types of diagnostic imaging procedures can be safely
carried out during pregnancy?
No known amount of radiation is safe during pregnancy.
Dangers to your baby include an increased risk of mutations
and an increased risk of cancer later in life. Some
doctors feel the only safe amount of X-rays during pregnancy
is none. Presently it is believed the fetus is at greatest
risk between 8 and 15 weeks gestation(fetal age between
6 and 13 weeks) X-rays, CAT scans and MRIs are some
examples of these procedures. Some points on them in
• Diagnostic X-rays to areas other than the abdomen
pose little threat to the developing baby, provided
that appropriate radiation shields are used.
• Abdominal CAT scans (CT scans) are to be avoided
during pregnancy, due to increased risk that the baby
will end up with developmental malformations and / or
• MRIs are a relatively new technology, so doctors
tend to limit their use during pregnancy to situations
where critical medical information needs to be obtained
and cannot be obtained in any other manner or the only
other alternative is for e.g. surgery, poses major risk
to mother and baby. Radioactive dyes containing iodine
should not be used at all during diagnostic imaging
procedures because of the risk of damage to the fetal