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Exposure to x-rays and radiation while pregnant: scared

(19 Posts)
Saku Fri 14-Oct-16 19:30:16

Is anyone has any idea about topic... I am 29 weeks pg.. I got a letter of appointment from radiology x-ray department for abdominal and pelvic scan (to check about liver swelling exist or not).
But I heard from many people, mums and aunties .. that if you go to hospital then avoid x-ray room itself like it is a GHOST.. be far far awaaaay.. as much as you can .. as it deforms or distorts mental nerves.. brain and DNA or other things in baby... and sometimes even can be life risk for baby..
I googled a bit about it... it says they dont do high frequency x-ray on pregnant women... but what about the exposure I could get from other patient's scan radiation which will be going on near by... sad

I am scared very much... but doctor said that they need to find out that my liver has swelling or not.. before due date...... (to access any possibility of hepatitis)..
I am not sure now what to do... I dont want to avoid the test still want to avoid radiation ........... really confused confused

Allibear Fri 14-Oct-16 19:31:49

They wouldn't do the test if it was harmful for you, clearly they think the risk of the liver problem is worse than that of an X-ray (which is low anyways) smile definitely get checked out, hope everything is okay!

TeachingPostQuery Fri 14-Oct-16 19:48:48

And whenever someone else is getting an x-ray, there will be a shield to protect other patients and, in particular, staff who are there all the time and would otherwise be exposed every day.

Basically, they assume everyone is pregnant until told otherwise afaik.

MulberryBush12 Fri 14-Oct-16 20:00:18

The radiography room walls are lead-lined OP

DocMcFanjo Fri 14-Oct-16 20:02:30

Sounds like you'll be getting an ultrasound- not harmful to the baby.

As PP says the other X-ray rooms will be lead-lined so pose no risk to you at all. You'd get more radiation from a hair dryer.

Hope your scan goes okay.

Saku Fri 14-Oct-16 21:06:00

Thanks for all the replies.. These are giving me some confidence to go near x-ray room.
room walls are lead-lined OP sounds a bit relief

DocMcFanjo I am sure It is not ultrasound ... it is mentioned "x-ray radiology department" on appointment letter. I dont use hair dryer either.. I avoid microwave ovens also... blush grin

I am moreover interested .. that if you would have in my situation ... what safety steps or measures you would have taken to avoid any un- desirable regrets

Spam88 Fri 14-Oct-16 23:11:31

I work in Radiation Protection in a hospital so hopefully I can reassure you! As others have said, the rooms all have lead in the walls and doors, so you aren't exposed to any X-rays when you're outside the room. As for the actual X-ray itself, whilst it is true that large amounts of radiation can harm a foetus, the amount of radiation you'd need to be exposed to before any harm would occur is so much more than you could ever be exposed to from having an abdominal X-ray. As for what you need to do to protect your baby, there's no need to do anything other than get the medical care that you need to ensure you're healthy smile your doctor is legally required to consider the risk to the baby when referring you for an X-ray so they are confident that the benefit from having this X-ray far outweighs any risk to your baby.

Kitch82 Fri 14-Oct-16 23:22:12

I'm a radiographer (I take x rays for a living) and I'm 32 weeks pregnant. 2 points to make here...1) you won't be having an xray of your liver, it will be an ultrasound scan. Details of the liver cannot be seen on x rays. Most ultrasound departments are based in the radiology department of the hospital.
2) being in an xray department poses no risk whatsoever, the room walls and doors are lead lined. Even as a pregnant staff member I still go in the xray room but am protected by either a lead coat or stand behind a lead screen. I'm monitored constantly and have never received a radiation dose to my abdomen. There would be a small risk if you were to have an abdominal xray yourself but as pp has said this would only be carried out if the benefits outweighed the risks.

sycamore54321 Sat 15-Oct-16 01:58:44

Honestly you sound a bit over the top. As above, the safety issues are all very well considered and accounted for. There is no chance someone passing by in the corridor is getting radiated from overflow.

Also, the most dangerous time for x-Ray exposure (not that there will be any!) is in the first and second trimesters as the baby is developing its organs and systems. Now that you are 29 weeks, the baby's anatomy is pretty much formed and the third tri is mainly about growing bigger.

Your relatives should not be scaring you unnecessarily like this, how insensitive. And the hairdryer? I promise you it is safe to use.

Saku Sat 15-Oct-16 10:44:22

DocMcFanjo, Kitch82 : hope your statements will be true... it will be a ultrasound not x-ray.......... then I will be very very relieved and happy.. smile

Thanks Spam88 .. that was very reassuring.

Allibear, sycamore54321, TeachingPostQuery thanks for replies ... those are very much assuring and confidence giving.

I will just pop back to let you know that it was x-ray or ultrasound when 25 oct my test will be over

LynseyH Sat 15-Oct-16 12:48:50

Hi there I just wanted to pop in and tell you briefly my own experience last week.
I was in a lot of pain in my ribs and chest. The worst pain! After going to A&E I was told I'd need a chest x ray, CT scan and ultrasounds as they were concerned about blood clots. My first thought was "but I'm pregnant!".

They told me yes there is a risk, but a teeny tiny one. The risk to yourself is super tiny and the risk to baby is even smaller than that. They also said, if it were before 12 weeks, they'd be worried as babies bodily parts are forming at that stage but in the 2nd trimester the baby is fully formed, just packing on weight, so no risk of deformities there.
I'm 23+1 today and baby is wriggling away as I type smile

Natsku Sat 15-Oct-16 12:55:39

Please don't worry, as others have already said, there's no real risk, especially if you aren't getting an x-ray yourself. If it reassures you when I was pregnant, early 3rd trimester, I had to have a shitload of x-rays and a nuclear scan alongside a bunch of other potentially risky procedures and major abdominal surgery and baby was STILL fine the whole time and still fine 5 years later sat on the sofa eating sweets!

Desmondo2016 Sat 15-Oct-16 15:36:29

I had to have a Q Scan (similar to CT) at 24weeks. Doctor told me I'd get more radiation on a 4 hour flight.

Saku Sat 15-Oct-16 23:11:34

ohhh ... thank you very much .... all lovely ladies for sharing your experiences halo

Bugsylugs Sat 15-Oct-16 23:14:51

Op they use US to look at the liver not X-ray. X-ray is no good for viewing organs generally and never used for the liver

educatingarti Sat 15-Oct-16 23:21:45

I am that baby! My Mum was x-rayed when expecting me as she was convinced I was breech ( I was) and the doctors didn't believe her. It was before ultrasound! I am still alive and kicking at the grand old age of 50 something. I don't even glow in the dark! Op please don't worry.

louiseplusditi Sun 16-Oct-16 19:28:26

Hi,

I was recently in hospital because of my asthma being very bad and I had to have a chest x Ray and all is well with my baby still!

Saku Wed 02-Nov-16 08:49:15

Hi everyone.... I just pop back to let you know that it was an ultrasound in x-ray department... next to x-ray and mammography room.
Your support gave me confidence to go near x-ray rooms flowers

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Wed 02-Nov-16 08:52:04

I work in an environment where I have to pass through x ray portals and be checked your hand held metal detectors several times a day, it's absolutely fine! smile

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