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Premier Women's Health Obstetrics and Gynecology
What About X-Rays and Pregnancy?

X-Rays, Risks, and Your Pregnancy

Diagnostic X-rays give doctors important and possibly lifesaving information about a person’s medical condition. Like many things, diagnostic X-rays have risks as well as benefits. They should be used only when they will give the doctor information needed to treat you.

You will probably not need any abdominal X-rays during pregnancy; however, because of a number of medical conditions, your physician may feel that a diagnostic X-ray of your abdomen or lower torso is needed. If this should happen, there is no reason to be upset. The risk to you and your unborn child is very small and the benefit of finding out about your medical conditions is far greater. Actually, the risk of not having a needed X-ray could be much greater than the risk from radiation.

Even small risks, such as radiation from X-rays, should be avoided during pregnancy. You can reduce these risks by telling your doctor that you are pregnant or you think that you might be. If you are pregnant, your doctor may decide to cancel or postpone the X-ray or modify it to reduce the amount of radiation. Depending on your medical needs, the doctor may decide that it is best to proceed with the X-ray as planned.

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