5 Reasons Your Ultrasound Is Not Good Enough

A Bad Ultrasound Can Produce Inaccurate Information

Pregnant Woman Getting Ultrasound
The Image Bank/Getty Images

There are plenty of reasons why the ultrasound you got might not have been good enough. It could be as simple as the machine used was old.

Ultrasound and Pregnancy

The use of ultrasound in pregnancy is fairly commonplace. It was originally designed to help with complicated or high-risk pregnancy. Now, health care professionals use it for a variety of purposes. 

When your midwife or doctor orders an ultrasound, they are trying to gather certain information about your baby.

While a good ultrasound can provide accurate information, there are many factors that can produce misleading results on this important medical test. 

Since the best patient is an informed patient, learn what can go wrong with your ultrasound before your appointment.

Your Timing Is Off 

An ultrasound can provide important information about your pregnancy. The problem is that if you have this procedure too soon, or in some cases, too late, you won't be able to find these issues.

Take for example trying to find the fetal heartbeat early in pregnancy. The difference a day or two can make is astounding! Check on Monday and there is no heartbeat, check on Friday and the heart rate is fine. You simply looked too early.

The Machine Is Old

The age of the ultrasound machine matters and you have the right to ask how old it is. If the machine your health care practitioner uses is an older model, it may not provide the image quality of some of the newer machines.

This is not advocating that your practitioner gets a new ultrasound machine every few years, but simply saying that after awhile the machines do wear out and newer technologies do become available.

The Ultrasound Tech Does Something Wrong

Typically an ultrasound technician will perform this test and some are better than others.

Sometimes the tech is new to the field and doesn't have a lot of  experience in doing ultrasound or more specifically pregnancy ultrasounds.

The quality of the ultrasound you receive can also have to do with the qualifications of the ultrasound tech. Always ask if the tech doing your testing is certified and ask to see their credential if it makes you more comfortable.

Shopping Mall Ultrasounds

It's also wise to avoid the ultrasounds for "fun and profit" places popping up in shopping malls. The qualifications and training for those employees might not be the same as a technician at a medical facility. Additionally, the technicians might not be working under a physician's guidance.

While women might cite fetal bonding or wanting to have pictures of the baby before birth as a reason to get a "shopping mall ultrasound," the potential problems could outweigh this medically dubious benefit.

You Are Overweight

If you are overweight, it may make getting a clear image difficult, if not impossible. The technology can only do so much and added layers of fat make for a less clear ultrasound picture. 

Your Baby Is "Shy"

Sometimes what you are looking for is difficult to see because your baby is being "shy" and is hidden from view.

The baby may need to change positions to allow the ultrasound tech to see what they are looking for during the exam.

Read more: Ultrasound is Wrong?

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