Pregnant and breastfeeding individuals

What you need to know

Pregnant patients may be concerned about the radiation risk to their unborn baby. This video discusses what you may want to discuss with your patients.

Take away points

  • Indicate on the referral if your patient may be pregnant.

  • A Radiologist will need to justify the exposure taking into account the exposure to the unborn baby.

  • If the exposure is between the diaphragm and the knees, if possible:

    • High dose exams should be carried out in the first 10 days of the menstrual period;

    • Low dose exams should be carried out in the first 28 days of the menstrual period.

  • The risk from diagnostic X-rays will never be at a level that abortion would be recommended.

Further risk information

If a patient finds out that they were pregnant at the time of an exam at a later date they may be concerned. Page 14 of guidance provided by the Royal College of Radiologists gives information on risks which can be used to reassure patients.

If you would like to see this information in a searchable format it can be found here.