Q: Are diagnostic and therapeutic x-rays safe during pregnancy?

A: Diagnostic x-rays do not harm the fetus. But therapeutic x-rays in excessive amounts such as x-rays for treatment of cancer can be harmful. If a pregnant woman is exposed to a small amount of radiation (from a chest x-ray or during a dental examination for example), it is unlikely that any damage will result. Any time a woman suspects she is pregnant, however, she should inform any health care provider involved in administering any kind of x-ray or other radiation-related test or treatment.