Are X-rays or Imaging Tests Safe During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a time to take good care of yourself and your unborn child. Many things are especially important during pregnancy, such as eating right, cutting out cigarettes and alcohol, and being careful about the prescription and over-the-counter drugs you take. Diagnostic x-rays and other medical radiation procedures of the abdominal area also deserve extra attention during pregnancy.
Because imaging tests are associated with radiation, you may be wondering if it’s safe to get an X-ray while pregnant, or you might be hesitant to take these tests because you are nervous about exposing your baby to something dangerous. Rest easy knowing that medical imaging exams are typically safe while you are pregnant.
Safe Screenings During Pregnancy
Two types of tests, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound, have minimal impact on a baby in your womb. Both tests rely on the use of a non-ionizing form of radiation. Ultrasound captures images from inside your body through the use of sound waves. It can diagnose a variety of conditions that may be causing infection, pain or swelling in your body.
Ultrasound is also used to track the growth of your body and examine your overall health. This type of test can help doctors examine your bones, organs and tissues.
It should be pointed out, however, that the majority of birth defects and childhood diseases occur even if the mother is not exposed to any known harmful agent during pregnancy. Scientists believe that heredity and random errors in the developmental process are responsible for most of these problems.
Minimize Your Risk
Even though X-rays are generally safe, you can take a few precautions. First, always tell your provider or radiologist if there is a chance you may be pregnant. In addition:
- Ask for a lead apron to block radiation to your abdomen.
- Ask what other scans are available and the benefits and risks of each. Some types of scans, such as ultrasound and MRI, are safer than others.
- Schedule the scan for after the baby is born, if it’s something that can wait.
Keeping You Safe
The healthier you are, the healthier your baby will be. Always talk to your doctor before completing any imaging exams during pregnancy. If your doctor recommends imaging tests to help identify a medical condition that needs to be addressed, the team at Bansal Diagnostic Centre can provide you with tests that are safe for you and your baby.