X-rays should be avoided when you're pregnant, but what happens when you go to the dentist or get an X-ray before you know you're pregnant?
It is best to avoid x-rays during pregnancy, especially in the pelvic area, but also at the dentist, chiropractor or doctor. It is for this reason that professionals always ask if you are pregnant or if you could be pregnant before giving you medical or dental x-rays. Sometimes the benefits of x-rays outweigh the risks and you should still have them. What does it mean for the fetus and for the rest of your pregnancy? Are there any precautions?
Before you know you're pregnant
Most of the time, pregnant women who receive X-rays do so at the very beginning of pregnancy, because they are not yet aware that they are pregnant. Unfortunately, this period is delicate because the fetal cells of early pregnancy are in full division and are very sensitive to radiation. At this time, X-rays increase the risk of miscarriage and malformation, especially when directedtowards the belly the pelvis or the back.
If however the x-rays you need concern the upper body, the lungs, the teeth or the neck for example, the risks are almost non-existent. Your doctor or dentist will protect your belly with a lead apron. In any case, if you had an x-ray before you knew you were pregnant, let those who will do your first pregnancy follow-up know.
Why are x-rays problematic?
If your belly needs an X-ray due to an accident, for example, or a serious problem, you will need to discuss your pregnancy with your doctor who will assess the risks depending on the dose you are given. In very high doses and aimed at the belly, X-rays may increase the risk of childhood cancer and the risk of mental retardation.
In some cases, when repeated X-rays are required or when the X-ray exceeds 100 mSv, the pregnancy may be compromised and an abortion may be recommended. However, this is not the case for most exams. When possible, radiologists will protect your belly and direct the exam to protect your uterus so that you don't have to make this difficult decision.
About Additional Ultrasounds
Although it is very pleasant and comforting for parents to get in touch with their unborn baby inlooking at the small ultrasound screen where he wriggles, it is not recommended to perform ultrasounds for non-medical purposes. Ultrasounds that are meant to give you memories, those that are not part of the three routine ultrasounds performed by your doctor, have no medical purpose and should be avoided. According to the National College of French Gynecologists, these ultrasounds expose the fetus to ultrasound for far too long and since they are not necessary, it is best not to do so.
What exams are we talking about?
All examinations involving ionizing radiation are affected by this ban. Moreover, it seems that magnetic resonances have no impact on pregnancy.
In all cases, the doctor must tell you about the risks inherent in this examination and obtain your approval. In general, he will suggest waiting for the delivery before continuing the examinations, but if he suggests proceeding more quickly, it is because he will have weighed the pros and cons and that the X-ray is important for the care or diagnosis.