Does radioactive iodine cross the placenta?

The fetal thyroid begins to accumulate radioiodine around the 12th week of pregnancy. Iodide easily crosses the placenta and fetal thyroid uptake can be effectively blocked by administration of radioiodine to the mother.

Can radiation cause a miscarriage?

Epidemiological studies and animal studies indicate that high exposures of ionizing radiation can cause miscarriage, congenital malformations, growth retardation, stillbirth, and cancer.

Does radioiodine affect fertility?

In particular, the ovaries may be particularly sensitive to the radiation from radioactive iodine and this may lead to future problems with fertility. In women, radioactive iodine therapy has been associated with irregular menstrual cycles, earlier menopause, and delayed pregnancy.

Can radioactive iodine cause birth defects?

The dose of radioactive iodine therapy received did not affect risk of birth defect. Pregnancy within 6 months after treatment did not have higher risks of abortion or birth defects in the surgery group.

What happens if a pregnant woman is exposed to radiation?

The health consequences can be severe, even at radiation doses too low to make the mother sick. Such consequences can include stunted growth, deformities, abnormal brain function, or cancer that may develop sometime later in life.

What happens if you are pregnant and exposed to radiation?

What happens if you get pregnant after radioactive iodine treatment?

A higher risk of birth defects was only seen when pregnancy occurred within 6 months after treatment with radioactive iodine therapy. There was an increased risk of premature birth in both radioactive iodine therapy and surgery group if pregnancy occurred more than 24 months after treatment.

Do you gain weight after radioactive iodine treatment?

Treatment of hyperthyroidism with RAI or anti-thyroid medications is associated with an increased risk of gaining weight and even developing obesity. This risk is slightly higher with RAI therapy compared to medications.

How long after radioactive iodine treatment is it safe to get pregnant?

Currently, the American Thyroid Association recommends women to wait at least 6 months to become pregnant after radioactive iodine therapy. This study was done to evaluate risk of abortion, premature birth, and birth defect after radioactive iodine therapy for thyroid cancer.

Can pregnant nurses care for radiation patients?

Given the caveats mentioned above, pregnant staff can periodically care for these patients without exceeding permitted dose limits. If care for radioactive patients is routine, please contact the Radiation Safety Office for evaluation of potential dose.