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are ultrasounds safe?

I myself had 2 in my first pregnancy, one around 20 weeks with no reason, and one around 38 weeks because my midwife thought it might be twins or transverse. i also plan to get one in this pregnancy but i wonder what others think... is it really safe, or is it a risk?

Is Ultrasound Safe? The NIH cautions against routine use of ultrasound, noting that "the data on clinical efficacy and safety do not allow recommendation for routine screening at this time; there is a need for multidisciplinary randomized controlled clinical trials for an adequate assessment."

Similarly, the WHO urges prudence: "Ultrasound screening during pregnancy is now in widespread use without sufficient evaluation. Research has demonstrated its efficacy for certain complications of pregnancy but the published material does not justify the routine use of ultrasound in pregnant women."


Answer Question

Asked by Stefanie83 at 3:13 PM on Dec. 1, 2009 in Pregnancy

Level 16 (3,121 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • According to perinatal epidemiologist Marsden Wagner, the safety of ultrasound has never been clinically proven. The editors of the Cochrane Database, a review of over 9,000 controlled trials from 85 different countries, note that "there has been surprisingly little well-organized research to evaluate possible adverse effects of ultrasound exposure on human fetuses."

    In a 1999 study, six scientists at University College Dublin found that ultrasound creates changes in cells. Patrick Brennan, the lead researcher, said, "It has been assumed for a long time that ultrasound had no effect on cells. We now have grounds to question that assumption."10 Further evidence that ultrasound has an effect on cells is indicated in recent research that shows a higher-than-average rate of left-handedness in boys exposed to ultrasound in utero.

    Answer by Stefanie83 at 3:13 PM on Dec. 1, 2009

  • I have had over 25 ultra sounds done this pregnancy because i am in high risk...... I am 38 weeks now and have at least 3 more until i deliver and nothing bad has come of any of them....

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:24 PM on Dec. 1, 2009

  • Like any interventions, we can weigh our risks. But we should investigate the info before consenting if we want to make informed choices. Some say they're not safe, others say they are. Scientists seem to think that there is no evidence they are definitely harmless, anyway.

    I have heard-read about evidence of mutating cells. And I don't like that it heats up the tissue and fluids. Babies are known to move away from the high-pitched sounds. So whether it's harmful or not, I don't know, but I don't like the information I do read about.

    Answer by doulala at 4:26 PM on Dec. 1, 2009

  • It's sound waves, what could harm. My daughter was breach, it was a lot easier to monitor her that way than by feel. I also have twins so I was considered high risk, best way to monitor them. With any medical test there are always risk and benafits. I have yet to see any quantitative and quality research that shows any great risk of harm. With the millions that are done, don't you think there would be something showing up in the general population by now?

    Answer by teamquinn at 4:34 PM on Dec. 1, 2009

  • really will there be any "quality" research done when it is big business? If they got rid of u/s or even just limited them how much money would they lose? using the pp as an example 28 u/s in a pregnancy (extreme example) at about $250 each = $7,000. Add that to the doctors visits, hospital stay and I see why birth is such a big business!
    As for positioning... I have no training and I could map my baby's position accurately with no help.. other than reading on a website about belly mapping.
    Really what gets me is that while yes u/s are diagnositc, they really do very little to change the outcome... if they change it at all!

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:12 PM on Dec. 1, 2009

  • Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:15 PM on Dec. 1, 2009

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