Pregnant after IF

6 week ultrasound - is it really necessary? Can it harm the baby?

I was really excited when I got my BFP after multiple IVF rounds, and super excited to make my first ultrasound appointment. Then I ran across some disconcerting articles, including a study linking ultrasounds to higher autism rates so now I'm Vera nervous about my upcoming ultrasound. My acupuncturist also suggested waiting (so hard balancing eastern and western medicine). We have had a hell of a journrey just Getting to BFP at 42 so I don't want to screw it up. And, I previously miscarried at 13 weeks shortly after an ultrasound. I'm a nervous Nellie! Any advice?

Re: 6 week ultrasound - is it really necessary? Can it harm the baby?

  • I don't know any scientific evidence that a handful of ultrasounds given by professionals over the course of your pregnancy are harmful. Are these articles in a peer-reviewed journal? "Linking" two variables is complicated and shouldn't be undertaken lightly. My personal belief is there is no harm. But do what you are most comfortable with.  (And congrats!)
    DH & I both 34.
    8/16: IVF, antagonist protocol 
    21 eggs | 9 blasts | 7 normal through PGS
    10/16: FET  = BFN  :(
    12/16: Surprise natural BFP 
    Beta 1: 177 | Beta 2: 483 | Beta 3: 8,755 | Beta 4: 39,007. Baby born 9/5/2017

    NOW on sibling journey. 
    2/20: FET = BFN :(
    4/20: Surprise COVID BFP

  • Congratulaions! I don't have any medical knowledge of this, but just wanted to say that I had more ultrasounds than necessary because of my placenta issues and the baby was fine. Those early ultrasounds give a lot of information so for me personally they eased worries. The doc is able to see the sac, fetal pole, heartbeat, etc...of course you can wait until later to see those things but I know I wouldn't be able to. Also, I believe that if early ultrasounds were harmful, they wouldn't be done. I don't think ultrasounds are linked to miscarriages either. Talk to you doctor and good luck with whatever you decide! 
    ***History & TW in Spoiler***

    ***bfp & child warning***
    TTC - since 2014
    7 rounds of Clomid - BFN
    IUI #1 - October 2015 - BFN
    IUI #2 - November 2015 - BFN
    IUI #3 - December 2015 - BFN
    IVF #1 - March 2016
    Retrieval #1 - April 2016
    FET #1 - May 2016 - BFP!!! DS - Born January 2017
    Trying for baby #2...
    FET #2 - January 2018 - BFN  
    No more embryos left; switched to a new RE
    IVF/Retrieval #2 - January 2019
    IVF/Retrieval #3 - March 2019
    FET #3 - April 2019 - BFP!!! - DD: Born December 2019
    Trying for baby #3...
    FET #4 - October 2021 - BFP!!! - Due June 2022

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  • I'm not aware of any peer-reviewed studies showing a link between u/s and miscarriage or autism. If there were strong evidence of these links, I think that u/s would not be such a standard practice among REs and OBs.

    I agree with PPs, though, that you should discuss your concerns with your doctor. I know from experience how much a loss can make you paranoid of every.little.thing! And if you think that holding off will help ease your anxiety, then that is definitely a decision that you should discuss with your doctors. Congrats on your BFP and best of luck for a happy and healthy pregnancy!
    *** Trigger Warnings ***

    TTC #1 since March 2011
    Dx = Unexplained IF
    1 medicated TI cycle & 4 clomid IUIs = all BFNs
    June 2013 IVF #1 = 6 frosties + BFP!
    DS1 born 2/14

    TTC #2 since December 2014
    May 2015 unassisted BFP ended in m/c at 7wks
    April 2016 FET #1 = BFN
    June 2016 FET #2 = c/p
    August 2016 FET #3 = BFP!
    DS2 born 4/17
  • I had an ultrasound week 6,8,10,12 (standard for my RE's clinic) & 13 for the NT Scan - I asked too if it was harmful to the baby and my RE assured me it wasn't or they wouldn't do it - they were also more concerned making sure all was ok with the scan than maybe missing something important.
    Each RE/type of doctor I'm sure has their own medical opinion  My doctor said they can't say 100% all is safe but when it comes to ultrasounds, I can't say I've heard or read about them causing increased risk of miscarriage or illness. 
    Completely understand your worries though - talk it over with your doctor and see how you feel about it! I had an MRI (head, without contrast) done yesterday and the physician was kind enough to spend about 30 minutes talking with me while I weighed the potential pros and cons - made me feel a lot better! Congratulations & best wishes!
    Me: 37 DH: 37 - Married 10.2015 ❤️ Canadian 
    DX: Endometriosis - Stage 4, DOR, RPL
    TTC #1 07.2015
    03.2016 - Natural BFP - MC 5w4d
    04.2016 - Natural BFP - Chemical
    10.2016 - IUI w/ Injections #1 = IUI Cancelled (cyst/no mature follicle)
    11.2016 - IUI w/ Injections #2 = BFP, EDD 08.2017 - It's a BOY!
    TTC #2 06.2019
    08.2019 - IUI w/ Injections #1 = Chemical
    09.2019 - IUI w/ Injections #2 = BFN
    10.2019 - IUI w/ Injections #3 = BFN
    01.2020 - IUI w/ Injections #4 = BFN
    08.2020 - Natural BFP - MC 9w5d
    11.2020 - IVF Retrieval - 3AB & 4BB
    05.2021 - FET #1 = BFP, EDD 02.2022 - It's a BOY!

  • I don't have any knowledge about this either.
    But as I was very ill my first trimester (hyperemesis gravidradum) I have had many ultrasounds to keep one motivated to stay pregnant. (Although it never crossed my mind ending it, some women apparently do) 
    My 3rd trimester I've had extra ultrasounds too as I couldn't feel my little girl move (anterior placenta).

    Today my girl is 4 months. Besides her having cowsmilk allergy she is doing fantastic!

    The one thing they don't do in Norway to early is listening to the heartbeat. One only gets to hear this at 20 weeks. They say it warms up tissue and they want to avoid that (so do home dopplers)


    Daisypath Happy Birthday tickers Lilypie Maternity tickers

  • I had multiple ultrasounds w/ my RE before moving on to my OB. Once at my OB, the first doctor I saw did the ultra sound but not didn't hear the heartbeats. He said there was some discussion that it might hurt the babies to try and hear the heartbeats. But since then I've had an U/S at each appointment. I've only heard the heartbeat once since leaving my RE and that was for the NT Scan. 

    Do what makes you feel comfortable :) 
  • For me the other benefit of an ultrasound is knowing if there are any risks that require you to modify your behaviour. As a result of your scan your doctor may advise you to avoid exercise or sex. 

    I found this article that might be worth you reading. It's very accessible for a medical journal article:
    "On the basis of the information in this review, one can conclude that there is no independently confirmed peer-reviewed published evidence that a cause-effect relationship exists between in utero exposure to clinical ultrasound and development of ASDs in childhood."
  • Thank you ladies for all your insight and support! I greatly appreciate it. 
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