Doctors and all other persons are forbidden to use ultrasound on unborn children if there is no medical necessity, starting 2021. This makes baby television – as a private or Ige* benefit – to an offence against health-regulation during pregnancy, same as do CTG measurements and dopton applications.
The Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety follows the recommendation of the Radiation Protection Commission (SSK) and places consumer protection above the economic interests of ultrasound users.
The three so-called "basic ultrasound examinations" continue to be offered as legal part of medical pregnancy monitoring. The parents decide whether they want to have their child examined with ultrasound or not.*
(*IGeL stands for “Individuelle Gesundheitsleistung”, means services which are not covered by the health insurance but need to be paid privately).
Foto: Werbung im Netz
Gynaecological practices offer vaginal ultrasound to pregnant women. In general, ultrasound examinations are not part of pregnancy prevention. These are prenatal diagnostics or services you have to pay yourself if there is no medical necessity.
Before each examination, women are entitled (they have the right) to choose whether or not to have the examination carried out. Attentiveness to oneself is particularly appropriate to accept vaginal ultrasound. The assumption or misinformation is widespread, that these examinations are standard and must therefore be done.
Gynaecological examinations generally cause ambivalent feelings or aversion to many women. These sensations can be intensified by the thought of vaginal ultrasound.
Equally important is an increased attentiveness towards the unborn child: With vaginal ultrasound, the intensity of the ultrasound waves is higher for the child than with an examination through the abdominal wall.
The ultrasound device for vaginal examination is an elongated rod equipped with a transducer at the front. This is inserted into the vagina up to the cervix uterus in order to be able to sound the woman's pelvis in all directions. Purpose of the examination: Making the child visible in early pregnancy, searching for abnormalities, clarifying palpation findings.
a) Vaginal ultrasound is an invasive method that can trigger traumas to women who have experienced sexual violence.
Awareness about such triggers is sometimes not present to many Doctors. For them, this is a routine examination.
b) Naturally, new human life develops well protected and hidden within the mother. The penetration into the baby's space by ultrasound through the abdominal wall or vagina is considered "standard medical surveillance". Indications that ultrasound may interfere with or even jeopardize the development of the child are countered that there is a lack of evidence.
However, the evaluation of scientific studies by Professor O. Linderkamp urges the greatest caution after findings in animal experiments and in cell biology, especially in early pregnancy.
In 2012, Bello and Ekele pointed out that it took 65 years to prove the dangers of X-rays.
No woman should be forced or persuaded to undergo an examination without utmost caution and clarification about the potential side effects. Women's and parents' rights prevail over the professional rights of doctors and midwives.
You can find argumentation hints, e.g. also questions you can ask, under the keyword BRAIN in our birth ABC.
In a study by AIMS United Kingdom in 1994, the dangers of ultrasound and especially vaginal ultrasound were pointed out.