During pregnancy, there are many things that you’re told to avoid. You should always let your midwife know what’s going on so that they can give you the best advice. What happens if I’m 4 weeks pregnant and had an x-ray?
This article includes:
- What is an x-ray?
- Why might I need an x-ray during pregnancy?
- What happens during an x-ray while pregnant?
- Risks of an x-ray at 4 weeks pregnant
- 4 weeks pregnant and had an x-ray
- What if I’ve had multiple x-rays while pregnant?
We’re sure you want to do everything you can to keep your baby safe during pregnancy. It can be stressful dealing with new emotions and changes to the body. Not to mention the back pains, pelvic pains, and even cramping at 4 weeks pregnant.
At just 4 weeks pregnant, you’re right at the beginning of your pregnancy journey. Maybe you are already experiencing 4 weeks pregnant symptoms, or perhaps you have no symptoms at 4 weeks pregnant. Either way, pregnancy is such an exciting time to enjoy.
What is an x-ray?
An x-ray is a test whereby images are taken inside the body. Most x-rays have low radiation exposure levels and are conducted by a healthcare professional. X-ray technology has advanced, leading to lower radiation levels and the test-taking less time.
Why might I need an x-ray during pregnancy?
There are many reasons why you may be invited for an x-ray. One reason could be if you’re experiencing an emergency health issue. An x-ray allows a healthcare professional to better understand what’s going on. This may include a leg or chest x-ray or a general diagnostic x-ray.
Another common reason why people may have x-rays is due to dental care. Every so often, when you visit the dentist, they will invite you to have dental x-rays. This allows the dental staff to assess your teeth, roots, and jaw placement. Dental x-rays are usually performed quickly during a routine visit.
It’s likely that you won’t be invited for an x-ray while pregnant unless it is necessary to check your health. If you are invited, you should respond by making them aware of your pregnancy.
What happens during an x-ray while pregnant?
Before any x-ray procedure occurs around the reproductive organs, you’ll be asked whether you are pregnant. If you are pregnant, you must tell the healthcare professional. Whether they continue the procedure depends on the type of x-ray being performed and their medical expertise.
We would advise telling the professional regardless of where the x-ray is being performed. This will ensure the best decision for you and your baby.
You may find that you can continue to have the x-ray, but they may suggest another option. These options may include waiting till you are further along in pregnancy or waiting until the baby is born. Of course, these options will likely be unavailable if you are experiencing a medical emergency. More care will be taken if the x-ray is performed around the reproductive organs.
Risks of an x-ray at 4 weeks pregnant
When you have an x-ray while pregnant, your baby’s exposure is more risk than yours. This is due to your baby being more sensitive to radiation.
At 4 weeks pregnant, you may be at a slightly higher risk when having an x-ray. It is extremely important that you tell the healthcare provider that you are pregnant. They can then make a decision based on your circumstances. In the early weeks of pregnancy, the fertilised egg may not have implanted yet.
When an x-ray is performed, there is usually a low level of radiation. This means that there is little risk to you and your baby. However, the current advice is to avoid x-rays while pregnant unless it’s an emergency.
When an x-ray is performed during pregnancy, the baby does have some radiation protection due to the womb.
Many pregnant women worry that x-rays increase the risk of miscarriage, birth defects or other complications like fetal growth restriction. This could be the case if you are exposed to high radiation levels.
Studies have been conducted into babies developing childhood cancer after radiation exposure in pregnancy. However, the studies reported that the evidence was not significant.
Abdominal x-rays can present an increased risk to the baby. This type of radiation exposure would be advised against unless it was absolutely necessary. Before any type of x-rays or CT scans, the professional will tell you any potential risks to an unborn baby. If you want more information, you should always ask them.
Some types of x-ray and CT (computed tomography) scans release high-dose radiation. A healthcare professional will perform the correct procedures to identify a pregnancy if this is necessary.
4 weeks pregnant and had an x-ray
Perhaps you’re sat worrying and thinking, ‘I had an x-ray before I knew I was pregnant’. If you’re 4 weeks pregnant and had an x-ray, try not to worry.
We would advise you to let your midwife or doctor know so they can monitor your pregnancy. They can ensure that everything is on the right track regarding the baby’s growth.
At 4 weeks pregnant, you’re lucky to know you’re expecting. Many women don’t discover pregnancy until they are around six weeks pregnant.
If you’ve had a positive pregnancy test, your body will already be producing high enough levels of hCG. hCG is a pregnancy hormone that rises rapidly in the first trimester. hCG levels at 4 weeks pregnant vary from person to person.
If you’ve had an x-ray before you knew you were expecting, try not to panic. But, of course, we know that’s easier said than done.
The best thing you can do is speak to your doctor or midwife about it. They will be able to give you advice based on where the x-ray was performed and the level of radiation.
As we’ve already said, the risk of damage to your unborn child through low radiation is minimal. However, if there is any risk at all, you will be informed so that you can make the decision yourself.
What if I’ve had multiple x-rays while pregnant?
Having just one x-ray on a body part away from the lower torso is not likely to cause any issues. However, you should still make the professional aware. Having more radiation from x-rays while pregnant could be a cause for concern.
If you have only just discovered that you are pregnant, make sure you contact your doctor immediately. They will be able to offer you support and guidance to make sure you and your baby are safe.
We know this is a worrying time, but a single x-ray with minimal radiation is unlikely to harm your baby. Check with your doctor for further advice.
If you are invited for another x-ray during your pregnancy, make sure you tell them you’re expecting. They may be able to postpone or cancel the x-ray if there is no emergency.
Hey there, I’m Abigail!
I recently graduated with a degree in Marketing. I’m currently a freelance blogger and Marketing Assistant. I love learning new things and hope that you find my blogs useful and informative.
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