Hopefully, you won't need an x-ray while you're pregnant, but what if you do? Would you be putting your baby at risk by getting one?
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, x-rays during pregnancy are safe. But other scientists disagree about the risk to your unborn child from the radiation used in x-ray examinations. It's been associated with a very small increased risk of cancer, particularly leukemia.
Even though the risk is small, it's not a risk that a lot of pregnant women are willing to take. Thus, most medical experts say you should get an x-ray only when the benefits to your health outweigh the risk to the baby's health.
Keep in mind that all x-rays are not the same. According to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, most x-ray examinations pose little threat to your uterus and developing baby. So for example, it would be okay to get an x-ray of your teeth, arms, legs, and chest. However, x-rays of a pregnant woman's abdominal area (stomach, pelvis, lower back, and kidneys) are more of a concern because the developing baby is exposed to the direct x-ray beam.
Always let your health-care provider or x-ray technician know that you are pregnant.
Have you ever had an x-ray while pregnant? Have you ever refused an x-ray while pregnant?