Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is very safe and most people can have the procedure, including pregnant women and babies.
However, there are some instances where an MRI scan may not be recommended, because the strong magnets used during the scan can affect any metal implants or fragments in your body.
Before having an MRI scan, you should tell medical staff if:
There's no evidence to suggest MRI scans pose a risk during pregnancy. However, as a precaution, MRI scans aren't usually recommended during pregnancy, particularly in the first three months.
Having something metallic in your body doesn't necessarily mean you can't have an MRI scan, but it's important for medical staff carrying out the scan to be aware of it.
They can decide on a case-by-case basis if there are any risks, or if further measures need to be taken to ensure the scan is as safe as possible. For example, it may be possible to make a pacemaker or defibrillator MRI-safe, or to monitor your heart rhythm during the procedure.
If you're unsure about any metal fragments in your body, you may need an X-ray.
Some examples of metal implants or fragments include:
Some tattoo ink contains traces of metal, but most tattoos are safe in an MRI scanner. Tell the radiographer immediately if you feel any discomfort or heat in your tattoo during the scan.
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