of electromagnetic radiation with high frequencies and ultraviolet radiation through a device called a coolidge tube. Even though it is an exam with beneficial actions, it is worth alerting that the high exposure of this ray in the human body can generate serious health disorders such as cell death, cancerous lesions and even leukemia .
Radiation in Pregnancy
In the case of pregnant women who are exposed to this radiation, the problems can affect the development of the fetus and be of great risk anomalies in vision and difficulty in learning. Obviously, it is not a single radiograph that will generate a serious health problem , but the overexposure of these rays.
So, if you have just had this test and only later found out that you are pregnant, do not despair, but inform your obstetrician to monitor the radiation levels that you have been exposed to and if you need to over the nine months what you can do.
Double Care in Pregnancy
During pregnancy, care for the health of mother and child must be increased. Examinations and procedures considered so normal and routine during life should be questioned to the obstetrician to verify the risk to the health and development of the fetus. So if it is possible to postpone the exam, better do it.
As for pregnant women who work in a sector with strong radiation, it is advisable to talk to their superiors to look for another alternative within the environment so that this risk is not taken. It is also worth remembering that there are radiology procedures that can be done by protecting the lead existing in the examination sites. Anyone should use it, even if you suspect you are pregnant.
In the case of a pregnant woman who is undergoing cancer treatment and has just undergone radiotherapy sessions without knowing that she was expecting a baby, it is recommended that the oncologist be asked for an informative report on the amount of radiation to which the baby was exposed. Based on this report, your obstetrician will assess the real need for complementary exams, such as a genetic exam or ultrasound exams that show the development of the fetus in detail.
When the Exam is Necessary, What to Do?
Talk to your doctor to see alternatives. For example, an MRI scan. It will replace the x-ray and is just as efficient or more. If the doctor suspects an internal problem, he must also remember that there is the possibility of tomography, it is more common and cheaper and it is proven not to cause harm to the baby.
These tests are also analyzed by the doctor, to check the need, but they are much less invasive than the x-ray. If fractures are suspected, the gynecologist will balance the need x risks, but always with due safety. Lead vests are a safe option for pregnant women, but always with a medical indication.
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My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.