An ultrasound during pregnancy is a diagnostic procedure in which sound waves create an image of the uterus and fetal structures. The most common reasons for an ultrasound during pregnancy are to get a gestational age, determine the baby’s location, and determine if the baby is in a breech position.
Find out if there is more than one fetus, identify twins or multiples, estimate the amount of amniotic fluid around the baby’s body, measure blood flow from the mother to the fetus with Doppler ultrasound, and diagnose specific abnormalities. In this article, we will discuss all these reasons for having an ultrasound done during pregnancy and review their pros and cons based on scientific research.
Is it safe to have an ultrasound during pregnancy? It is a question that we often get asked by our patients. The simple answer is yes, having an ultrasound during pregnancy is safe. However, there are certain situations where a high risk pregnancy care team may recommend avoiding or limiting exposure to ultrasound.
What is an Obstetric Ultrasound?
Obstetric ultrasound is an ultrasound of a pregnant woman. It is typically performed during the second trimester and can assess the baby’s development and the mother’s health. Obstetric ultrasonography can also diagnose multiple pregnancies and determine the position of the fetus (whether it is head-down or breech).
Ultrasound waves are sound waves that are above the range of human hearing. When these waves are passed through the body, they bounce off different structures at different rates. This bouncing produces echoes, which are converted into images by a computer.
Obstetric ultrasounds are generally considered safe for both the mother and the baby. However, there is always a small risk of tissue damage from heat (known as thermal damage) when any medical imaging is performed. Therefore, it is essential only to have an ultrasound when it is medically necessary.
How often should I have an obstetric ultrasound?
Having an ultrasound during pregnancy is considered safe. However, certain risks are associated with any medical procedure. It is essential to discuss these risks with your healthcare provider before having an ultrasound.
There has yet to be a definitive answer regarding how often you should have an obstetric ultrasound. It is advised by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) that pregnant women undergo one ultrasound. However, some healthcare providers may recommend more than one ultrasound, depending on the individual’s health and the development of the pregnancy.
What are the risks of an Obstetric Ultrasound?
There are very few risks associated with having an ultrasound during pregnancy. But there are a few possible risks that you should be aware of, just like with any medical procedure.
The most common risk is that ultrasound waves could cause tissue damage. However, this is extremely rare and is only likely to occur if the ultrasound is performed incorrectly.
Another potential risk is that the ultrasound waves could cause your baby to have a seizure. Again, this is incredibly rare and would only occur if the ultrasound was performed incorrectly.
Lastly, there is a minimal risk that ultrasound waves could trigger a miscarriage. This risk is so tiny that it is often considered to be negligible.
Is it safe to have an obstetric ultrasound during pregnancy?
Yes, obstetric ultrasounds are considered safe during pregnancy. There is no evidence that they cause any harm to either the mother or the baby. Ultrasounds are often used to help diagnose potential problems with the pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes or preeclampsia. They can also be used to determine the baby’s due date and check on its growth and development.
When it comes to ultrasound during pregnancy, numerous opposing viewpoints are available. However, the bottom line is that ultrasound is generally considered safe for both mother and baby. Some potential risks are associated with ultrasound, but these are typically very rare and can be minimized by working with a qualified technician. If you have any concerns about having an ultrasound during pregnancy, discuss them with your healthcare provider.