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Forum Name: Obstetrics

Question: CT scan with posible pregnancy


 rclasi2 - Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:24 pm

Although me and my girlfriend are not trying to get pregnant, she did miss 5 pills this month. She needs a abdominal ct scan for posible ovarian cists, and pelvic pain. Should she wait a week to see if she is preganant before she gets the ct scan. if she dosnt wait, and is prego, what negative effects will there be or posible abnormalities.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:10 pm

User avatar Hello,
According to the American College of Radiology, "no single diagnostic x-ray has a radiation dose significant enough to cause adverse affects in a developing embryo or fetus." However, as a general rule, CAT scans are only recommended during pregnancy when the benefits of the scan clearly outweigh the potential risk.

If there is a life threatening emergency for which a scan is needed for diagnostic purposes, the benefit would outweigh any potential risk. If it is a minor concern, it is best to be certain she is not pregnant, just to be on the safe side. We try to limit exposures as much as possible in pregnancy so if it is not really needed, we avoid it.

Missing five pills does put her at risk for pregnancy but other factors are also involved such as when you had sexual intercourse, when she ovulated and if all conditions were favorable for a developing and implanting embryo. Pregnancy is a risk with missed pills, but not a sure thing. In fact, luck of the draw indicates many women "trying" to become pregnant and using no birth control method still do not become pregnant sometimes for several months.

It would be wise to wait and see if her period starts, then get the scan. If it doesn't, she should take a pregnancy test.

Best wishes.

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