Are X-Rays Safe If You're Pregnant?

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x-rays and pregnancy

If you're pregnant, should you worry about X-rays? Probably not.The risk to you and your unborn child is very small, according to the Food and Drug Administration. In fact, the risk of not having a needed X-ray could be greater than the risk from the radiation.

Only X-rays involving the lower torso may expose your unborn child to radiation. If you need one during your pregnancy, remember that the possibility of any harm to your baby from an X-ray is very small. Most researchers agree that unborn children who receive a small dose of radiation do not have an increased risk for birth defects.

What You Can Do

Even though X-rays are generally safe, you can take a few precautions:

  • 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.

Talk with your health care provider if you have questions about radiation during pregnancy.

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