3D Ultrasound: Myths Debunked

3D ultrasounds, ultrasounds

3D Ultrasound was developed in 1987 at Duke University. It was discovered by Olaf Von Ramm and Stephen Smith. It is primarily used to look at the development of the fetus in pregnant women and detect birth defects and other problems. Parents learn the sex of their child and about serious medical conditions or birth defects. It is also used for screening for breast cancer and other illnesses.

Myth 1: Ultrasound uses harmful Radiation

The use high frequency sound waves that heat up the body tissue. It causes no harm to the mother or child. X-Rays use radiation that is the mistake that many people make about the test. These sound waves bounce around to form a picture of the fetus and uterus. 

Myth 2: 3D Ultrasound Use Stronger Sound waves Than 2D Ultrasounds

Actually the sound waves used in 3D are the same frequency as 2D. The procedure creates several 2D pictures that the computer assembles into 3D images. That is the only difference between the two. A 3D ultrasound is similar to a 2D one.

Myth 3: Ultrasounds Do Not Use Sound Waves

How does 3D ultrasound work? Ultrasounds are created by sound waves that the human ear cannot hear. They travel through the skin and focus on the part of the body the doctor wants to see. They use a scanning device called a transducer. It takes about 30 minutes and sometimes is done using a wand that is inserted into your vagina. However, it's not a painful procedure so don't be worried!

Myth 4: 3D Ultrasounds Shows the Sex of the Baby More Accurately

It uses the same technology so the results are the same. Most often you get an accurate reading unless the position of the baby makes it hard to determine the sex. This does happen to about 3% of patients. After about 20 weeks the accuracy is about 97% to tell the sex of the baby. Again the accuracy has to do with the position of the baby.

Myth 5: Ultrasounds Are Dangerous For the Baby

Ultrasounds have been around for over 30 years and no evidence that supports they are harmful. Studies continue to be conducted on the safety of the procedure. If you are concerned you can limit the number of ultrasounds they conduct. However, they are a common procedure conducted for pregnancy.

Myth 6: Your Bladder Must Be Full for the Test

Actually for this test it is better if your bladder is empty. The 3D ultrasound works better on an empty bladder so you can go to the bathroom before the test. However, traditional ultrasounds require that your bladder be full.

3D ultrasounds are primarily used to detect birth defects, development, and the sex of the fetus. It is similar to the 2D ultrasound and works by using sound waves to capture images inside the body. Overall the many myths around 3D ultrasounds are not true. 

By Joan Russell