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Q&A: Are X-rays safe while pregnant?

I’m 18 weeks pregnant and I recently injured my foot. I’m afraid to get x-rays while pregnant, but I’m also afraid of ignoring my foot injury. What should I do?

Re: I’m 18 weeks pregnant and I recently injured my foot. I’m afraid to get x-rays while pregnant, but I’m also afraid of ignoring my foot injury. What should I do?

The Bump Expert Of course, you’d rather be safe than sorry and skip getting your foot x-rayed, but you might be acting overly cautious. It’s usually safe to get certain x-rays while pregnant. For your own peace of mind, visit your doctor first and see if a diagnosis can be made without an x-ray. If not, just make sure to alert the medical staff that you’re pregnant so they can give you a protective shield. Most diagnostic x-rays (abdominal, dental, and chest x-rays) don’t overexpose the fetus to radiation. The dangerous range for a fetus -- meaning where you risk mental retardation and eye abnormalities -- is 10 rads (rads are the unit of measurement for absorbed radiation). But it’s rare for a single or a group of diagnostic x-rays to be more than 5 rads. A chest x-ray, for example, is 60 millirads. During the course of an average pregnancy, a mother and her fetus are exposed to 90 to 100 millirads just from natural radiation from sources like the sun. Also, your foot is nowhere near your reproductive organs, so that also makes the procedure less risky.

Bump Dara

re: Q: X-rays okay while pregnant?

I had to get an x-ray when I broke my tooth in my first trimester, but it was digital which is suposed to have even lower rad levels.

AliciaSpring |

re: Q: X-rays okay while pregnant?

i had two x-rays during my second trimester - one on my head and one on my chest (plus two mri's)-- they'll put shields around your belly and my doctor said that xrays go in straight lines so baby should be fine!

gulbyholloman |

re: Q: X-rays okay while pregnant?

This was a great question b/c I also have been having foot pain and tried to let it heal on its own but it's been 3 weeks now and I'm thinking I might need an x-ray. I am 23 weeks along.

jbahrenburg |

re: Q: X-rays okay while pregnant?

I recently opted out of dental x-rays on a routine check-up. I was exposed to x-rays daily on the job until I got pregnant (veterinary technician) so my exposure level is higher than most.

KitKat307 |

re: Q: X-rays okay while pregnant?

While at the dentist when I was pregnant, the hygentist told me they don't even cover anyone up with the lead vest in Europe during x-rays because supposedly it's unnecessary...

Asquared |

re: Q: X-rays okay while pregnant?

The most cautious time getting x-rays when you are pregnant is mostly when you are in your first trimester especially over the abdomen. Many people don't know that they are exposed to natural radiation all the time. I work in the x-ray field as a technologist and we are in the room while doing x-rays while being pregnant. Of course we do wear lead aprons which blocks 98% of x-rays being absorbed by the body. Yes it is true that x-rays do come out in straight lines there is sometimes scatter radiation and that is the reason for the wearing of a lead apron while being x-rayed. Not that long ago we used to do x-rays when women were in labor to make sure the baby could fit through the pelvis to be delivered vaginally and babies were fine. I am an RT(R) by the way so I do take x-rays.

carebear43412 |

Q&A: Are X-rays safe while pregnant?

I'm an x-ray tech and I know that as long as you are protected by a lead shield, the baby will be just fine. When the tech finds out you're pregnant, they will put it over you and use the lowest technical factors possible. Also, x-rays are more harmful during the 1st trimester when the cells are multiplying so rapidly, so since you're further along that's even better. And since the foot is further away from the baby as say your chest, it will get even less radiation. Just remember, pregnant x-ray techs have to work and do their job. We just have to stay as far away as possible and wear a fetal monitor badge over our abdomen. And we have healthy babies everyday! Good luck with your foot!

skmac05 |

Q&A: Are X-rays safe while pregnant?

I am going to have to fly next week and i am concerned whether I should go thru the Xray machine as you go thru security?

beachgirl75 |

Q&A: Are X-rays safe while pregnant?

I am an x-ray tech and if you think your foot is broken then get the xray. (But there is not much you can do about a broken foot.) If it just hurts and you only want to know what is wrong then I don't think it would be worth the risk. When your foot is x-rayed it is so far away from the x-ray beam that it would probably be harmless...definately let the technologist know you are pregnant and have her sheild you well. Talk to your doctor about it...he would be able to tell you risk vs. benifit.

seawavz |

Q&A: Are X-rays safe while pregnant?

I think you should avoid x-rays while you are pregnant.They can look to your foot without having an x-ray.I have a friend who is a Dental Tucson doctor and he told me once that if you can avoid having x-rays then do it.

marcydaoubt |

Q&A: Are X-rays safe while pregnant?

Hello, idk where to post my question so i'm taking a chance here......i found out i was pregnant 2 days ago and if i calculated my dates right, conception was on or around the 24 of July and i had 4 xrays done on my tailbone (coccx) on the 30....now i'm worried. Different opens have been coming my way some say i was only 6 days preganant (technically) and others say it cld b dangerous.......what r ur thoughts? Thxs!

3boysandprego |


Hi. I found out i am about 4 weeks pregnant. I need to get x-rays of my lower back... I am nervous because i dont wanna hurt the baby or anything. any advice?

CountryyGirll022 |

Q&A: Are X-rays safe while pregnant?

I am also interested to know as many details as possible about nighthawk radiology. If one specialist in this area read this message, please help us with the correct information. Thank you.

Norrah |

Q&A: Are X-rays safe while pregnant?

CountryGirl: If the xrays can wait until after the baby is born it would be best, Plus, depending on how far along you are the baby is just going to be in the way anyways so it is not going to be very diagnostic. Depending on the reason you are having your exam, I would postpone until after baby. I wouldnt take a chance. I am also an Xray Tech,

kkbennett |