Radiation risks in pregnancy

Obstet Gynecol. 1982 Aug;60(2):237-42.


A major contraindication of radiodiagnostic procedures is pregnancy. Approximately 1% of all pregnant women are given abdominal x-rays during the first trimester of pregnancy. Evaluation of radiation exposure should involve consideration of the types of examinations performed and when performed, as well as radiation dose and risk estimation. This information is then weighed against other possible risks of the pregnancy as well as personal factors. In the authors' experiences, radiation exposures usually result in doses to the embryo of less than 5 cGy (rad); the resulting radiation risks are usually small compared with other risks of pregnancy. Procedures to minimize diagnostic x-ray exposure of the fetus are also discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Female
  • Fetus / radiation effects*
  • Humans
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiography / adverse effects*
  • Risk
  • Smoking
  • Time Factors