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Is there any risk associated with exposure to x-ray radiations during pregnancy?

Apr 2013
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Answered by

General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 9351 Questions
Dear Sir,
I would like to seek answers to my doubts/queries regarding exposure to X-RAY radiations during pregnancy.

The incident happend with my pregnant wife on 23rd March 2013 when she was 8 weeks pregnant (Last cycle she had on 23rd January 2013).

While working at home she get hurted to her right foot badly she had a severe pain due to this.
Immediatelly I took her to a near by Ortho surgeon.On examination he advised for Xray of the foot (RT Foot AP/OBL).Her position during Xray-she was sitted on the table with her right leg folded and exposed just below from knee.
We took the Xray and at the time the doctor was prescribing the medicines we let him know about her pregnancy,which as per him is mistake we deed.

Since we need to inform this in advance before going for any radiation diagnosis.

As per my knowledge at the time of incident we need to take care of medicines that a pregnant women should consumes, me and my wife were completely unaware of precautions to be taken from xrays examination.

Though the doctors tried to assure us that there are no chances of any risk associated with this to fetous/unborn baby but we are still worried about this.

Could you please help us on this and let us know is this really a cause of wory ?
Posted Wed, 17 Apr 2013 in Pregnancy
Answered by Dr. Ivan R. Rommstein 1 hour later
Hi and welcome to XXXXXXX
Firstly you dont need to worry. This is something that often concerns our patients and this problem is well known and was discussed and investigated during last 2 decades. Radilogists and gynaecologists were aware of necessarity of xrays in diagnostics.
Scientific facts today say that having an X-ray during pregnancy is safe and it is highly unlikely that a diagnostic X-ray during pregnancy will harm a developing baby. Only abdominal xray have that risk, but risk is also extremely low and unproved. So usualy doctors should know about your pregnancy, then theyask pregnant women do they accept xray diagnostic tests and ask for signed agreement. but as I said this isnt even necessary considering that xray isnt XXXXXXX

CT scan should never be done because this is 1000x higher dose than xray.
Enjoy in your pregnancy. This is not itme for you to be stressed and worried.
Hope I have answered your query. If you have any further questions I will be happy to help"
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Is there any risk associated with exposure to x-ray radiations during pregnancy? 11 hours later
Dear Doctor,
Thanks for your reply.It has given me a big XXXXXXX of relief.
Just few more queries...
How much amount of radiation would have been passed through the xray (i.e.RT Foot AP/OBL) that we have taken ?

How much is the permissible amount of radiation advised for 8 weeks pregnant lady ?

Should I conclude that, the way the xray of my wife's foot were taken i.e. without using protective shields or lead aporns did not possess any risk to unborn baby/fetus ?

Answered by Dr. Ivan R. Rommstein 50 minutes later
Hi again.
It definitely didnt possess any risk to her and her baby.
I ll tell you some numbers to clear this out.
Radiation exposure is measured in milisieverts(mSv). We recieve 3.1mSv of xrays per year cause of sun and cosmetic radiation. People who live in mountains are exposed more and get about 4msv per year.
EVen travelling by airplane for one hour radiate 0.005 mSv(the same as foot xray).

Foot Xray exposure is 0.005mSV x2= 0.01 mSV.
It is considered that pregnant woman shouldnt be exposed to more than 4mSv during 9 months and it should also be less than 0.4 mSV per month.
So more than 40 foot xray per month or more than 4 chest xrays would be potentially harmful for the baby.

So when we comparate your wifes exposure to all this we conclude that this was negligible radiation dose.
If you have any other question I ll be glad to help you
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Is there any risk associated with exposure to x-ray radiations during pregnancy? 2 days later
Dear Doctor,
Thanks a lot for technically clearing out things to me and also for providing me a big big XXXXXXX of relief :) .

Just guide me on next 7 months i.e. what to do when & how (the tests,the sonographies, etc) considering the history of the this case.

Answered by Dr. Ivan R. Rommstein 6 hours later
Hi. You should do nothing more then usual.
First ultasound should be done between 8-12 week, if nothing is suspicous second one should be in 16.week, and then 1 per month till the 38.week after which it can be done every few days. This would detect any anomalies, but I am sure that your baby will develop normally. Other important things are frequent blood pressure measurment, blood and urine analysis. And also never let your wife to take and medicine without consulting her doctor,or you can ask me. Before any diagnostic test or procedure, operator must be informed about pregnancy.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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