Should We Sheild Our Ovaries When We Fly In Planes?

Ovaries age, and the more we do to protect them over time the healthier they will be. Aging, medication, illness are all on the list of ways our ovaries age and are less able to produce fertile eggs and normal hormone levels. But radiation is on the list of what ages our ovaries.  Ionizing radiation is all around us. We've heard about the risks of radiation from medical tests, especially CT scans. The November issue of JAMA talked about these risks: Estimating Risk of Cancer Associated With Radiation Exposure From 64-Slice Computed Tomography Coronary Angiography. Andrew J. Einstein, Milena J. Henzlova, Sanjay Rajagopalan
JAMA. 2007;298(3):317-323.doi:10.1001/jama.298.3.317.  The authors pointed out that radiation dose has increased about 6 times in the past almost 30 years, perhaps more. And the FDA Some of the factual data about radiation exposure can be found in the BEIR Report. The Beir report tries to estimate risks of radiation. They discuss risks based on what we known fro those exposed to an atomic bomb. There are two concepts in this sort of exposures: the gradual effects or "dose effect" where the more you get exposed to the worse it is, or the "threshold" effect: in other words under a certain amount ok, over not so good. Sort of like many of the toxins we get that "maximum allowed amount verbiage thrown around a lot."The editorial in that issue talked about physicians discussing radiation risks when they talk about the other risks and benefits to the test (you know, what happens if we do the test, if we don't do the test, what alternatives to doing the test are there, all that fine print). Right now most physicians aren't certain what to tell their patients about radiation risks from x-rays like CT other than "we think it's safe." Ok, there's more than that, but exact numbers are hard to find. Ultrasounds and MRIs just cannot always be used to get the information your gyno needs to have when figuring out that belly or gyno pain. But x ray tests can be made as safe as possible. .In fact the American College of Radiology has begun an "image gently" campaign. But there are other sources of radiation risk as well. When we walk outside for instance. There is a lot of radiation outside, and flying in the sky, the protective layers between us and that radiation are very very thin. So the exposure is so much more. We are born with all the eggs we are ever going to have in our ovaries, so we need to protect them! Astronauts wear suits actually made out of the zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that's in my Sunforgetable Sunscreen by Colorescience, maybe I should just brush some over my ovaries before we take off!


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