Side Effects Of Scanning During Pregnancy

By: Tanushree Kulkarni

Did you know that ultrasound was first used in 1955 to scan a human by an obstetrician from Scotland, Ian Donald?

Prior to that, ultrasound machine was used to detect flaws in a metal. He used to detect abdominal tumors first; however, later, it was used on pregnant women as well.

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Now, ultrasound scans have become an important part of pregnancy, which is used to know the growth of a foetus. It is very common for a woman to go through scans many times during her 36 weeks of pregnancy.

Contrary to what most people think and propagate in the media, ultrasound scans can be dangerous for your baby. These scans are not cent per cent safe for the unborn child in your womb.

A mother-to-be should strictly avoid them, apart from the case of high-risk pregnancy and non-routine use.

An ultrasound is a scan that sends out sound waves of high frequency, these high-frequency waves bounce off the tissue, creating a picture.

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These waves can be dangerous, as they can increase temperature and put pressure on the local tissue.

Before agreeing for a scan, a mom-to-be should carefully consider the side effects that have the potential to cause a harm to the foetus growing in her womb. Let’s look at the side effects of scanning during pregnancy.

Increase Chances Of Miscarriage:

It is proven that ultrasound scanning in expecting mothers can increase chances of a miscarriage, pre-term labour and even the case of infant mortality.

Cause Tissues & Bones To Heat Up:

Each ultrasound scan during the pregnancy can cause surrounding tissues and bones to heat up, which can lead to a disruption of cells causing bleeding and negative effects on the development of the foetus

Can Cause Intrauterine Growth Restriction:

Studies have shown that children who were exposed to 5 or more scans during pregnancy were more likely to develop intrauterine growth restriction. Intrauterine growth restriction refers to a situation in which a child is smaller than the normal because of poor growth inside the womb.

Can Cause Dyslexia Due To More Exposure Of Scans:

Babies who were exposed to scans in their mother's womb are more likely at risk of suffering from speech and learning problem such as dyslexia than those babies who weren't exposed to scans.

Scans Can Do More Harm Than Good:

It is proven that ultrasound scanning used to detect defects before birth doesn't reduce illness, but instead it can do more harm than good.

Increase Chances Of A C-Section:

One of the reasons ultrasound is recommended to pregnant women so that a condition placental Previa could be diagnosed. In this situation, placenta which is instilled in lower part of the uterus can lead to bleeding and drastically increase chances of C-section. According to a study conducted on 4000 women, 250 of them who were diagnosed with this condition, only 4 had this condition during the time of delivery.

More Exposure Can Cause Low Birth Weight:

Studies have shown that babies who were more exposed to ultrasound scans were more likely to suffer from a low birth weight, poorer birth condition, inner ear damage, etc.

Scans Are Risky For The Technicians As Well:

It is not only the pregnant women who are at risk from ultrasound scans, but the technicians too who carry out these ultrasound scans. Studies have shown that if the therapist was pregnant and she conducted more than 20 scans in a week, she was at the larger risk of a spontaneous abortion.

Puts Thermal Pressure On Baby:

It is argued that scans of lesser intensity and duration are not likely to cause any defects in the unborn baby, but no matter what the intensity and duration is, it is likely to put thermal pressure on the baby.

Read more about: pre natal, foetus, baby
Story first published: Monday, May 9, 2016, 6:00 [IST]
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