Are ultrasound scans during pregnancy safe?

Wondering if ultrasound scans are safe? Gynaecologists have been prescribing ultrasound scans for decades now and there is no evidence to suggest that a scan will harm your baby. An ultrasound scan help the doctor get a good look at the health of your baby, the placenta, the umbilical cord and the amniotic fluid in the uterus.

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Ultrasound scans are more frequently these days and it’s quite normal for a pregnant woman to have had 5 to 6 scans though she has an uncomplicated pregnancy. As scans are more accessible and affordable, doctors tend to use them to ensure a smooth pregnancy.

Temperature implications of an ultrasound scan

The ultrasound probe emits high frequency sound waves that bounce off the baby to produce an image. These ultrasound waves also produce heat. Increasing the tissue temperature by 4-5 degrees C more than the body temperature may cause harmful effects. The ordinary scan used, produces very little heat as intensity used is low and spread over a large area.  Further, the baby is within the amniotic fluid which keeps it safe from heat.

Ultrasound scans performed by inserting the probe into the vagina are Vaginal scans. If your doctor wants to get a better look at the baby, he/she would prescribe it. Vaginal scans are more common in the earlier weeks of pregnancy when the baby is very small. These scans may heat a little quicker than scans on your tummy, but the probe is not left inside long enough to cause any temperature increase.

Also read : How to dress for your pregnancy scans

Qualified doctors performed ultrasound scans and they follow strict precautions. They will ensure to keep the probe moving over the tummy & to complete the scan within the stipulated time .

Reasons for your doctor to recommend more scans

In some cases your doctor might order more scans than usual. This is so that she can keep a closer look at how your baby is doing. Some of those reasons could be

  1. a pregnancy when you are over 30 years
  2. earlier miscarriages or stillbirths
  3. bleeding or any other problems detected in the early weeks of pregnancy
  4. multiple pregnancies like carrying twins
  5. pre existing medical conditions

Also read : Are cell phones & lap tops safe during pregnancy?

3D ultrasound scans

Nowadays, there is a growing demand for what is called 3D & 4D scans. The scanning technology used is the same in 2D, 3D and 4D scans. The main difference between a 2D and a 3D or 4D scan is the computer software that compiles the information. The 3D and 4D scans are better at depicting the physical appearance of your baby. They are more accurate in detecting problems like cleft lip. A 3D scan is more fun as you will get a better image of the baby. It is quite common for an expecting couple to bring back a 3D scan image home and start guessing who the baby resembles.

If you are having a scan over the belly, it is easier to be dressed in maternity tops or kurtis teamed with elasticised maternity bottoms. You can easily pull up your top wear and bring down your bottom wear to expose the belly for the scan. If you are having a vaginal scan, it’s better to be dressed in a maternity dress so you will not have to go through the hassle of bringing your pants down all the way to your ankles. You can shop for affordable yet stylish maternity wear at MorphMaternity.com

Ultrasound scans are safe for your baby. It helps your doctor to take some important decisions and monitor your baby’s well being through the 9 months. 🙂

 

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