X-ray during pregnancy – facts you should be knowing

x ray during pregnancy

X-ray during pregnancy has had a lot of misconception about it. While you are pregnant, you do everything to make sure that you and your expected child are healthy and safe. This includes eating right, taking proper medication, regular exercise, cutting out on alcohol and being careful about over-the-counter drugs. X-rays and other radiations might also need some extra attention.  Although you may not even require an x-ray during pregnancy, in some case, due to the medical condition of the woman, your doctor may recommend an x-ray of your abdomen.

Generally, x-rays don’t cause any big risk to you and your baby. However small the risk may be, if it is unnecessary then it is always better to avoid the radiation. Whenever a doctor prescribes you an x-ray, ensure that you inform him about your pregnancy. Depending on your stage and condition, the doctor may postpone, reduce the radiation amount or cancel the x-ray examination altogether.

Here are some facts you should be knowing about x-ray during pregnancy:

Can x-rays affect the unborn baby?

When the x-ray of other body parts like arms, head, teeth, legs or even chest is done properly, it does not affect the unborn baby in any way. The risk rate is always very low in these procedures. However, during the x-ray of the abdomen, pelvis, stomach, lower back or even kidneys, the unborn child is exposed directly to the harmful radiations. Such procedures may be of more concern. 

What are the risks involved in x-rays during pregnancy?

The risks involved in x-rays during pregnancy are quite less because the cells are constantly multiplying into more cells and tissues. However, if the radiations were to cause any changes in these rapidly changing cells, there could be chances of birth defects or illnesses like leukaemia. But such defects can occur even if they no exposure to radiation. According to scientists, heredity and errors in the process of development are majorly responsible for these illnesses. 

How harmful are the x-ray radiations?

The risk mainly depends on the amount of exposure to the radiation. A high-dose of radiation exposure in an early pregnancy can result in a miscarriage as well. Between two and eight weeks of pregnancy, the high radiations can increase the risk of birth defects or fetal growth restrictions. And any exposure to high radiation after eight weeks can affect the intellectual and learning abilities of the baby. This happens only if there is a repeated exposure or it is of high-dose and not a typical dose.

Low-dose x-rays are below 10 mGy which have a very small risk rate, almost 1 in 10,000. While the high-dose x-rays are above 10 mGy with an increased risk rate of 1 in 1,000. 

In most of the x-rays during pregnancy, the dose that an unborn child can receive is generally up to about 1 mGy. 

Things to inform your doctor:

1. About your previous x-ray examinations

2. Your pregnancy, its stage and/or any other conditions

3. If you think you are pregnant

Do you still have any doubts? Leave it in the comments below and we shall answer it for you.


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