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ultrasound concerns - Page 4

post #61 of 90
A 1984 study published by the Institute of OB/Gyns sites rates of dyslexia occuring between 33% higher and 120% higher in children aged 7-12 who had been scanned with ultrasound in utero than in their unscanned counterparts.

A 1987 study in Experimental Nuerology sites significant reduction in the developement of myelin in neonatal rats scanned at the same rate and duration typical for fetal ultrasound. Myelin is the sheath surrounding nerve fibers all through your body. For an idea of what someone with damaged myelin will experience Multiple sclorosis is a disease that destroys myelin.

In Vol24, no11 of OB/Gyn News Dr Kenneth Taylor warns about the increased risk of new high dose ultrasounds. "One of the reasons ultrasound energy has increased is that manufacturers have learned it's much less expensive to deliver more energy for a given image quality."

The FDA in 1984 issued a public letter stating "ultrasound energy delivered to the fetus cannot be regarded as innocuous... exposing the fetus to ultrasound with no anticipation of medical benefit is not justified."

I have lots more but that is the jist of it. I cannot justify the use of routine ultrasound. I think that part of the problem is that doctors have had so much success in convincing us that there is something basically pathological about pregnancy so that they can have something to test for and reassure us about. Millions of babies over thousands of generations have been born just fine without this intrusive technology. We need to examine what the medical profession tells us is important and necesary and decide for ourselves. Bear in mind, this is the same group of doctors that tends to believe that the female body is only rarely, if ever, capable of delivering a baby vaginally without high doses of narcotics or other painkillers and a slice in the vaginal opening for good measure. The same doctors who will look you right in the eye and tell you that epidurals and spinals don't get to your baby.

Ask yourself this: How much does that machine in your doctors office cost? How is he going to pay it off if he doesn't use it a lot? Is he motivated to build up my confidence that I am having a healthy and normal pregnancy? or to introduce doubts in my mind that he can then allay with the use of a fancy, expensive machine that goes "Ping!"?
post #62 of 90
When making any kind of decision like this it is important to be able to weigh the risks and benefits. The risks of ultrasound may exist, but they are not fully proven. The benefits, in your case, may exist also. Talk to your dr about this. What is the real benefit of these ultrasounds. What kind of problem is he looking for and if he finds it what can he do about it? Is there another less invasive proceedure that can give him the same amount of information?

With more information about the risks and benefits you can more clearly make a decision.

I know that this must be stressful.

BTW, this first dr who cut your cervix, was that really necessary? How often does that happen? Any chance of suing this guy?
post #63 of 90
can anyone elaborate on the difference between a "regular" ultrasound and a level II ultrasound? I know level II gives a more detailed pic, but technically, how do they differ? (I've never had either, but want to be prepared in case the issue comes up.) Anyone know of a good site that explains the level II? thanks.

ps--on the cervix issue, wouldn't a simple vaginal exam do?
post #64 of 90
I agree with above posts that doing frequent u/s in your case may make sense b/c the benefits probably outweigh any risks. Maybe you could get a second opinion to be sure, or talk with dr about whether you could do less than every 2 wks.

Also, as daughter of a doctor & sister/sister-in-law to 3 osteopathic docs, I must take issue with the post above that assumes a "profit making" motive to giving lots of u/s tests. 1st, I think the vast majority of docs become docs b/c they want to help people, not to make $$. 2nd, I think there is a better explanation for over-testing & the tendency of drs to give more tests to pg women and that, frankly, is legal liability. If something ends up wrong w/the baby, many many Americans run to a lawyer to try to sue someone (& OB have been sued when I child is up to 18 yrs old!). OB's malpractice ins is extraordinarily high & they are sued often b/c they are seen as a deep pocket. If they don't do the tests & something goes wrong, there's a high likelihood they will be sued. So if we want to do something about that, we need to reform the way we deal w/personal injury in the U.S. There, off my soapbox.
post #65 of 90
That is an excellent point Corriander!

After reading it I wanted to smack myself in the head. What is the 'worst' thing they could see on the U/S? What would they want to do about that?
Is there some A-Okay thing they could see on the U/S that would let everyone relax?

Joan, I don't know that there is any such website. The thing is that there are a lot of variables, ie how old is the machine, how skilled the operator, how well maintained the machine is...
then there are probably manufacturing variables too... Probably the best you could do in terms of specific research would be to ask the birth attendant you plan to use if they have an ultrasound machine and how much they use it... Do they insist on regular U/S or just if there is something specific thay are concerned about. Ask the make and model of the machine and call the company that made it and question them!
post #66 of 90

ultrasound concerns

I see my doctor every three weeks and get an u/s every time. I am not considered high risk. I would like to cut back severely on the number of u/s. I am at 22 weeks now. Does anyone have any suggestions as to when the u/s will be helpful? How many times in the next few months? I was thinking of asking for the next one only in the last month. I am curious to see what other doctors are recommending as far as when the u/s be used.

post #67 of 90
Personally, I will never have another ultrasound unless there is a specific medical concern that the doctor wants to investigate. Not 'just to see' or anything like that.
post #68 of 90

That seems like a lot of u/s. In my first preg I had one at 41 weeks because I was postdates. In my second preg I had one at 20 weeks (different practice), and that was it. I think the 20-25 week u/s is pretty standard because the baby is big enough to see alot of what is going on. The one I had at 41 weeks was only to check on fluid levels, otherwise she was so big we could only see one body part at a time.

