Pregnant patients who need to undergo medical imaging often question if certain scans will affect their baby. It is generally safe to have imaging tests while a woman is pregnant under the recommendation of your physician, and no harm will come to your growing baby. There are reasons for this, and some caveats to consider.
Types Of Imaging
Both ultrasounds and MRIs use non-ionizing forms of radiation, which means that they are both safer and different from ionizing radiation.
Ultrasounds use sound waves to produce images should there be a question of infection or what might be causing pain or swelling. It is also frequently used to track the growth of the baby. Both of these have very minimal impact on the growing fetus.
Large amounts of radiation can be dangerous, but the amount delivered during medical imaging and X-rays is safe enough and won’t have any impact on a growing baby.
The most common imaging tests include the following:
- Ultrasounds use sound waves to image organs and your blood flow.
- Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRIs, use a magnetic field, radio waves, and computer software to show detailed images of organs.
- X-rays use a small amount of radiation to create black and white images.
- Computed tomography (CT), or CAT scans, use X-rays from multiple angles to create 3-D images.
The Bottom Line
MRIs do not use ionizing radiation and are considered safe. The American College Of Obstetricians And Gynecologists still recommend using them sparingly.
X-rays, CT scans, and other tests that use X-rays are relatively safe, but they use ionizing radiation. The amount of radiation is small but it is still wise to consult with Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Center before having one. It is important to tell your physician if you think you might be pregnant.
The mother’s health is important during pregnancy. If an X-ray is suggested to determine an issue with the mother, the risk is small.
The team at Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Center will always weigh the risks and benefits of an imaging test for someone who is pregnant. Contact us at (214) 345-6905 with any questions or concerns.