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Saturday, September 30, 2017


Radiation - Watch Out If Pregnant

There's a lot of information out there about what kind of radiation you may be exposed to in your day to day life, especially when pregnant.
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Although I made a point of avoiding any type of known radiation when I was pregnant, this article talks about what may still be safe:

Pregnancy and Radiation Exposure:
I am pregnant. What are the risks to my baby from dental, mammogram, chest, extremity, head, or CT exams that don't directly expose my abdomen? 
The risks to the baby are minimal, if any, when x rays are taken of areas other than the abdomen. This is because the x-ray beam is focused only on the area of interest to minimize doses to other areas of the body. When you receive a diagnostic x-ray study of your head, teeth, chest, arms, or legs at a qualified facility, the x-ray exposure is not to your baby. The "scatter" radiation that might reach the baby would be extremely small and would not represent an increased risk for birth defects or miscarriage.

For some additional information, you can visit the Web site titled, "Prenatal Risk Assessment, Keeping Your Unborn Baby Healthy through Prevention." 

How long should I wait to conceive after x-ray exams that have exposed my ovaries or my husband's testes? Can I become sterile after having x rays?
There is no evidence that there are any effects on the ovaries or sperm at doses used in diagnostic procedures such as the one(s) you had. If there were any risk at all, it would be very small. Also, this type of radiation does not remain in your body so that does not need to be a concern either. 

How long should I wait to conceive after I have had/my spouse or partner has had radioiodine therapy?
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The generally recommended waiting period prior to trying to conceive after radioiodine therapy varies from four to six months. A period of four months is discussed on page 15 of a 1997 report by the European Commission and a period of six months is discussed in a report from the International Commission on Radiological Protection (Publication 54). 
What are the chances I am sterile after radioiodine therapy?
AIt is very unlikely that the ovaries or testes of a person who undergoes radioiodine therapy received enough radiation to render them sterile. In addition, the likelihood of next-generation biological effects is minimal. 

Is a lead apron over the abdomen necessary for x-ray exams on a pregnant individual? 
Many state regulations regarding this issue require lead shielding to be used during x-ray procedures when the ovaries or testes are in the direct beam-as long as the shield won't interfere with the procedure. This implies that lead shielding is not required when the ovaries or testes won't be in the useful beam. Many facilities choose to use aprons for most of their procedures anyway simply as prudent practice.

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