CT Scan/X-Ray While Pregnant - Need Reassurance — The Bump
June 2019 Moms

CT Scan/X-Ray While Pregnant - Need Reassurance

wtaveraswtaveras member
edited February 2019 in June 2019 Moms
I had a little scare last night - shortness of breath, cough, heaviness/pressure in my chest. I called my OB and she was concerned and recommended I go to the ER. 7 hours later, thankfully everything is just fine with me, no blood clot or pneumonia (I’ve had a cold). BUT to determine all of this I had a chest X-Ray and a CT Scan with contrast.

I’m just looking for some ladies that have had these types of tests done and have gone on to have healthy babies. I can’t help but feel guilty (and slightly dramatic) that I subjected myself and my baby to these tests and everything turned out fine. Thanks in advance.

Re: CT Scan/X-Ray While Pregnant - Need Reassurance

  • **lurking**
    I had the exact same symptoms you described and also had a CT with contrast. I was around 14 weeks I think. The radiologist told me that because the effects of radiation are cumulative, it was very low risk to the baby. The risk from radiation comes from repeated exposures over time. The amount of radiation you and baby were exposed to during the CT was minimal. 
    FWIW my little one is 3 weeks old and perfectly healthy. 
  • @wtaveras the doctors in the ER know you’re pregnant and wouldn’t have done anything too risky even with some concerning symptoms. And bellebaby221 is exactly right about the effects being cumulative, that’s why radiation techs wear a tracker that measures the cumulative exposure over time. Don’t stress, your peace of mind is better for baby than anything ❤️
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  • I actually asked my OB about X-rays last appointment (my daughter needs to go to the dentist and I’ll probably have to hold her for X-rays). She said it would take multiple exposures to do any damage and as long as I wear the lead skirt it’ll be fine. 
  • The risks to the baby if something was happening and was missed, would be so so so much greater than the risks of limited exposure.  

    The typical CT contrast used is just that... a radio-contrast agent, not a radioactive agent, and is generally well tolerated in pregnancy when necessary.  The only radiation is from the xrays themselves.  And imaging for the Chest (assuming that is where you had imaging done) poses low risk in general to the baby (as opposed to abdominal/pelvic imaging which is still low risk but slightly higher than for chest only).  Fluids to flush, and that's about it.

    Glad you're ok.

    Please sleep well and don't loose any rest over this.  Healthy mama for healthy baby :-)
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