Your doctor might ask you to get an ultrasound test done several times during your pregnancy. These ultrasounds (traditional, 3D and 4D) help doctors to detect certain defects and medical conditions even before your baby is born. As a parent, it might be an exciting experience for you to see what your baby is doing inside your womb. However, there have been several myths over the years that have caused concerns among parents when it comes to ultrasound tests. Here are some myths about pregnancy ultrasound and the truth to them:
- Too many ultrasounds might harm the baby
There isn’t any conclusive evidence to pinpoint if too many ultrasounds can pose a physical risk to your yet unborn baby. For this very reason, most medical professionals think that ultrasounds are very safe for a fetus. Your doctor might have medical reasons if he/she is asking you to take more than the average number of ultrasounds that most women need during their pregnancy. However, a majority of doctors recommend that ultrasound should be done on as-needed basis.
- Ultrasounds use radiation
Not true at all. Ultrasounds use high-frequency sound waves that bounce around and present a picture of the body’s internal structures – in this case, the structure is a mother’s uterus and the baby. X-rays, on the other hand, use radiation.
- Ultrasounds aren’t invasive
Ultrasounds done completely outside of the body are known as transabdominal ultrasounds. In this, the doctor applies a gel to your abdominal area and use a probe to produce the images by drawing it along your abdomen. This is a non-invasive method, however, it is not the only ultrasound method used. Sometimes, your doctor might recommend a trans-vaginal ultrasound, which is an invasive method and requires equipment to enter your body. It is generally used to get a better picture of the pelvic area, to observe fetal heartbeat in early pregnancy, or to get a better view of the uterine wall lining. Our doctors at KIMS Cuddles can explain the need for various ultrasounds.
- 3D Ultrasound is more accurate than 2D Ultrasound
This is not true. 3D ultrasounds provide more detail and depth in its imaging than a 2D ultrasound but that doesn’t make them any more accurate than a 2D one. Ultrasounds are used to measure several things during a pregnancy and doctors might use them for different purposes. For example, a 2D ultrasound can show amniotic fluid and some birth defects more accurately than others. A 3D ultrasound, on the other hand, shows a more enhanced image and is more accurate in catching physical birth defects such as cleft lip, misshapen limbs or problems with spinal cord. Thus, both are equally important during a pregnancy.
- No ultrasounds should be done in the first 12 weeks
This myth probably arises due to the misconception people have about the use of radiation in an ultrasound. Naturally, most mothers would not like to put their babies at risk during the early stages of pregnancy. However, there is no proof to suggest that an early ultrasound can have an adverse effect on the fetus. Some doctors may not prefer an ultrasound scan until 20 weeks of pregnancy, while others might recommend a transvaginal scan as early as 8 weeks. If you have any questions about ultrasound in early pregnancy, seek guidance from our team of capable medical professionals at KIMS Cuddles.
- Do not eat before an ultrasound
There’s a myth that eating before an ultrasound can cause obstruction and will give inaccurate results. In most cases, it is perfectly fine to eat before an ultrasound. However, if your doctor asks you not to eat for a certain amount of time before your ultrasound, they might have a reason for the same and you’d do well to follow their advice.
- You need a full bladder for an ultrasound
Pregnant women feel the need to pee all the time, and holding on to a full bladder might seem like a difficult thing to do. If you feel the urgent need to pee, go ahead and relieve yourself to avoid discomfort or accidents during the procedure. Even if your doctor needs a fuller bladder, you’re likely to have to pee again in a few minutes anyway! Doctors suggest a full bladder if you’re getting an ultrasound when you’re less 12 weeks pregnant. This allows for better imaging of the small fetus. Between 12 to 24 weeks, some urine is helpful, and after 24 weeks, it doesn’t matter. Thus, you don’t need to have a full bladder for an ultrasound.
If you have any more questions regarding a pregnancy ultrasound, feel free to discuss them with our team at KIMS Cuddles.
*The opinions expressed in this article are not to be substituted for medical advice under any circumstance