Most medical experts agree that 4D ultrasounds are safe for use during pregnancy. These ultrasounds allow parents and medical staff members to capture images of a developing baby in 3D and witness movements at the same time, which is why it's called 4D. Parents and medical personnel can view the baby and its movements in real time on a computer monitor. Some people have expressed concern over the fact that the sound waves used in a 4D ultrasound can raise tissue temperatures. Many medical experts assert, however, that the potential temperature change is not significant enough to cause harm.
Much of the concern some people have about 4D ultrasound safety may stem from the fact that they view it as new technology. The fact is, however, that 4D ultrasounds employ the technology used in ordinary 2D ultrasounds that have been around for years. Pregnant women often have such ultrasounds on a routine basis, without harm to their unborn children. A 4D ultrasound works the same way 2D ultrasounds do. The difference is that the 4D ultrasounds utilize more technologically advanced scanners that make it possible to see more of a woman’s uterus and her developing baby.
A person may worry more about the safety of a 4D ultrasound if she equates it with x-rays and similar diagnostic tests. Unlike x-rays, however, 4D ultrasounds do not involve the use of radiation. This means there is no risk of radiation-related cancer or tissue damage from 4D ultrasound.
Some people cite the rise in temperature that sound waves can cause as they pass through tissues as a reason to be concerned about the use of 4D ultrasound. Most medical experts, however, assert that the risk is too small to warrant worry or avoidance of ultrasounds. Additionally, ultrasound technicians typically monitor temperature changes during ultrasounds, so any worrisome changes can be detected and the ultrasound can then be terminated.
If an ultrasound procedure caused a dramatic rise in the temperature of fetal tissues, it is possible that this could harm a developing baby. It is extremely unlikely, however, that temperatures could ever rise this high during a regular 4D ultrasound. As such, most medical experts view it as safe. If a woman has concerns about its safety, however, she may find her doctor a good source of information about the procedure. Additionally, many in the medical field recommend limiting ultrasounds to those that are necessary rather than using them as elective procedures.