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I've come across mentions of ultrasound gel being essentially the same as lubricating gel, and I'm wondering if they can really be used interchangeably.

I'm assuming this would be true for anything used for transvaginal ultrasonography, but I couldn't confirm whether these gels are the same as ones used externally.

I see terms such as "bacteriostatic", "non-sensitizing" and "non-irritating" on specific products (e.g., http://www.anawiz.com/acatalog/Ultrasound_Gel_250ml.html), and even "not a spermicide" (http://www.parkerlabs.com/aquasonic-100.asp), which seem to argue in favor, but most manufacturers will (understandably) not make any specific statements about that (although, the Aquasonic instructions leaflet does say it's suitable for natural orifices and mucous membranes).

If anybody is knowledgeable and can clarify this, please do!

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It is not recommended to reuse opened gel bottles for internal use due to the risks of infection. Ultrasound gels for internal use should be sterile unopened gel packets. And there was a series of cases who developed infections from one manufacturers gel. 1

You can of course make your own ultrasound gel which from the ingredients looks very safe.

  1. Mix 2 teaspoons of guar gum with 1-2 teaspoons of salt. (The amount of salt isn't vitally important since it is just added to keep the guar gum from clumping. Using slightly less than a teaspoon of salt per 2 cups makes a gel with which is isotonic, which would be ideal for use near eyes or other mucus membranes or on open wounds).

  2. Boil two cups of water.

  3. Slowly sprinkle the guar gum/salt mixture into the boiling water while stirring vigorously with a fork or whisk.

  4. Boil for about 1-2 minutes until thick and well mixed.

  5. Cool before using. Save lives.

http://whyisamericanhealthcaresoexpensive.blogspot.com/2013/02/how-to-make-your-own-ultrasound-gel.html?m=1

  1. https://www.itnonline.com/content/fda-bacteria-found-generic-ultrasound-gel-poses-infection-risk
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