Is ultrasound scanning safe?

Yes. Since the introduction of Ultrasound in obstetrics around 30 years ago, despite numerous research papers, ultrasound has not been proven to cause any harm to either the mother or baby. A 3D/4D scan is as safe as a conventional 2D scan which is used during your antenatal NHS care. Ultrasound scans, unlike X-rays or CT scans, do not use any form of radiation.

The only theoretical risk is that of raised temperature. Sound waves can cause a rise in temperature of the tissues they pass through. This rise in temperature is dependent on acoustic power and scan duration. All modern scanners display what is known as a Thermal Index (TI). This index tells the Sonographer about any change in tissue temperature and is displayed continuously on the screen so that the Sonographer scans within the accepted safe Thermal Index range as published by the British Medical Ultrasound Society (BMUS) At all times we adhere to the ALARA principle (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) i.e. we use the minimum scan time and system settings to achieve the best quality images.

Bump to Baby strictly adheres to UK Health & Safety legislation as well as BMUS guidelines, policies, protocols and recommendations. All Sonographers are fully trained, qualified and registered with their professional governing bodies (HCPC or NMC). They are also all still employed within the NHS. We are confident that we offer a safe and professional service to our customers. If you would like more information, please read our section on ultrasound safety.