Performing an MRI Exam for Pregnant Patients – Is It Safe?

by | Nov 30, 2020 | MRI

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a medical procedure that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to examine the brain and spinal cord and look at organs and structures inside the body. The test usually lasts from 20-90 minutes depending on the part being imaged. It is typically performed to diagnose a brain tumor, brain injury, aneurysm, stroke, and more, but it can also be conducted to ensure a safe pregnancy.


Why Is MRI Used during Pregnancy?

Imaging exams are used to see inside the body and help identify any medical problems, and the most commonly used imaging exam during pregnancy is ultrasound. It utilizes sound waves to produce images. However, if this imaging exam does not provide a clear answer or if other body parts have to be examined, then an MRI exam is an excellent alternative to obtain the information you need.

If a patient gets sick while pregnant, both she and her unborn child can require healthcare. As a healthcare provider, you should determine their medical needs and the health conditions that could be affecting her and her developing baby and prescribe them an MRI exam. This may be ordered if she has symptoms that need immediate treatment and cannot wait until after child delivery. MRI can give you a view of the baby’s brain, airway, lungs, placenta, and abdomen.


What Are the Risks of Getting an MRI during Pregnancy?

A significant illness during pregnancy can be especially serious, which is why performing an MRI exam is necessary for diagnosing a potentially urgent illness. An MRI exam is generally safe for pregnant women and their unborn babies. 

A study suggests that more than 1,700 pregnant women who were exposed to MRI during the first trimester didn’t find an increased chance of birth defects. The heat produced by the scanner may be able to reach your patient during the exam, but it gets less strong as it approaches the center of the body where the baby is located. Furthermore, while the machine makes loud acoustic sounds, no cases of hearing damage have been found until now.


Does the Contrast Material Affect the Pregnant Patient?

Some MRI exams require a contrast material to be injected into the patient’s vein to get a clearer picture of the area in the body, but it is not normally used during pregnancy. In fact, according to the American College of Radiology (ACR) safety guidelines, it should not be routinely given to pregnant patients. It is only used for the exam if it is necessary to answer your questions. 



To sum it all up, an MRI machine is an important investment for your facility. It helps you provide your patients with better healthcare, diagnoses various illnesses, and even lets you see a clearer view of the organs and structures inside your patient’s body during pregnancy. Whether you need Philips MRI parts or GE MRI parts repair or replacement, make sure to rely on a trusted company like ours to ensure the optimal performance of your machine.

Ensure the health of your patients by making Direct Med Parts your go-to source for medical imaging parts. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you!

Questions, Comments, Concerns?

Send Us A Message!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.