Early Ultrasounds

15 posts / 0 new
Last post
jhj
Joined: 08/06/11
Posts: 360
Early Ultrasounds

Has any one else heard about the dangers of early ultrasounds?? I was just looking up ultrasound pictures of what our baby might look like, and I came across a bunch of websites discouraging early ultrasounds. Any idea if these are legitimate concerns?

Heather

Dixiemom1st's picture
Joined: 09/07/07
Posts: 620

I do not know if the claims are legitimate but I have heard that before. I have heard that unless you are high risk, you do not really need more then one (18-20 wks). In all 3 of my pregnancies I was only scheduled for one. With DS I got a second because I had bleeding at 16 wks and with DD I only got a second because she was stubborn and would not let them get all the measurements at the first.

Ultimately, ultrasounds just give us peace of mind. Check for heart beats. Check for abnormalities. Check for twins. Dating if you are not sure. I can see the need for more with high risk, but I am ok with the idea of only one because I am not.

batbird's picture
Joined: 08/29/06
Posts: 325

Don't worry too much about it. I think the whole issue goes to trying to disuade people from having too many "just because" us. With my second I was high risk, and I had a TON of us. If I am pg this time, I will have an us at the mfm dr at my first apt (between 4 and 6 weeks) and then again every 2 weeks (really hoping for further apart-last time it was 3 weeks till complications, then 2 and 1 week depending on the findings) to check cervical length and for funneling. For me, any risks of us are outweighed by the risks of not catching the baby coming too early.

Joined: 06/15/11
Posts: 611

I have had a ton of U/S with both pregnancies & I had 2 very healthy children. So I don't know if it is true or not. You don't hear about to many really early U/S because of no heartbeat until 6-8 weeks.

jhj
Joined: 08/06/11
Posts: 360

I have only ever planned on having the one ultrasound at 18 weeks, but I just had never heard of the research I was reading and I was surprised since I know that mothers to be are so careful about what they eat and how they exercise, etc, so it just surprised me to see this research and at the same time see how frequently offered ultrasounds are. I think I am much more on the cautious side of medical interventions, so maybe this is just my bias.

jolly11sd's picture
Joined: 02/02/05
Posts: 3327

I think there is very little evidence to prove that they are actually 100% safe and don't lead to unknown side effects later on in life. Since its such an unknown gray area, its really up to what you feel comfortable with just like loads of other things in life. In recent years it seems like having numerous ultrasounds has become common place where like 30 years ago it wasn't even the norm to have one. I had 1 with my first pregnancy and 2 with my second pregancy even though the 2nd time I was not planning on having any. We will be planning a homebirth this time again and having an ultrasound is something that is not part of our routine care with the midwife and will be paid out of pocket if we choose to have one or need one.

tessa_s212's picture
Joined: 01/09/09
Posts: 28

I wasn't going to get an early ultrasound, but I've had bleeding, so now its necessary. My first one is today. I'm 7 weeks, 5 days.

I'm hoping we won't need more. I was only planning on getting the 20 week scan to see if everything was ok, see gender, make sure my placenta wasn't blocking cervix (csection with DS, and it makes it slightly more likely to get placenta previa with future pregnancies).

ruokeni's picture
Joined: 09/26/10
Posts: 157

I've also read a lot about ultrasounds not being 100% safe, so before I got pregnant last year (sadly ended in m/c) I was only going to have the routine u/s which at my drs are at 12, 20 and 30/33 weeks. I didn't even make it to the first u/s though because I started spotting, so this time I'd like to have one earlier because I'm hoping to see a heartbeat, I know it still doesn't mean everything will go well, but it would give me peace of mind.

batbird's picture
Joined: 08/29/06
Posts: 325

"ruokeni" wrote:

I've also read a lot about ultrasounds not being 100% safe, so before I got pregnant last year (sadly ended in m/c) I was only going to have the routine u/s which at my drs are at 12, 20 and 30/33 weeks. I didn't even make it to the first u/s though because I started spotting, so this time I'd like to have one earlier because I'm hoping to see a heartbeat, I know it still doesn't mean everything will go well, but it would give me peace of mind.

Hope to reassure you here, once you see the hb on an us, the risk of mc GREATLY decreases!

Joined: 02/10/08
Posts: 485

"batbird" wrote:

Hope to reassure you here, once you see the hb on an us, the risk of mc GREATLY decreases!

