Q&A: No Heartbeat in Early Pregnancy?

Should I definitely see my baby's heartbeat on the ultrasound by eight weeks? Should I be concerned if I don't? And when is the latest I should expect to see it?
ByAshley Roman, MD
January 30, 2017
Hero Image

There are several reasons why you might not see the fetus’s heartbeat at eight weeks. First, you may not really be eight weeks pregnant. You may have menstrual cycles longer than 28 days, or you may have ovulated late that cycle.

The second reason has to do with the type of ultrasound probe your doctor is using.Transabdominal probes (over the belly as opposed to in the vagina) are not as sensitive in detecting pregnancy and early heartbeat.

A heartbeat definitely should be seen if an embryo (or “fetal pole”) is seen, usually as early as six weeks of pregnancy by transvaginal ultrasound.

Related Video

Q&A: Why CVS/amnio?

profile picture of Paula Kashtan
Paula Kashtan
pregnant woman looking at sonogram

There May Be a New Noninvasive Way to Diagnose Fetal Genetic Disorders

profile picture of Ashley Edwards Walker
Ashley Edwards Walker
Contributing Writer

Should I Get Genetic Testing?

profile picture of Jennifer L.W. Fink
Jennifer L.W. Fink
Registered Nurse
pregnant woman holding sonogram

Prenatal Breakthrough: Introducing a Blood Test for Preeclampsia

profile picture of Anisa Arsenault
Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Article removed.