Not To Frighten Anyone But I M In Search Of Answers Too

10 Replies
saddenedexpectantgrandma - February 23

I've always wondered about the safety of ultrasounds. I know they're NOT x-rays...but in my quest to find answers about my daughter's recent miscarriage and to possibly help other women on this forum, please take the time to read this and think about it. Perhaps there is some connection between U/S's and something happening to the fetus in utero? :*( When I was pregnant with my son and daughter ( both in their 20's ) U/S were given pretty routinely BUT yrs later **WARNING** letters came out about the possible "ill effects' on the child later on in life as well as the potential risks during pregnancy......PLEASE READ WITH AN OPEN MIND (this is not meant to scare anyone but inform: One challenge that ultrasound operators face is keeping the transducer positioned over the part of the fetus the operator is trying to visualize. When fetuses move away from the stream of high-frequency sound waves, they may be feeling vibrations, heat or both. As the FDA warned in 2004, "ultrasound is a form of energy, and even at low levels, laboratory studies have shown it can produce physical effect in tissue, such as jarring vibrations and a rise in temperature."(9) This is consistent with research conducted in 2001 in which an ultrasound transducer aimed directly at a miniature hydrophone placed in a woman's uterus recorded sound "as loud as a subway train coming into the station."(10) A rise in temperature of fetal tissue—especially since the expectant mother cannot even feel it—might not seem alarming, but temperature increases can cause significant damage to a developing fetus's central nervous system, according to research.(11) Across mammalian species, elevated maternal or fetal body temperatures have been shown to result in birth defects in offspring.(12) An extensive review of literature on maternal hyperthermia in a range of mammals found that "central nervous system (CNS) defects appear to be the most common consequence of hyperthermia in all species, and cell death or delay in proliferation of neuroblasts [embryonic cells that develop into nerve cells] is believed to be one major explanation for these effects."(13) Why should neurodevelopmental defects in rats or other mammals be of concern to expecting women? Because, as Cornell University researchers proved in 2001, brain development proceeds in the same manner "across many mammalian species, including human infants."(14) The team found "95 neural developmental milestones" that helped them pinpoint the sequence of brain growth events in different species.(15) Therefore, if repeated experiments show that elevated heat caused by ultrasound damages fetal brains in rats and other mammals, one can logically assume that it can harm human brains, too. In fact, the FDA and professional medical associations know that prenatal ultrasound can be dangerous to humans, which is why they have consistently warned against the non-medical or "keepsake" ultrasound portrait studios that have cropped up in malls throughout the country.(16) The risks to the baby are potentially higher in commercial enterprises due to the higher acoustic output required for high-definition images, a potentially long session—as technicians hunt for suitable images—and the employment of ultrasound operators who may have no medical background or appropriate training. These variables, along with factors such as cavitation (a bubbling effect caused by ultrasound that can damage cells) and on-screen safety indicators that may be inaccurate by a factor ranging from 2–6 (17), make the impact of ultrasound uncertain even in expert hands. Quite simply, if ultrasound can injure babies, it can cause the same damage whether done for routine, diagnostic or "entertainment" purposes.

 

saddenedexpectantgrandma - February 23

Hi ladies.. I'm posting to my own thread. I just want to make it clear here that I don't want anyone to feel as though I am cramming unfounded OR hysterical information on here to scare any expectant moms ( & dads) but please read the article with an open mind. And think to yourselves if the same exact machine is used to break up kindey stones that is put on a mom's tummy to take u/s pictures for size, development, s_x etc., of the baby. How and why does that very same machine have the power to break up a kidney stone and why is it that the baby in utero moves away from the frequency? I'm so upset at the moment that I am shaking. Because I can clearly remember my daughter saying how her baby girl would not look when the technician was trying to take a picture of her?! She said " she's stubborn like her daddy" :*( Her baby girl was positioned horizontally across her stomach at 5 and 1/2 months.....(perhaps to move away from the heat and sound ? ) Are the frequencies to high ?... do they cause the body temperature to sky rocket enough to harm the baby? Be even more pro-active in your baby's health prior to delivery. This may or may not be of use or help or comfort BUT maybe I could be onto something. I do hope that whatever information I read about. discuss with specialists. Trust me I am calling specialists in other states as well. So that EVERY single expectant mom, including my daughter will never, ever have to experience this kind of pain or loss ever again. My daughter goes to an OBS-GYN office that has about 10 doctors of various ages in the group. Her main doctor is much older ( old school ). The doctor which your mom and grandmom's tell you about.... before all this technology when the husbands were not allowed in the delivery room and the nurse came out to announce the s_x of the baby. In his words, which are now haunting me " having babies years ago seemed safer". What happened to waiting to know the s_x? What happened to doctor's measuring the mother-to-be's stomach to determine the size ( weight and length ) of their baby? Of course now that everyone, including my daughter has suffered this tremendous and horrendous loss of a baby. Everyone may be considered 'high risk' now and therefore be at the mercy of an U/S to make sure everything is OK. A doube-edged sword? Not sure now. I don't want to plant thoughts in anyone's head. I am not a medical person. I am a woman that is distraught over not only my daughter's loss, my loss too and the loss of each women who has posted to this particular thread on this forum. We want answers. We think that maybe there are never going to be any. Maybe just maybe this could be a reason why some ( not all ) women have miscarriages. I thought, in my heart. that it was reason enough to post here for everyone who feels there is safety in this frequent test. Ask before your next U/S. I intend to ask a specialist in 2 weeks and I will post back what she tells us ( my daughter and myself) about the need for u/s during pregancies. Wishing you all a calm mind, a restful heart and a stress free day.

