Diagnostic ultrasound has been used during pregnancy for many years and is generally considered safe when used appropriately. The lowest amount of ultrasound energy that provides an accurate assessment should be used. Obstetric providers and ultrasonographers are trained in appropriate use of ultrasound energy.

Ultrasound should be requested only by a doctor or licensed health care provider for medical reasons. The use of fetal ultrasound solely to create keepsake photos or videos isn't recommended.

Fetal ultrasound also has limitations. Fetal ultrasound might not detect all birth defects — or might incorrectly suggest a birth defect is present when it's not.

Sept. 19, 2015