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17 years old having stomach ache. CAT scan done. Will this scan affect future pregnancy?

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Hi, my seventeen year old daughter recently had stomach pains and we rushed her to a local emergency room who then did a CAT scan on her. I am worried that the massive exposure to radiation could damage her eggs and future children. Should we be concerned?
Posted Wed, 29 Aug 2012 in X-ray, Lab tests and Scans
Answered by Dr. Ioan Dorian OANA 3 hours later

Thanks for your query.

The dose of ionizing radiation your daughter received to her ovaries from a CT scan is very low and anyway radiation does not stay in her body. Radiation is a transient insult which can cause damage mostly in rapidly dividing cells. This is why radiation is used to kill rapidly growing cancer cells, why radiation exposure to a rapidly growing fetus can be harmful, and since her eggs are not dividing radiation exposure prior to conception should be of little risk to them. There is the risk of producing a genetic change in the ovary that may be manifested in her future pregnancies, but is very low. The scientists who studied the survivors of the atomic bomb in Japan did not demonstrate any increased genetic or reproductive effects in the next generation and this should be considered a solid reason not to be concerned after a CAT scan regarding damaging her eggs and future children.

If you have any more queries, feel free to ask.

Dr. Dorian Oana MD, PhD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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