So does your dr. have the ultrasound in his office? Does he get to bill your insurance every time he uses it? That was my first thought for why so many in a normal pregnancy.

There are people who think that u/s can have negative side effects on the developing fetus. I don't happen to be one of those people. But the biggest negative side effect of so many u/s is that if he is looking for something wrong, he will probably find it.

I would also be nervous about a dr. who relies so heavily on "technology" as opposed to his experience, what he patients tell him, etc. I would bet that he will also want continuous monitoring during labor. If you want a different experience then that, he may not feel he can deliver a baby without all these machines.

OK, that was really more than you asked for. My 4 cents.
post #69 of 90
Thanks to the both of you for responding. So it is not even routine for the latter stages of pregnancy?

I'm not sure why she uses the machine so much. She's so conservative in other aspects (no nail polish, no flying, strict diet, etc.) It is in her office. She's not affiliated with any insurance company. I pay her directly and then my insurance will reimburse me about 60%.

Anyway, my gut feeling is that you are both correct. This will be a big learning experience for me. She's asian - as am I (originally from Maui, Kamaa'ina!) and I hate to cause conflict. No time like the present, I suppose.

post #70 of 90
I am 35 weeks and I have had three ultrasounds during my pregnancy.
The first two were early in the first trimester because I was bleeding. The U/S helped my caregiver determine that the bleeding was not coming from the fetus. The source was later found to be a cervial polyp, which at first had been too small to see during a regular exam.

The third was a level II ultrasound at 20 weeks, because I had rejected all the other tests and felt like I wanted to know if there were any obvious problems at tht point. Yes, I did it "just to see" as others might say.. and might criticize me for. But I made the choice I felt was right for me.. and it was an educated, considered choice.

I will not have any more U/S unless there is a solid medical reason, but I am comfortable with my decision to have the other three.

I do let my midwives use the Doppler for short checks.

In your case, it sounds like there are legitimate reasons for the u/s. Why not just ask your doctor why he/she thinks ultrasounds are the way to go, and whether there are any alternatives? Why not discuss your concerns?

I think it is important to educate ourselves about these things and to make informed choices. I also think it is important to have a care-giver you trust... and to make decisions with them.

I have a healthy skepticism toward the medical establishment, and I have no problem making choices that are outside the mainstream.

But I do not find it helpful to have an adversarial relationship with my caregiver, or to make negative assumptions about why they are making their recommendations. If I didn't trust them, I would not be letting them care for me.

Ultrasounds are tough to wrestle with because there is really no definitive, absolute proof either way.
So you have to do what you feel is best.
If you have concerns, discuss them. If you are uncomfortable with the U/S, ask about alternatives.
Then make what you think is the best choice.

Good Luck.
post #71 of 90
I have to say that I just assumed that your doctor was a "he"! I hate it when I do that! :
post #72 of 90


I have two children and one on the way.....

I have had regular ultrasounds with each at each Dr. visit. My Dr. is very thorough, checks everything and follows it up with an ultrasound. It lasts no more than 30 seconds, and does not bother me or seem to bother the baby. Both of my children are extremely healthy and intelligent. Neither shows any signs of adverse affects. My doctor has the machine in his office, he uses it on all pregnant patients (unless they request otherwise) and some non pregnant patients. He does not charge any more or less for the ultrasound.

Personally, I find the ultrasound exciting. I am not concerned in the least. If in fact the baby can hear the ultrasound, it cant be much worse than all the other sounds he/she hears in utero (serious digestive rumbling, gas, and other annoyances).

I am not arguing my point, dont need to be proven wrong or convinced otherwise. I just thought the original poster might like another view to help in her decision.
post #73 of 90
Amen Ame! I can't prove they are harmless, no moreso than they are harmful, but seeing as everyone I've never known (including my mother onwards) has had at least one (sometimes 2 or 3) and every child has turned out completely fine will no ill effects, that tells me it can't possibily be so horrible! Innocent until proven guilty!

Plus, to each their own, you don't have to do something because someone else prefers not to. Everyone has their own opinion and I hate trying to argue with those who "have to be right". As far as I know, no children have been born with three heads yet because of u/s. And the only thing thats been "proven" is the fact that left-handedness is more common in those that have u/s. Well big deal, they'd prolly be left-handed regardless!

Bah! We have enough to worry about and I for one, am not going to go insane worrying about something that most likely (like 99.9%) won't have any ill-effects. Just not important enough to cause myself stress over. I have pictures and the comfort in my mind that my baby is fine. (I've only had 2 so far and don't expect anymore until near my due date to make sure lil one isn't breech as earlier - blech - is a c-section the only way to go with a breech BTW?).

