During pregnancy, nothing is more important to a mother than the health of her baby. A healthy pregnancy also depends on a healthy mother. If there is a concern about your own health or that of your unborn child, there may be a need for radiological scans to help in diagnosis and treatment.
As you might know, although radiological scanning procedures are generally considered safe, scans that utilise x-ray technology do pose a slight risk, as these expose you to small amounts of radiation. At Vision XRAY, we adhere intensely to a stringent set of safety standards, minimising radiation dosage for our patients as much as possible. In the case of pregnancy, it is advised to avoid all scans that utilise radiation. A woman who is with child should therefore not undergo any x-ray or CT scans. But what if scans are needed?
Scans for Pregnancy
When assessing the health of a foetus, we use ultrasound technology, a completely safe, non-invasive method which provides detailed images of your baby. The pregnancy ultrasound is an excellent tool for checking on the baby’s health. Ultrasound can also be of benefit in scanning other areas of a patient’s body, if needed.
Occasionally, something is noticed on an ultrasound that may require a closer look at the foetus. Or perhaps the pregnant mother is experiencing a problem and an internal scan is needed. In such a case, the radiological tool of choice is the MRI.
MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging, a scan which utilises radio waves and a magnet to generate remarkably intricate images of a patient’s body. The MRI machinery uses wire coils to transmit radio waves and their resulting signals build a series of cross-section images, creating a multi-dimensional understanding of the bodily tissues. Because of the excellent images MRI produces, it is an extremely useful tool in diagnosis and treatment, both for problems in a pregnant mother or health concerns within the foetus. An MRI lasts a bit longer than a CT scan or x-ray, and may require the use of an orally-ingested contrast dye to assist with imaging.
Is MRI Safe for Pregnant Mothers?
Unlike x-rays or a CT scan, MRI does not use ionising radiation. This makes it an ultimately safer scan as it does not have the same inherent exposure risks. Numerous research studies have been done to assess the possible risks of MRI on pregnant women and their babies. No adverse side effects have conclusively shown to result from MRIs performed during pregnancy. MRI is considered to be a safe test for pregnant women. However, to reduce any possible risks, an MRI is typically not performed until after the first trimester of pregnancy.
The health and safety of our patients is our number one priority at Vision XRAY. We always try to reduce the number of tests and scans required on a pregnant mother whenever possible, administering MRI only when health concerns indicate that it is medically necessary or prudent to do so. If you have further questions or concerns regarding MRI or scans during pregnancy, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to speak with you and provide more information on our services here at Vision XRAY.