Healthy women having too many ultrasounds, says expert
From The West.com.au:
Ultrasounds are overused in healthy pregnant women but not used enough in those who are at real risk of losing their baby, a leading Australian obstetrician has warned.
Associate Professor Janet Vaughan, from the University of Sydney, said multiple scans were increasingly being sought by healthy pregnant women while others who had genuine medical reasons for an early scan were missing out.
She said it was important to offer ultrasounds to women at higher risk of losing their baby, such as those who had had an ectopic pregnancy previously or were suffering unexplained bleeding or abdominal pain. Giving at-risk women an early ultrasound meant that in about 75 per cent of cases doctors could detect any problems.
Professor Vaughan said there was a strong argument that under normal circumstances pregnant women should only have one ultrasound, ideally at 12 to 13 weeks. At-risk patients should be scanned at five weeks, when the foetal sac was visible.
She said for most healthy women the scan’s only real value was checking the stage of the foetus.