First Trimester

Is Getting An Early Ultrasound Okay?

It seems OBs want moms-to-be to get their first ultrasound as early as eight weeks, but I have read about the sound waves possibly disrupting the baby's growth process at that early stage. Is this true?

An ultrasound during the first trimester appears to be not only safe but, in many cases, essential to confirming a normal pregnancy. Furthermore, the most accurate screening test available for Down syndrome involves a first trimester ultrasound.

But, an ultrasound does involve energy that can theoretically lead to temperature increases when the fetus is exposed to it for a long time. Certain types of ultrasound tests expose the fetus to more energy (and potential temperature increases) than others. The bottom line is that an ultrasound can be an important diagnostic tool and during all trimesters should be performed by an experienced technician or physician.

By Dr. Ashley Roman