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X-rays can affect your pregnancy

Our guide to what you need to know

The lowdown on X-rays during pregnancy

Here’s what you need to know about X-rays and pregnancy

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Can I have an X-ray while I’m pregnant?

Ideally, you should avoid having an X-ray while you’re pregnant because it can expose your baby to a tiny amount of radiation. But if you do need an X-ray, really don’t worry - the levels used will be the lowest possible. 

How X-rays work

X-rays are short bursts of radiation that can pass through body tissue. The amount of radiation used depends on the type of X-ray and the equipment being used, and mums-to-be will be exposed to the very little.

The potential risks

X-rays during pregnancy don't increase the risk of miscarriage, or cause problems with the unborn baby, like birth defects and physical or mental development problems. But they do carry a very small risk of exposing the unborn baby to radiation, which could cause cancer. 

Pros and cons

Your healthcare professional will take a careful look at your situation and assess the pros and cons of treating you now, or waiting. They may also consider using another imaging method, such as an ultrasound scan.

Dental X-rays

Even though most dental X-rays don’t go anywhere near your bump, your dentist will usually wait until you've had the baby. 

What if I only think I’m pregnant?

If there’s any chance you’re pregnant, let your healthcare professional know so they can take it into account when weighing up your options.

X-rays can affect your pregnancy