Oh but one thought I had to throw in for Canadian's. All my medical is covered here. And so are the u/s. So the doctor doesn't in fact get paid at all for use of it, he gets paid for my visit, and my visit only. He doesn't even use the machine, a lab technician does. So I know he isn't doing it for any financial benefit at all. And we get the regular "routine" u/s here. One at 18 weeks, and one near 36-37 weeks (you may have a third such as myself (a trans-vaginal) due to trying to figure out my elusive due date!).

I'm not pushing my views on anyone, I give my two cents. Basically, do what makes you feel more at ease. If you want them, have them, if you don't, then don't. Not much point in arguing the topic anyhow when there are so many different views on it, and views are neither right nor wrong, they are just views.

Thats my view and I hope no one takes offense!
post #74 of 90
Originally posted by Due_in_August

Anyways, this is again my two cents, and my last two cents on this topic as I'm not into arguing my point to try and make myself right, especially as I know in this case, there is no positive right or wrong.
post #75 of 90
Hi Everyone! I just wanted to mention a new study that was brought to my attention... An MD decided that he wanted to explore the cause of the increased fetal activity during ultrasound, and used equipment which revealed that everytime that Ultrasound wave is pointed at your baby, the waves travel through the amniotic fluid, which is also in your baby's ears, and are picked up as 100 decibel noise! That is the equivalent of a SUBWAY TRAIN in your baby's room (womb...). I think I would move too! Just a thought.

Also, the doppler ultrasound waves are stronger and more directed than those of the regular ultrasound. Which makes sense from my experience, when the dopplers were used on my babies, they would always move and have to be chased down for heart tones... Now I understand better why...

The Lord bless you,
post #76 of 90
Hi everyone-

Sorry I haven't replied sooner to this thread...but I seem to be developing serious 'pregnant brain' and literally forgot I started it!:

Thank you all for the information-it seems to me that, although there are potential risks involved in ultrasound, in my situation those risks have been less than the risk of miscarriage/pre term delivery due to incompetent cervix. I also discussed it with my doctor, who agreed that I'm better off to have the U/S done than to just wait and hope for the best.

Also, at my last visit to the specialist (2 weeks ago) there still had not been any changes to the cervix, so I do not have to go back until I'm 28 weeks. Also, my ob said that, at this point, the main risk involved is that I will might deliver 2-3 weeks before my due date, which poses very little risk to my baby (and which might make it possible for me to delivery naturally, as a smaller baby might pose less of a problem for my narrow pelvis) So, as it stands, things look good & my risk of complications have gone down considerably now that I've made it past 20 weeks.

Oh, and Corriander~the Dr. who cut my cervix was a woman. Oddly enough, she was a woman who was at the time around 8 months pregnant & performing my c-section at 2:00 in the morning. I've often wondered if she had actually made a serious error, or if the cut had been unavoidable. However, in talking to my specialist I learned that sometimes a cervical cut IS unavoidable during c-section. Then again, that made me wonder if this is really the case, or if he was basically trying to avoid saying she had done anything wrong (I get the feeling sometimes that Dr.'s have a sort of 'we must stick together and not question each other' mentality..) As for suing, I honestly don't know what my options are. How would I prove that she was negligent? Also, is there some sort of statue of limitations on such cases? (my daughter was delivered 9 years ago) Even if I have a good case, how would I go about doing anything about it? There are a lot of questions involved for me, and at this point I'm not really sure how to proceed.
post #77 of 90
Wow...what a long thoughtful unchildlike reponse. *G*

I don't really care to continue this, but seriously...some people need to grow up and not get all po'd because someone has a difference of opinion. This is a free country...unless Osama took over while I wasn't looking...either way...get over the fact that not everyone else thinks the way you do. You can quote me again if you like, I really don't give a flying fig at this point.
post #78 of 90


<shaking my head and knowing my thoughts in this case are better left unsaid>
post #79 of 90
I personally believe that if there is no indication then it is not worth the POSSIBLE risk. Is even a possible risk to your baby worth it just to get a peek? I'm not talking about one at 20 weeks to check for deformity or whatever I mean the people who get one every time or get more than one or two with no medical indication. I was not planning on having any this time but it turns out I might have twins so I have one on Friday to check. If it is twins I personally feel the possible risk is worth it to get a few more in the pregnancy to make sure both twins are growing properly. I went through so much to get this baby (babies?), had two miscarriages and I will do whatever I can to make sure they're okay. But I won't get one every time like another woman I know who is having twins because there is no medical indication for that and I personally feel it's putting your wants above your childs needs.
post #80 of 90
Let me understand this... by insinuating that I am childish and telling me I need to "get over it" you are proving your maturity? Very interesting. Here's the thing though. I'm not the one posting unsupportable comments and trying to call them facts. You quoted only one study and even that report acknowledged that further study should be done! You continue to state your opinions as fact and I can't just let that sit unchallenged.

There are facts available and you can debate whether or not they actually prove U/S is harmful but you can't deny that they call their safety into question. You can continue to treat this as a little difference of opinion along the lines of Coke or Pepsi but I think that the question of whether a particular widespread practice is unsafe for unborn children is important.
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