Owing to some of the dangers, which come with x-rays, a lot of concern has always been raised about x-rays for pregnant women. This is because the radiation produced by the x-ray has the capability to penetrate different tissues, posing harm to the unborn baby and to the mother too.
Health risks of x-rays in pregnant women
- Risk of cancer – repeated and prolonged exposure to the radiation produced by the x-ray may increase the risks of cancer both in the mother and in the unborn child as well. In the unborn child, this may come in the form of leukemia owing to damage in the cells.
- Damage of cells – over- exposure to the harmful radiation may also lead to destruction of diverse types of body cells, which may come into contact with the radiation. This in turn affects vital body processes like transport of food and air around the body. It also affects the body’s capability to effectively fight pathogens, leaving the body vulnerable to various illnesses, some of which may be fatal if left unchecked.
- Birth defects – if exposed to a lot of radiation from the x-ray, the baby’s rapidly growing cells can be adversely affected. This in may lead to abnormal body development, increasing the risks of some form of deformity during birth.
Owing to these risks, it is important that a pregnant woman first inform the doctor of the pregnancy before engaging in any form of x-ray. This aids the doctor a lot in determining the amount of radiation to be used to ensure the safety of the unborn child. However, it is important to note that x-rays are only harmful when the radiation is released in large doses. As such, when necessary, it is important to under-go x-rays since they go a long way in helping the doctor during thorough examination of different body parts.
X-rays for pregnant women can be harmful both to the mother and to the unborn baby if the radiation is released in huge doses. You can learn more about the effects Xrays have on pregnant women and their unborn child, by reading this post.