A barium enema exam poses few risks. Rarely, complications of a barium enema exam may include:

  • Inflammation in tissues surrounding the colon
  • Obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Tear in the colon wall
  • Allergic reaction to barium

Barium enema exams generally aren't done during pregnancy because X-rays present a risk to the developing fetus.

May. 24, 2014