Dr Krishnaveni Nayini

Is It Safe to Get X-rays in Pregnancy?

Catagory: High Risk Pregnancy  Author: Dr Krishnaveni Nayini
X-rays in Pregnancy

Is It Safe to Get X-rays during Pregnancy?


Pregnant patients frequently experience anxiety when having diagnostic x-rays. There is extremely little chance that having an X-ray while pregnant can harm your unborn child. Typically, the advantages of an X-diagnostic ray’s information outweigh any possible risks to a newborn. However, your kid can suffer if you underwent a lot of abdominal X-rays quickly before discovering that you were pregnant.

Your reproductive organs won’t be exposed to the direct X-ray beam during the majority of X-ray tests, including those of the legs, head, teeth, or chest, and a lead apron can be worn to guard against radiation dispersion.

Abdominal X-rays are the exception, which exposes your tummy and your unborn child to the direct X-ray beam. The likelihood that your baby will suffer injury depends on the gestational age of the child and the radiation dose received. In the initial two weeks following conception, exposure to exceptionally high doses of radiation may cause a miscarriage. However, diagnostic imaging does not employ these radiation levels.

Two to eight weeks after conception, high-dose radiation exposure may raise the risk of foetal growth limitation or birth abnormalities. Exposure throughout weeks 8 through 16 may raise the chance of developing an intellectual or learning impairment. However, compared to the high dosage associated with these consequences, the usual dose of a single radiation exposure associated with a diagnostic X-ray is far lower.

Inform your doctor if you are or think you could be pregnant before obtaining an X-ray. It could be feasible to delay the X-ray or alter it to lessen the radiation, depending on the situation. Don’t hold your child during the test if you are or think you could be pregnant if your youngster needs an X-ray.

Speak with your doctor if you received a diagnostic X-ray before finding out you were pregnant.

It is crucial to remember that:

  1. The health of the embryo or foetus cannot be jeopardised by a single diagnostic x-ray operation.
  2. At exposure levels lower than 5 rads, the risk of foetal abnormalities, growth restriction, or spontaneous abortion is not enhanced.
  3. Pregnancy at any stage is safe for MRI and ultrasound procedures.
  4. While it is unlikely that radio-opaque or paramagnetic contrast chemicals may harm a foetus, they should only be used when the benefit outweighs the potential danger to the unborn child.
  5. Pregnancy is not a time to use radioactive isotopes of iodine.