Pregnancy: Are vaccines and x-rays allowed in pregnancy or are they dangerous for the fetus?

In pregnancy, any examination or medication requires special conditions and attention! If vaccination is carried out on a case-by-case basis, X-rays are contraindicated and MRI and ultrasound authorized. To be reassured about the potential risks to our future baby, it is always better to ask our doctor, gynecologist or obstetrician for advicebefore taking an exam.

What vaccines to do or not to do during pregnancy?

In general, it is best to avoid vaccination during pregnancy, with a few exceptions where the risk / benefit ratio will always remain beneficial, in particular against influenza, Covid-19 and whooping cough.

Dangerous vaccines during pregnancy

During pregnancy it is a must avoid vaccines against the yellow fever (except in cases of extreme necessity such as for a trip), the oral poliomyelitis, hepatitis A, Japanese encephalitis or against less serious diseases, such as measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox.

Vaccines not recommended during pregnancy

Vaccines not recommended for pregnant women are brucellosis vaccineswhich can cause strong reactions, diphtheria (except in an emergency), anger (except in an emergency), the tuberculosis from BCG and cheering, whose vaccine is useless since the treatment of the disease on the mother is without danger to the fetus.

Vaccines harmless or even recommended during pregnancy

Conversely, vaccines against influenza, Covid-19, polio (injectable version only), tetanus, pertussis and hepatitis B, are recommended. Each year, the seasonal flu vaccination campaign is aimed specifically at pregnant women, for whom this disease can lead to severe symptoms and hospitalization. The flu shot will also protect the baby for the first few months of life.

X-rays in pregnancy: what are the dangers?

The radiographs are contraindicated during pregnancy because they can cause fetal malformations. During the first few weeks of pregnancy, fetal cells are in full division. They constantly multiply to become different organs and are therefore very sensitive to radiation. The risk depends on the radiation dose. In the event of a fracture or severe illness, it is possibleuse a lead apron, when x-raying, to protect the chest and stomach. It is therefore imperative to report to the staff of the diagnostic imaging department that you are pregnant when you do this type of visit … even dental!

It may happen that in a woman who does not yet know that she is pregnant, an x-ray of the abdomen or even an intravenous urography is done. Rest assured: these tests have no consequence, because the radiation emitted by these radios is similar to the radiation at a certain altitude. Also, the MRI exam is safe because it doesn’t use X-rays.

S.Reassure yourself if you have had an x-ray of the upper body (lungs, neck, teeth, etc.): the x-rays are not directed towards the fetus and the risks are almost non-existent.

Summary on radiographs in pregnant women:

This is the time when there is the greatest risk because the chromosomes of the fetus are the most receptive. Exams that require multiple x-rays should be avoided, especially if it is a region of the body close to the belly.

  • In the 2nd and 3rd trimester

X-rays will be prescribed only in case of serious illness and always under the protection of a lead apron.

Pelvic radius (pelvimetry), performed to assess the shape and size of the mother’s pelvis and to assess the chances of giving birth by natural means, is harmless.

Ultrasound during pregnancy: are there any risks? Should they be limited?

Ultrasound and radiography are two very different tests. Ultrasound is an imaging method that uses ultrasound, which has the property, when emitted from any source, of being reflected on an obstacle. Currently, pregnant women benefit from it three mandatory ultrasound scans during pregnancy.

However, it is a highly responsible medical act and not a photo shoot. Beware of companies offering to perform “Memory ultrasound” with beautiful images, especially thanks to 3D ultrasound. Such shots expose the baby unnecessarily and for a long time to ultrasound.

Pregnancy and anesthesia: are there any risks for the baby?

More often than not, it is dental work that may require anesthesia that you cannot turn away during pregnancy. For the extraction of a single tooth, in most cases, low-dose local anesthesia is used, which does not no consequences for the child. If your dentist has to remove more than one, general anesthesia is sometimes more comfortable. Don’t worry: no studies have shown an increased risk of fetal malformations following this type of anesthesia.

However, don’t forget to do thisinform your dentist about your condition. Adrenaline is often added to local anesthetics, a product that limits bleeding and increases the anesthetic effect. However, this substance, by narrowing the blood vessels, can sometimes cause hypertension.

On video: The flu vaccine in pregnancy

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