Most women understand they should be wary of smoking and drinking during their pregnancy. In addition, certain medications can be harmful to your baby and should be avoided, and, of course, illicit drugs are dangerous for both you and your baby. Common tests like an ultrasound are routinely performed during pregnancy, but is it safe to get an X-ray while pregnant?
Weighing Risks Vs Benefits
It is rare that a woman might need an X-ray while pregnant, but it can happen in certain circumstances. Most of the time getting an X-ray is safe, but with a few caveats. The safety depends on several scenarios. For example, the site of the X-ray, the baby’s gestational age, and the amount of radiation utilized are all things you should think about prior to your X-ray. You should make this decision in consultation with Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Center if an X-ray is recommended.
Consider The Site Of The X-ray And Other Variables
If you fall and your ankle needs to be diagnosed, this would obviously have no effect on your unborn child, and would be perfectly safe. If the site was closer to the abdomen, a lead apron would be used to protect the baby from any radiation or scatter. Be sure to tell the radiologist that you are pregnant even if you think it’s obvious.
If you had a number of abdominal X-rays taken before you realized you were pregnant, the baby could be affected.
Another variable is the gestational age of the child, and the amount of radiation used. Abdominal X-rays taken early in a pregnancy hold no real risk since the amount of radiation used in these types of X-rays is very small.
In general, it is safe to have an X-ray while pregnant. As long as the radiation dose is less than 5 rad, it is considered safe at any point in the pregnancy.
Other Questions To Ask Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Center
If you must have an abdominal X-ray during your pregnancy there are a few questions to discuss.
- Is there some other test to take instead of an X-ray which will provide the information we need?
- What happens if I don’t decide to have the X-ray?
- Can the test wait until after the baby is born?
- Which is greater when discussing a needed X-ray: the risk to my health or the risk from radiation?