X-Rays and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know
From the time it was invented, x-ray has evolved into many different purposes which aim at helping the medical profession come up with the accurate diagnosis of various illnesses and health problems in human body. Today x-rays are primarily used to assist in the diagnosis of the countless arrays of health problems in the human body which the naked eye cannot see. However, the utilization of the x-ray machines in the medical field has countless advantages as well as disadvantages. In fact, research and studies reveal that x-rays can actually cause harm to the fetus inside the mother’s womb when the mother happens to subject herself to this procedure.
To give it further, the exposure of over 10 rads (absorbed radiation measurement units) to any unborn child is considered very harmful. It will more likely affect the child’s future developments. Specifically, x-ray radiation is known to be very risky on the child’s eye-development and the child will more likely develop eye-defects. Aside this proven side effect of x-ray radiation, another downside of it is that it will ultimately cause the child to suffer from learning disability the moment he enters school. These are only a few of the countless side effects of x-ray radiations upon the unborn child.
Understanding the Rad
In order to properly understand how harmful and hazardous an x-ray radiation is, it is only but necessary to first understand the rad. First let us take a look at a single rad; it is equivalent to 1,000 millirads. Now to understand it deeply, an exposure in the chest area through the x-ray is causing about 60 millirads; meanwhile an exposure at the abdominal area through x-ray radiation can reach up to 290 millirads. If we try to apply this principle to the x-ray exposure being on the unborn child, it only takes about 10,000 millirads for the x-ray radiation to have adverse effects on the unborn child. In this illustration, it is even more harmful for the unborn child as compared to the mother, though both of them can significantly suffer from radiation during the mother’s pregnancy.
Taking Extra Care
In performing x-ray session on the patients, radiologic technologists are actually trained to handle the session properly and effectively as possible to avoid causing harm on him and the patient as well. But before starting the x-ray sessions, it is always necessary that precautions and proper screening are observed to find out if a woman who is about to undergo an x-ray session is pregnant. Aside from this, it is also important that the women themselves reveal their condition with the technician whether they are pregnant or not. The purpose of this is to protect both the mother and unborn child.
Alternative on X-rays
Aside the common benefits people get from x-rays, there is also another alternative method used as a form of a replacement which is less harmful than x-rays. In fact, after the trimester of a woman’s pregnancy, the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can also be used as a replacement for x-ray. This is proven to be safe on the mother and the child.
Filed under: xray
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