Possible miscarriage


Q: Fetal heart rate at 17wks is only 118bpm and measuring small. Is there a chance of miscarriage?

Symptoms:  None

A:   Hello,
Thanks for the query to ATD for an opinion,

THE NORMAL HEART RATE in the pregnancy should be well above 140bpm on an average. The slower heart beat as in your case does indicate a possibility of a likely foetal demise in next few weeks but again its not a certainty. A level 2 scan at 19-20 weeks for assessing any congenital or morphological anomaly in the foetus would be more helpful to diagnose if any heart defects have been notable which can be the possible cause of bradycardia and would reason the morbidity associated.

Yes, the survival of the foetus with a heart rate of 118 bpm towards completion of pregnancy is a concern and a strict ultrasound and doppler follow up has to be maintained to regularly check for foetal viability and its growth. Also if no morphological cause if found in level 2 scan, then it would be really difficult to establish the cause in utero as no medication or intervention/ investigation can be offered in utero.

I hope i have answered your query,
Wishing you safe pregnancy,

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