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Frequent Ultrasounds safe??

  1. #1
    Avi is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Hong Kong

    Lightbulb Frequent Ultrasounds safe??

    I noticed in Hong Kong, I am getting ultrasounds every monthly visit and at the beginning every two - three weeks for the first trimester. I know in Canada and US they do not do this many ultrasounds...sometimes not until the four or fifth month. Are all these ultrasounds safe for the baby???

  2. #2
    HKFooey is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Stanley, Hong Kong

    It is entirely up to you if you have these ultrasounds or not.

    I elected to have as few as possible.

    There is alot of information out there which suggests that too many ultrasounds may be harmfull to baby and other information suggesting they are not.

    I look at it this way - Ultrasound is basically using sound waves to create the image and even though you can not hear them it is quite possible that they can be perceived by bubs. One just needs to see the increased activity that bubs tends to have when undergoing an ultrasound.

    In my humble opinion I think ultrasound is excessively overused in HK. It does have its place but only in moderation.

  3. #3
    hkgirl is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2003

    I've had more ultrasounds in HK than we would get in Canada too. The reason then do less in Canada is because they are expensive. Of the studies I've read, there are no known side effects to the baby from ultrasounds, but if you're not comfortable with having them, just let your doctor know. It's a great way to rule out any complications at birth, but one closer to the due date should be good enough.
    Good luck!

  4. #4
    mikey is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Talking it's simple physics ... ultrasounds are safe

    ultrasound images are created by echos from reflected vibrations. Obviously there are worries that these vibrations may cause damage to growth of the baby. The energy of ultrasonic vibrations is therefore key to this debate. The question is are they of enough energy to cause damage.

    A simple anology to understand ultrasound wave energy ...... is to compare energy of red light from a red flashlight (this is like a man talking with low tones), now consider blue light which is of more energy (this is like a woman talking with higher tones) next consider light of even higher energy such as UV light from the sun (this is like a sharp whistle sound from a football referee's whistle).

    Now, the whistle blown into one's ear will hurt and even cause mild damage ... a woman's voice probably will not cause damage expect in prolonged exposure (think of marriage) ... this is our analogy. So in the real case above, UV light will cause skin burn with short exposure but light from a blue bulb will just illuminate one's vision with blue light and cause no damage even with prolonged exposure.

    Ultrasound is therefore likened to the BLUE LIGHT. There is even higher energy ultrasound used to clean things like when your optician cleans your spectacles. These break up small particles and if used on your baby will certainly cause damage so GOOD JOB it is the low energy ultrasound used.

    No amount of exposure to BLUE LIGHT will harm your skin (the sky is blue in colur after all and we are bathed in blue light ALL the time) but exposure to UV will. The same is true for ULTRASOUND, no amount of exposure will cause damage.

    We a lucky in HK they are willing to use this resource and keep a check on your developing baby ... it of course requires a doctors time for an ultrasound and hence a cost for your benefit.

  5. #5
    firsttimemom is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    It de-stress me to see my fetus every month, i know it will not do him any harm. What i don't agree is vaginal ultrasound before 7 weeks of pregnancy, so as the embryo won't be disturb. But once it's taken in the abdomen, i have no problem with that.

  6. #6
    HKfornow is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    My US obgyn discouraged me from having too many ultrasounds as she said there is controversy over whether ultrasound will hurt the fetus or not, so her stand is why take the risk if you don't need to.

  7. #7
    gidget is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    hong kong

    Thanks for the information Mikey.
    I was curious about this too, so am pleased to hear a scientific analysis.

    My obs here said that there is no harm, but like Canada, in Australia where I am from 2 scans are the normal.
    I do believe this comes down to cost, not many obs there would have the machine in their office, there you would go to a deperate clinic for your scan.

    Having had a miscarrige in early pregnancy in the past, I think it is those early scans that are the most useful. It would be horrible to get to the 12 week ultra sound, as people I know there have, only to find then that your baby has no heart beat, and had stopped developing previously. I think we are pretty lucky to have the opportunity to check the development so often, it is certainly good for peace of mind.

    The internal method, is because the pregnancy sac is not readable that early from your abdomen. I wouldn't think that would be any more harmful, as it is not actually interfering with your uterus in any way.

  8. #8
    Grammie is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Has anyone had an Vaginal ultrasound when the light was turned on inside you and it gave you a shock of discomfort?

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