Is the Risk of Pregnancy Loss Less After Seeing Heartbeat?

Jane Foley's picture

QUESTION

Dear Ms Ultrasound,
I am almost 43 and am 5 weeks 1 day pregnant with my first pregnancy. HCG at 4 weeks, 3 days was 245. Two days later it was 435. So far, my only symptom is mild breast tenderness. I am scheduled for an ultrasound at 6 weeks, 2 days. I am doing the typical "What if..." questions. (I've read your other answers and will try to stop worrying and just enjoy this.)

My question is, what is the risk of miscarriage if we see a fetal heartbeat at the 6 week, 2 day ultrasound? For future reference and other readers, can you give success rates for seeing fetal heartbeats at various points in the pregnancy?

ANSWER

Hello, I don't have hard numbers or statistics for you on percentages of pregnancies that make it after a heart beat is found. What I can say though, is once you see a fetal pole with a heart beat, a positive outcome is much more favorable. Your next goal with be to get to the 8th week, with all going well. Now you've really increased the odds significantly of going to term. The final hurdle is that 12 week mark. It is not very common to miscarry once you enter into that second trimester.

Most miscarriages I see are at the 5-6 week period. A woman will come in with an empty gestational sac. These pregnancies have stopped growing.

I'm so glad you have read some of my previous answers, and have taken my advice to stay positive and enjoy that little life you have created. Good luck with this pregnancy. I have woven a prayer through these words for you and your baby.

-- Jane, RDMS