Effects of X Rays While Pregnant On Fetus: Risks Of X-Rays In Pregnancy

Question: Are there any ill effects of X-ray on a pregnant woman and her baby?

Answer: X-rays are sometimes needed at any time during the course of pregnancy when the woman becomes sick and the only way a proper diagnosis can be done is to perform an X-ray procedure. The possibility of ill effects on the baby is still quite high but, in this case, the life of the mother could be threatened if the procedure is not done right away.

Side Effects of X-Rays During Pregnancy

  • There are, actually, many different kinds of X-rays. These will offer different levels and amounts of radiation.
  • Medical X-rays use very small amount of radiations. In fact, the fetus is not likely going to be exposed to radiation of more than 5 rad. This is the limit that the fetus can take for serious risks to be possible.
  • Still, the doctor will determine whether the risks to the fetus and the mother are much less than the actual benefits that both can take from the procedure.
  • The good news is that in X-ray procedures done in areas far from the abdomen, the radiation is not directed towards the fetus. Thus, the amount of radiation that reaches the fetus is very low.
    The farther the procedure is done, the less radiation is absorbed by the fetus.
  • The risk to the baby is minimal as long as the procedure does not involve the abdomen.
  • It is also quite important for the mother to inform the physician that she is pregnant or suspects that she is. This way, the least possible radiation levels and the least number of passes will be applied to further minimize the risks to the unborn child.

Risks of X-Ray In Pregnant Women

  • Well, studies about this are conflicting, really. So, it is still best to avoid the procedure as much as possible.
  • Still, in general, the mother should not worry too much if she really has to undergo an X-ray procedure while pregnant.
  • X-rays are not the only stuff that causes deformities. The reason for this is that studies have shown that even without exposure to radiation there is still about 4 to 6% probability that a child can develop deformities in the womb. Also, most deformities are really just very minor, such as having an extra toe or finger.

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