 

abi_77 - February 23

American Society of Ob & Gy doesn't believe that ultrasound is harmful to the fetus. I researched this issue when I was pregnant extensively. There are studies showing no effect and some studies showing harmful effects like the once you read of the web and have posted here. But once again no conclusive studies to lay any claims on deleterious effect of U/S. However the doctors a__sociation do recommend not to get U/S from malls. If it's not needed don't do it. Very simple. By the way there is no evidence that U/S can cause miscarriage.

 

abi_77 - February 23

Hi Gradma- Usually 2nd trimester miscarriages are caused by other reasons. You might want to research those reasons and talk to your daughter's physician. I am extremely sorry to hear about what happened to your daughter. Good luck to you both.

 

billsgirl - February 23

hi saddened. i am so sorry for your daughters, and your loss. your post made me cry. i do appriecitate you posting this. i have never considered u/s's to cause damage, because i would like to be able to believe that my doctors know what they are talking about. but the fact is, they only know what they are taught. maybe in years to come we will know that truth. its just sad that there has to be a large number of loss's before they serioulsy investigate. i loss my baby at 7 weeks and it was tough. i couldnt imagine carrying him for 5 months and have to go thru it. my prayers are with you and your family.

 

ShoppingForTwo - February 23

I lost my daughter after she was born prematurely at 24 weeks so I know what you and your daughter are going through. My condolences. I don't believe a u/s is harmful though. Well actually, who knows, tap water is harmful these days. All I know is that my perinatologist did an u/s every week in the first 15 weeks of my current pregnancy and now every two weeks to check the baby and my cervix. I am 21w3d. My baby actually looks right into the "camera" most of the time. We have so many face shots, its funny. We WON'T be going to a mall or studio to do 4d though.

 

saddenedexpectantgrandma - February 23

Hi abi_77, billsgirl and ShoppingForTwo, I thank you for taking the time to read this. Like I orginally typed, I am not trying to put fear or thoughts in anyone's head that has already suffered a tremendous loss. I too am frantically looking for "WHY?". Why my daughter and so many women are miscarrying. Because I had a **WARNING** sent to me 20 some-odd yrs ago, that I tucked back in my mind but it's now in the forefront. I thought that there was a 'possibility' that U/S's and their usage should be investigated further. As I read through many posts here, I see a common denominator, ultrasounds being performed and not long afterwards the doctor's being unable to find a heartbeat. Sometimes not immediately, a day later. a week later, 2 weeks later OR shortly after the full term baby is born and is seemingly healthy. I know I can come on here and subject myself to ridicule. I admit to not being in the medical profession. I also say that I diligently look up information and ask numerous medical questions of people in the medical field. I went out on the proverbial limb with this thread because it's not the first time that U/S's have been mentioned to cause the baby's temperature to rise inside the womb to an 'unsafe' level. If nothing else it makes me ( and others ) think that there could be something to U/S's that we're not aware of? KNOWLEDGE IS POWER... I want nothing more for my daughter and for all of you wonderful women to have happy and healthy pregnancies and suffer no more. Wishing all of you happiness and calmness. TYVVM for your kind words of condolences for my daughter's loss :*( which was my loss too as an almost 1st time grandma :*( PS. ShoppingForTwo, you made an interesting a___logy between the safety of our drinking water. There are all kinds of things they we do to live longer, happier and healthier lives. Like buying bottled water and not drinking tap water. That's just one example. I know I didn't do anything that anyone here could not or did not think to do themselves. GOOGLE, which almost ALL doctors are vehemently opposed to using as a resource. I truly do not want anyone here or anywhere to be fearful or worry more than you already are doing. I just want to put information that has been talked about not just recently but for years now on a front burner. I'll keep on asking questions and keep surfing the internet. I'll post any MEDICALLY confirmed information so that others may benefit from things I learn too. I hope that others will do the same thing.

