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Are Too Many Ultrasounds Harmful? Myth vs. Reality

Are Too Many Ultrasounds Harmful? Myth vs. Reality

Ultrasounds are the most common prenatal test and have been used for decades to help assess the health of both mother and baby. Whether you’re having a routine anatomy scan or are being monitored for possible complications, chances are you’ve had at least one ultrasound during your pregnancy.

Read more: What Exactly Is an Ultrasound and How Does It Work?

While ultrasounds are generally considered safe frequently during pregnancy, there is some concern that the frequent use of this technology could have potential risks. So what does the research say? Are too many ultrasounds harmful? Read more to debunk the myths about this standard prenatal test.

1. Ultrasounds Are Dangerous and Can Cause Birth Defects

It is common for expecting parents to want to know what their unborn child looks like. Ultrasounds are a way to glimpse the baby before they are born. However, some people believe that ultrasounds are dangerous and can cause congenital disabilities. There is no scientific evidence to support this claim.

Ultrasounds use sound waves to create an image of the baby in the womb. The sound waves are not harmful to the mother or the baby. According to the FDA and ACOG, there is no evidence that ultrasounds conducted every week are harmful to developing fetuses.

2. Ultrasounds Can Cause Tumors Or Cancer

Tumors or cancers can develop after exposure to ionizing radiation, the kind of energy used in X-rays and CT scans. However, the radiation you’re exposed to during a diagnostic ultrasound is very low — much lower than that from an X-ray or CT scan. There’s no evidence that diagnostic ultrasounds cause tumors or cancer.

The procedure involves directing high-frequency sound waves into your body. The waves bounce off bone and tissue to create an image of your organs on a computer screen. The sound waves are harmless, and there’s no evidence that they can cause tumors or cancer.

3. Ultrasounds Can Harm the Baby’s Brain

Different ultrasounds can be performed during pregnancy. The type of ultrasound will determine how close the transducer will be to the baby. External ultrasounds, like those often performed in the first trimester, pose no risk to the baby because they use a transducer outside the mother’s abdomen. Internal ultrasounds performed later in pregnancy, with a transducer inserted into the vagina, pose a very low risk to the baby.

3D or just regular ultrasounds are not harmful to the baby’s brain. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says there is no evidence that ultrasounds pose any danger to the developing brain. Studies have shown that exposure to ultrasound waves does not cause any changes in the structure or function of the brain.

4. Get Ultrasounds When Medically Necessary

There is no evidence that routine ultrasounds are harmful, so there is no reason to avoid them if you and your doctor feel they are necessary. Routine ultrasounds can be a valuable tool in monitoring your and your baby’s health. They can help detect placenta, umbilical cord, or amniotic fluid problems.

Baby Dimensions provides the best 3D ultrasound in Atlanta. Our expert team of professionals is trained and experienced. With our state-of-the-art equipment, we can provide you with the most accurate images possible.

References: Ultrasound Imaging | FDA
Ultrasound Exams | ACOG

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