Effects of radiotros rays on the fetus

The article is consulted professionally by Specialist I Vo Cong Hien – Imaging Doctor – Department of Diagnostic Imaging – Share99 Nha Trang International Health Hub.

X-rays during pregnancy that affect the fetus are not a question of many pregnant mothers, because X-rays are a form of radiation and have the potential to affect pregnancy. However, in X-rays, the impact of X-rays depends on the concentration of effects, gestational age and duration of exposure.

1. How does X-rays affect the fetus?

X-rays are a form of radiation that can affect pregnancy but also depend on the concentration of effects, gestational age and duration of radiation exposure. Although X-rays can be accompanied by a risk of cancer, causing leukemia and some other birth defects to the fetus, however this risk is quite low. In medicine, when using X-rays for diagnosis, the dose of radiation used is very low, several times lower than the dose that is likely to harm the fetus. Specifically:

  • Risk of miscarriage: With a dose of radiation less than 5 rad (rad: unit of measurement), X-rays do not increase the risk of miscarriage. Besides, every woman during pregnancy is available about 3-15% of the risk of miscarriage, whether there is an X-ray or not;
  • Risk of affecting fetal development: With small doses of radiation (even a dose of 10-20 rad), the risk of causing fetal malformations is significant. The fetus is only capable of developing slowly during X-rays in the early stages of pregnancy and at a radiation dose of up to 50 rad;
  • Cancer risk to the fetus: If an X-ray during pregnancy in the first months of pregnancy and with a dose of radiation greater than 5 rad, then the risk of cancer increases between 0.3 -1%. However, this risk already exists at 0.3% whether the mother is exposed to radiation during pregnancy or not.

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With a dose of radiation less than 5 rad (rad: unit of measurement), X-rays do not increase the risk of miscarriage

2. Effects of X-rays on each stage of pregnancy

According to doctors, each stage of pregnancy has a different degree of X-ray effect on the fetus. Specifically:

  • First two weeks of pregnancy: Risk of miscarriage when the dose of X-rays is greater than 5 rad;
  • Week 3 – 8 of pregnancy: The risk of affecting pregnancy when the dose of radiation is greater than 20-30 rad;
  • After the 20th week of pregnancy: The risk of miscarriage does not increase if x-ray during pregnancy because the fetus has now developed quite completely.

3. The dosage and location of the X-ray can affect the fetus

The dose of X-rays absorbed by the fetus (rad unit) in each of the mother's scans at the same shooting location, the number of scans is likely to affect the health of the baby with the following levels:

  • Head: The ability of the fetus to absorb about 0.004 / scan, to reach the affected dose of 5 rads, the mother must have an X-ray up to 1,250 times;
  • Teeth: The ability of the fetus to absorb about 0.0001 / scan, to reach the affected dose of 5 rads, the mother needs an X-ray 50,000 times;
  • Cervical spine: The ability of the fetus to absorb about 0.002 / scan, to reach the affected dose of 5 rads, the mother needs an X-ray during pregnancy about 2,500 times;
  • Hands and feet: The ability of the fetus to absorb is 0.001 / scan, to reach the affected dose of 5 rads, the mother needs an X-ray 5,000 times;
  • Chest: The absorption capacity of the fetus is 0.00007 / scan, to reach the affected dose of 5 rads, the mother needs an X-ray of 71,429 scans;
  • Breast: The absorption capacity of the fetus is 0.02 / scan, to reach the affected dose of 5 rads, the mother needs an X-ray of 250 times;
  • Abdomen: The absorption capacity of the fetus is 0.245 / scan, to reach the affected dose of 5 rads, the mother needs an X-ray during pregnancy of 20 times;
  • Spine, lumbar: The ability of the fetus to absorb is 0.359 / scan, to reach the affected dose of 5 rads, the mother needs an X-ray 13 times;
  • Pelvis: The ability of the fetus to absorb is 0.04 per scan, to achieve an impact dose of 5 rads, the mother needs an X-ray 125 times.

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If only X-rays during pregnancy once are not at risk of harm to the fetus

If an X-ray is taken during pregnancy only once, there is no risk of harm to the fetus. And x-ray doses smaller than 5 rads do not increase the risk of affecting the fetus because the dose of rays that can cause malformations to the fetus is up to over 15 rad. Therefore, pregnant women still need regular pregnancy checkups for health checks and screening for abnormalities during pregnancy.

Bsck I Vo Cong Hien has many years of experience in the field of imaging, especially in ultrasound diagnosis of general abdominal diseases, heart – advanced blood vessels, obstetrics and gynecology. Dr Vo Cong Hien worked at the Imaging Department of Hoang Anh Gia Lai University Health Hub of Medicine and Pharmacy before working at the Imaging Department of Share99 Nha Trang International Health Hub.

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SEE MORE:

  • Is chest x-ray during pregnancy dangerous for the fetus?
  • X-ray of pneumonia detects what diseases
  • What pathology does Schuller X-ray technique diagnose?

About: John Smith

b1ffdb54307529964874ff53a5c5de33?s=90&r=gI am the author of Share99.net. I had been working in Vinmec International General Hospital for over 10 years. I dedicate my passion on every post in this site.

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