 

julie2007 - February 23

i have to say this - i agree gram that knowledge is power - but PROVEN LOGICAL TRUE knowledge is what they are talking about. if you go to MANY reputable sites - american pregnancy - you will find substantial backing for ultrasounds - and as for something sticking in your head from 20 years ago - that was SO LONG AGO - things change. you used to put your kids to sleep on their stomachs too - and now that's a no - no. things change - medicine and it's practices evolve, and if you think about all the high risk women who have multiple ultrasounds and perfectly healthy pregnancies / babies - there can be little if any validity to your ponderance. or else high risk doctors would be getting sued all the time for keeping up on a patients pregnancy via ultrasound. --------- while i am certain you are indeed searching for answers to your loss - as are many of us on this forum - i am sure that your daughter (inlaw)'s loss was not caused by the ultrasound(s) she received. it is difficult when grieving not to place blame on anyone or anything to make ourselves feel better - it is human nature. has your daughter (inlaw) had a full consultation with her OB/ RE to discuss what went wrong? -- was the fetus tested for abnormalities? -- have the couple undergone genetic counseling? -- while it is so very personal when it happens to us individually (or even as a potential grandparent) - miscarriage is a VERY common occurance. and i agree with abi_77 -- 2nd trimester miscarriage is most usually caused by something else. perhaps after a good chat with the physician who cared for her - there will be more answers to research. -- i am sorry for the losses of each and every one on here who has had to endure losing a pregnancy / child. it is the most awful thing to have to go thru. i am still healing from my own multiple miscarriages so i do understand the loss. i wish you much healing in dealing with this tragedy, and perhaps counseling might be a better source of some help/ healing and answers instead of google? this is my opinion, i certainly do not want any other mom who has had a loss (or recurrent losses) to be afraid of getting ultrasounds for fear of miscarriage, especially since u/s's can be a useful tool in helping a pregnancy along (when bed rest might be indicated, for an SCH, or in the case of a placenta previa when precautions need to be taken) --- and over and above all -- ladies -- if you don't feel confident in the procedures or policies of your OB office - let them know --- it's your body. they can then explain to you the need - or work with you to develop another option.

 

julie2007 - February 23

here is a more likely cause for a 2nd trimester loss - i do not know how far along her pregnancy was - but usually after the 20 week mark it is not called a miscarriage - it is a stillbirth (with most states granting a certificate of death or stillbirth) -- you do not say whether you are in the US or not - so that may not apply --- here is the list of likely causes -- (please note ultrasound is NOT on the list) ------ Factors a__sociated with pregnancy loss by Trimester ---- Second Trimester Chromosomal abnormalities Congenital abnormalities Anatomic factors (e.g., incompetent cervix, intrauterine adhesions, leiomyomata, uterine anomalies) Immunologic factors (e.g., antiphospholipid antibodies [anticardiolipin antibody and lupus anticoagulant]) Infection (e.g., bacterial vaginosis, intra-amniotic infection) Placental problems (e.g., hematoma, retained intrauterine device, placental abruption, placenta previa) Severe acute illness Thrombophilia (e.g., factor V Leiden, protein S deficiency, prothrombin G20210A mutation) Uncontrolled chronic illness (e.g., diabetes, hypertension) ---

 

BeckyBunny - February 24

Another factor to consider is the differences between ultrasound machines themselves. Look at all the models available on the market. While there are all supposed to be essentially the same, obviously they have their differences or else one company would not offer several models of the same thing. Older u/s machines might behave differently than newer ones. It's nearly impossible to say. But I do know that there are plenty of people that have multiple u/s throughout their pregnancies, with no ill effects. There are always multiple factors to consider, and it's impossible to pinpoint some things in controlled studies, no matter how hard they try.

 

abi_77 - February 24

There is no evidence that U/S causes second trimester m/c. Grandma I would highly recommend going to a specialist and getting necessary tests for your daughter (some of the tests the doctors do are anti-cardiolipin antibody, anti-phospholipid, MTHRF mutation, anti-thrombo.. antibody, lupus etc..). Your daughter needs to get these tests done to make sure she doesn't have any problem. I cannot stress enough that she has to see a high risk O/B, not a regular O/B.

 

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