Too many ultrasounds? — The Bump
2nd Trimester

Too many ultrasounds?

Hello! I am a first time mother to be. I'm 38 so I get a bunch of tests because of my age, but so far I've been lucky enough to have a smooth pregnancy (I'm 22 weeks.) I had a borderline high result on my AFP blood test (cutoff is 2.0 and I was 2.0.) I've had a CVS procedure as well as a level 2 scan during which I specifically asked about spina bifida, and everything looks great. I've basically already done everything that might be done as a followup to that questionable result and everything looks good. At my last appointment my doctor mentioned they might want to do monthly growth ultrasounds due to the AFP test result. I've read that too many ultrasounds can be harmful to the baby (linked to autism, or at best having unknown effects etc.), and I don't love the idea of a bunch of unnecessary medical interventions. I feel like the pregnancy has been going great and I've been feeling really good, so it seems like overkill. Has anyone had a similar experience? I'll express my concerns at my next appointment, and may just decide to opt out of the monthly ultrasounds, but I would love to hear from others who may have been through this. Thanks ladies!

Re: Too many ultrasounds?

  • I'm 35, I'm in same boat but they found on anatomical ultrasound enlarged heart and kidney but it could clear up on its own....they want me to repeat it. It makes me just as nervous to keep doing ultrasound. You can always refuse, but for me it's torture not knowing so it's a difficult decision. It's typical at our age all the fuss. Keep us posted on what you decide, I think this is a good post for others too who wonder.
  • afqafq member
    First Anniversary First Comment Photogenic
    I heard Ina May Gaskin (extremely well known midwifery expert) talk about it in a documentary and have found various articles about it online. Here's one for example: It seems for the most part they are safe and can be a great tool, but it seems like an invasive thing to do repeatedly if you don't have a serious risk to monitor.
  • So wait, you are taking advice from some one who is not a board certified Ob/Gyn or CNM?
    She studied neuro-psychology. 

    I would not take cardiac advice from my OB. There are reasons that Md/DOs specialize.

  • ecwkecwk member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Agree with @BecauseBabyIamAPug about the autism fear mongering. If your doctor believes it is necessary then I'd be inclined to trust him/her over anything I read online. I had five ultrasounds during my pregnancy. 

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  • afqafq member
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    It's good to hear feedback. I'm not taking advice or making decisions based on any random article or study, just trying to get more info and opinions about something I've heard come up from several sources. Of course if there is any specific risk at all to my baby I absolutely plan to take my doctor's advice and have whatever procedures are necessary. I work with a practice where I see different doctors. I've had two docs tell me everything looks great and that my next scan would be at 32 weeks, and then a 3rd doc say during my blood pressure/weight check say they "might" do monthly growth scans. Mostly I'm looking for input from other moms as I try to make an informed decision about how many extra scans to have since I've been given to understand that my risk factor is very low.
  • mcborthmommamcborthmomma member
    25 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited May 2016
    Ask your doctor. MFM recommended monthly growth scans for me due to a uterine anomoly, but my midwife said it wasn't necessary due to my history of 2 successful, good sized pregnancies. 
    Talk to your doctor. Everyone and every pregnancy is different. MFM makes recommendations based on what protocol says and are usually "better safe than sorry" which is good, they should be. However, your doctor knows your personal situation better and can make the best recommendation. If your doc wants you to do it, and there is sound reason (which there seems to be), I'd follow their recommendations 
  • I'm only 15 weeks and I've already had 8 ultrasounds . Most of them were because I am an IVF patient and my doctor's standard plan is weekly ultrasounds between weeks 5-10 . He never mentioned any risk . Any additional scans I've had were due to my subchorionic hemhorrages . I've had multiple large bleeds this pregnancy and they have been done to check on the baby to make sure the bleeds don't pose a risk . 

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  • I'm having twins and have had an ultrasound at every appointment so they can see the heartbeats.  Now I'm also having NSTs weekly. Do that two ultrasounds a week.  They've never talked about any risks to worry about.  
  • I have a 3 year old I had 14 ultrasounds with her due to pre_ e and IUGR she's not autistic she's on gifted spectrum so I say the study is another fear inducer.
  • I haf twins and had roughly 40 scans. After 27 weeks it was an average of at least 3 per week. Gave birth at 35 weeks. Didnt know it was twins until 20 weeks so I think thats mostly why. My frat boys are fine at 4 1/2.
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