X-Ray During Pregnancy: Safety, Side Effects & Risks

Taking An X-Ray While Pregnant

Pregnancy is a time where families need to make sure that they take good care of the mother-to-be and take all the right steps to ensure she is healthy. However, there are also certain things that she should avoid during pregnancy. many wonder if an X-ray is one of them. Let us delve deeper into this topic and understand it better.

X-Rays During Pregnancy: Are They Safe?

X-rays and pregnancy have been a common topic of research for several years. When it comes to x-rays during pregnancy, the American Academy of Family Physicians points out that these are generally safe. Getting an X-ray in pregnancy in some cases can be harmful, and this may be true as well, but not getting it can also be harmful in some cases.

So how do you decide? There are quite a few controversies surrounding this issue and there is no direct “Yes” or “No” answer to it. X-rays can give life-saving information to your health care provider and your baby can be treated for a number of issues in a crucial time. The studies revolving around this subject have conflicting results, and so you need to decide whether the benefits are outweighing the risks.

Are Any Types of X-Rays Unsafe During Pregnancy?

It is highly unlikely that a diagnostic procedure involving x-ray exposure during pregnancy can harm the developing baby. Rads is the measurement standard used to count the strength of x-rays. These are the units that reflect how much radiation has been absorbed by the body. Most of the normal x-rays are below 5 rads. However, there have been reports that more than 10 rads exposure in an unborn baby can result in his/her learning disabilities, problems in eye development and so on. So the rads of an x-ray is a major aspect when it comes to measuring whether or not it will be affecting the unborn baby negatively. Therefore, as a standard safety precaution, ensure that the x-ray procedure you’re planning to go through is under 5 rads to keep your unborn baby safe.

Will Having X-Rays Done While Pregnant Affect Your Baby?

According to several types of research carried out by reputed colleges such as the American College of Radiology, a single diagnostic x-ray does not have the level of radiation that can cause a significant effect on your developing foetus or embryo. However, you need to inform your healthcare provider about whether or not you are pregnant well before time so that you can be sure that just having an x-ray recommended by a doctor during this period will not have an effect the unborn baby.

Will Having X-Rays Done While Pregnant Affect Your Baby?

Possible Effects of an X-Ray on Pregnancy

Usually, the x-rays taken during this period may not be exposing your reproductive organs, and so there is no need to worry about this aspect. The only exception here is the abdominal x-rays. The risk of an abdominal x-ray is because of high doses of radiation that can affect a child’s chances of having birth defects. It is important to remember, however, that the radiation from diagnostic x-rays, even if it is on the abdomen, does not pose any risk. It is only high radiation that has a drastic effect.

What if You Are Exposed to an X-Ray Before Knowing About Your Pregnancy?

What can you do now? Well, one of the most important things is to not get concerned about things that have not happened yet. On the other hand, you need to also keep in mind that there are highly remote chances of any potential danger. It is not a blanket rule that any exposure of x-rays is harmful, and so there is no need to be worried about it yet. It is best to share all your concerns about x-ray radiation effects on pregnancy with the health care provider for some guidance. If you are still worried, there are also ways to calculate the radiation exposure on your developing baby with the help of medical radiation physicist.

Minimising the Risk of an X-ray During Pregnancy

One of the first things to do is to inform your health practitioner about your pregnancy. There are definitely side effects of x-rays in pregnancy but it is only in the higher level of exposure to radiation. So, make sure that you communicate your concerns freely and seek professional guidance before going for any x-rays during pregnancy.

Take into consideration these aspects, and immediately seek medical help when in doubt. If there is a need for x-rays during the pregnancy, it is best for you to inform your doctor about it and then go for the tests according to the guidance provided. In the meantime, you can be sure that the exposure to diagnostic x-ray alone will not affect your baby, and even in other cases, the chances of any effect on the baby are remote.

Also Read: How Safe are Painkillers in Pregnancy?

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