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X-Rays and Ovaries

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Does anyone know or can direct me to information on X-rays and their effect on the eggs in my ovaries? After this pregnancy I know I will need several X-rays of my pelvis to evaluate my hip replacements and to replace them again and then follow up that they are doing well. But I also want to have more children and am worried about the effect of this radiation. I've already had numerous X-rays and was told it should be fine for this pregnancy (had them before I was pregnant) but I can't help but wonder at what point there are too many.
post #2 of 6
Hi! I can't give you any info just some peace of mind - my mom had major pelvic X-rays before she had me, and I am both healthy and fertile. You can bet the X-rays back then in the 1960s carried way, way more radiation than nowadays.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for responding Natashka. I wish I could turn off this worry machine I've got in my head. Nothing I can do but weight the risks/benefits as I go and then let it go. Easier said than done!
post #4 of 6
Hi there! I'm a radiology tech and totally understand your concern. Ovaries, testes and your thyroid are the most radiation sensitive parts of your body. The dose effect of radiation is cumulative, so all the radiation you've had in your life adds up in its total effect.
Although you can't get away from having x-rays for a total hip replacement, obviously, you can ask your orthopedic Dr. to order them a little differently. If it is just your hips he is interested in for most of the follow up films, he can order just your hips xrayed rather than your entire pelvis with hips. This way, the technologist can shield your ovaries with a small lead shield. It won't block all of the scatter radiation, but it will help. Make sure he communicates this to the radiology tech, or else they won't want to shield you because the shield will obstruct the entire pelvic area.
Overall, I wouldn't worry about the radiation too much, unless you're pregnant of course. From what I remember in my radiation physics courses, the dose required to have a measurable effect on the ovaries is pretty high- like radioactive fallout high!
But still, it's great you're aware. Don't lose any sleep over it. Just make absolutely sure you're not pregnant , as the most damage from radiation occurs very early in development- before you know you're pregnant usually.

Good luck! Becky
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thank you Becky, I'm going to make sure I mention this to my orthopedic surgeon. Last time I was there the X-ray tech did 3 X-rays, (each side and full pelvis) and then messed up and had to redo!
post #6 of 6
Let me just add that most techs are pretty lazy (not including myself, of course ) and won't take the time to shield unless they absolutely have to . Esp. if you're asking them to shield your ovaries for a bilat hip film- if they place the shield wrong or use the wrong size, it can easily cover the hip area, too, since the size of the shield magnifies as it is projected onto the film. So make sure you make them do it, and don't let them tell you that they can't!
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