Ultrasound during pregnancy are performed to keep a tab on the foetus’s growth, its week by week development and finally on its position inside the womb. Ultrasounds also advised by obstetricians/gynaecologists if they suspect any complication during pregnancy. However, there have been several studies that look at the dangers that frequent ultrasound during pregnancy pose. And these studies are very important in today’s day and age because of rising trends such as determination of an unborn baby’s gender and getting ultrasound snapshots of the foetus.
The dangers of frequent ultrasound during pregnancy
- A study conducted at an American University has proof of the fact that the radioactive waves of the ultrasound have a negative impact on the growth of the brain of the foetus. This research was done on pregnant mice.
- Frequent ultrasounds apparently hinder the natural division of cells in the foetus. Although studies have not been conducted on humans to tell for sure of the effects of frequent ultrasounds, but experiments conducted on mice and other non-human primates’ show otherwise.
- Researchers are also of the opinion that frequent ultrasound during pregnancy can actually damage the DNA of cells and may also trigger a tumour suppressor gene called p53 that is responsible for controlling cell death. This is a situation of worry because mutations in the p53 gene have been found to be one of the triggers for cancer in humans.
- Another study that was conducted in Perth, in Australia showed that women, who had frequent ultrasounds during their pregnancy, gave birth to lower birth weight babies. Also, in intrauterine growth of the foetus of these pregnant women was more restricted.
- A Canadian research was carried out on children within the ages of 2 and 8 for delayed speech. It was seen that children who had been exposed to frequent ultrasounds as foetuses were more susceptible to delay in speech development.
Since there is no conclusive research to prove that the sound waves used during pregnancy are safe for both the pregnant women and her unborn child, it is recommended that ultrasounds be restricted and undertaken only when required. Although the entire matter of the safety of ultrasounds is debatable, it is advisable that all possible precautions are practiced during pregnancy.
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