The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada is calling for an end to ‘vanity ultrasounds.’ The medical community is showing concern over unregulated procedures and gender selective abortions.
3D ultrasounds offer a detailed look at the fetus’ features and movements. Many private clinics now offer the service, along with a range of souvenirs including online streaming of the images and take-home DVDs.
Proponents of the procedure argue that it promotes pre-natal bonding, awareness and is a great tool for involving fathers in the process as well.
However, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada highlighted their concerns in a statement:
“Fetal energy exposure may not be appropriately monitored, and operators of the equipment may not be adequately trained to recognize fetal and placental abnormalities that may adversely affect fetal and maternal outcomes.”
Unfortunately, the government says not much can be done to regulate the industry.
Dr. Dorothy Shaw at BC Women’s Hospital said patients need to remember that an ultrasound is a medical technology. She said:
“It’s really important that they feel confident that it’s being provided to them with the lowest possible risks.”
The society also wants a ban on commercial ultrasounds because, for a fee, some clinics offer gender identification – which doctors fear could lead to selective abortions.