DECREASES yes.. but seeing a hb at one appointment, doesn't mean there will still be one at the next one! (BTDT - hb at 9 weeks, nothing at 10 weeks)

I get an u/s at each appointment with my OB. I'm not in any way worried about it. I like the reassurance of seeing that little hb flicker away each time. If you read ALL the research about ALL the things you shouldn't do during pregnancy, we'd likely all go nuts and lie in bed, locked up in our bedrooms for 9 months!

and if you read ALL the research about the use of Epidurals during delivery, you'd avoid one at all costs as well.. and yet the majority of women deliver with Epidurals and have perfectly healthy babies....

I guess it's about doing your research, not getting too worked up about every potentially scary thing and choosing the route that feels right for you!

batbird's picture
Joined: 08/29/06
Posts: 325

"k_canuck" wrote:

DECREASES yes.. but seeing a hb at one appointment, doesn't mean there will still be one at the next one! (BTDT - hb at 9 weeks, nothing at 10 weeks)

I get an u/s at each appointment with my OB. I'm not in any way worried about it. I like the reassurance of seeing that little hb flicker away each time. If you read ALL the research about ALL the things you shouldn't do during pregnancy, we'd likely all go nuts and lie in bed, locked up in our bedrooms for 9 months!

and if you read ALL the research about the use of Epidurals during delivery, you'd avoid one at all costs as well.. and yet the majority of women deliver with Epidurals and have perfectly healthy babies....

I guess it's about doing your research, not getting too worked up about every potentially scary thing and choosing the route that feels right for you!

I won't be getting the epidural this time... I haven't the last two times either. Not that it really matters, my labors are too fast. Last one was 45 mins!

ruokeni's picture
Joined: 09/26/10
Posts: 157

Not getting an epidural either but I'm getting the u/s at 6 weeks (earlier than I would've liked too), but I really need it this time around. I know it doesn't mean there will be a heartbeat later on, but at least is decreases the chances of m/c and that would make me feel better.

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

*lurker*

There is no evidence that U/S hurt babies. All the U/S does is radio back images of light from inside you... it's not like an X-ray machine. You're totally fine to have this done at any stage of pregnancy (and I have had many with each baby!)!

PsycheGal's picture
Joined: 12/07/08
Posts: 768

I am not really worried about getting more than one US -- I think the danger of the US lies more within the fact that they can be very inaccurate when determining weight, size, and disease screening.

During my first pregnancy I was told the baby was weighing at 12lbs+ by the OB while the midwife (who just palpates for baby said "oh, 7lbs tops!)) -- the OB was convinced it was over 12lbs (although he never palpated for baby EVER) and hounded me to have a c-section scheduled, even sent me for a level II US which heightened my risk of an unnecessary c-section because the baby did not move as much as they wanted -- of course, as soon as they took the thing off baby was bouncing off the walls hahaha so I knew she was just fine.

There was nothing wrong with the baby (HR and movements were all normal) and she only weighed 6lbs 9oz. I did NOT get a c-section but I had to fight it for the entire 27 hours of labor and ended up cut from one end to the other despite my refusals because the doctor swore the midwives were wrong and the US never lies!

I had a similar situation with my second, but we later paid a private Ultrasound Diagnostic Physician and had an extensive abdominal US. I have to say his equipment was far better and it was obvious and he had much closer results (at least closer to reality). I was not about to go through the same crap again. So if you do get more than one US remember that the farther into the pregnancy you go, the harder it is to get accurate results and you may want to go to a specialists to avoid confusion. OB's are NOT US specialists and US Tech's are NOT doctors - find one that is both! For us, it was worth the out of pocket $250.00

We do not use any invasive testing (like CVS) so we opt for US instead to get a basic idea of how baby is doing which is why I am ok with about 3 US per pregnancy but because of my experiences I do not take test results as if they were carved in stone.

I would also be very weary of trans-vaginal US screening because it can introduce bacteria and I am just not willing to take the risk.

This is a great discussion though, I think I will research more on US dangers now too since my last baby was born in June of 07 and there may be new information I haven't seen yet.

kylie87's picture
Joined: 03/05/06
Posts: 18

there are 2 different types of ultrasounds....the ones that dont let you hear the heartbeat just see it are safe....the other one that youcan hear the heart beat is more harmful....or so the sonographer told me when i asked to hear what i was seeing. She just told me her office doenst use the other machines as they pose an unessassary risk to bubs.

hope that helps :S