X-Rays and Pregnancy

Performing an x-ray during pregnancy is an important issue women should be aware of! Are you pregnant? A very important question always asked by an x-ray technician before performing any x-ray examination. X-ray technicians are skilled medical professionals who have received specialized education in the areas of radiation protection, patient care and radiation safety. Their job is to produce the best quality diagnostic image while minimizing your exposure to the x-rays. This is of particular concern if you are pregnant or if you might be pregnant. This is why it is vital for pregnant women to inform the staff about their pregnancy. Your developing baby is more susceptible and sensitive to x-ray radiations.

Some x-ray examinations do not expose your baby to the radiations as arms, legs, head, teeth and chest tests. In case of an abdominal x-ray, you should not worry, because the danger is very minimal compared to the benefit of the test. Doctors would prefer to postpone unnecessary x-rays tests to after delivery. In case of emergencies a lead shield will be placed on your tummy to protect your developing baby from radiation exposure.

What are the effects of the X-rays on my baby?

Your baby’s cells are developing and growing during your pregnancy. Any exposure to radiations may cause changes in the cells and thus an increase possibility of birth defects or diseases as leukemia.

Scientists disagree on whether a small radiation dose can actually harm a baby or not. Discuss the decision with your doctor. It is wise to postpone any needless x-rays till after your baby’s birth.

What should I do if I had an x-ray before I knew I am pregnant?

Don’t do anything. As mentioned before the risk is very minimal and your doctor may treat your pregnancy as normal. He can show you the amount of radiations you’ve been exposed to. Usually your baby shouldn’t be exposed to more than 5 rad which is a very high level from any normal x-ray.

Protect your pregnancy and enjoy it!