If you are a woman of child-bearing age, our x-ray technologists will speak with you about the possibility of pregnancy before any X-ray procedure begins. If you will be having an X-ray done on your abdomen or pelvic region, the technologist will also speak with you to determine the first day of your last menstrual cycle. We do this to make sure that your X-ray doesn't fall within the first 10 days following the beginning of menstruation. This is known as the '10-day rule' and helps make sure there is little chance that you are pregnant when the X-ray is done.
If you, suspect that you may be pregnant, speak to your technologist, who will consult with your doctor or a staff radiologist to confirm if the exam can go ahead. Alternately, an abbreviated exam may be ordered or the exam could be postponed.
For safety purposes, elective imaging procedures to the abdominal and pelvic areas will not be completed if you are a woman of child bearing age, sexually active, not using any form of birth control and are outside the “10-day rule” listed above. The Diagnostic Imaging department defines birth control as using one of the birth control pill, birth control patch, implants (subdermal), IUD (intrauterine device) or if you have had a hysterectomy or tubal ligation. We will always consult with your doctor and/or the radiologist to determining if an x-ray examination should proceed.
Contrast Media or “X-ray Dye”
Iodinated contrast media, or “x-ray dye” as it is commonly known, is used in a number of radiology procedures to help us see what is going on inside structures like the spine, blood vessels and the space around your joints. This contrast could cross through the placenta to your fetus. We will speak to you before we begin any procedure that involves contrast media to determine if you are or may be pregnant. If you are pregnant, your health care team will discuss with you the potential risks versus benefits of an imaging procedure that uses contrast media before proceeding with an exam. Alternate procedures, if there are any, will also be discussed with you. For more information about the use of contrast media at KGH click here.