Published: 2022-06-28

Radiation exposure in pregnancy: need for awareness

Priyanka P. K. Belaguthi, Shylaja Prashanth, Giridhar Dasegowda, Salma Sadaf, Sanjiti Mirmire


Background: Although radiation has become an integral part of modern medicine, as both a diagnostic and a therapeutic tool, the emphasis on the teratogenic effects of radiation in pregnancy cannot be belittled.

Methods: A total of 404 pregnant women at ESIC Model hospital, Rajajinagar, Bengaluru were enrolled over a period of 3 months (December 2020 to February 2021) in the interventional study. Statistical analysis was done by SPSS version 23 package.

Results: On analyzing the data obtained in the study, it was noted that most patients in the study were aged 25-30 years 175 (43.32%), belonged to the upper-lower class (241 (59.65%), were multiparous 216 (53.46%), and in their third trimester 192 (47.52%). It was seen that 133 (32.92%) women had some knowledge about the ill effects of radiation during pregnancy and 110 (27.33%) were educated about the same during their antenatal visits. While only 96 (29.54%) of 325 women below 30 had some familiarity with the same, this proportion significantly increased (p<0.05) to 39 (46.84%) of 79 in those above 30. The study showed no significant difference (p>0.05) in insight among women based on socioeconomic levels, parity, or week of gestation. A short session was conducted to educate women about different imaging modalities, the benefits of ultrasonography, and the risk of radiation exposure during pregnancy. A post-education survey revealed a significant increase (p<0.0001) in awareness among pregnant women.

Conclusions: This study reiterates the importance of health education among pregnant women to ensure adequate protection from the teratogenic effects of radiation exposure.


Radiation education, Pregnancy, Health education

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