20 Week Scan Couldn’t Measure Heart – Is It Common?

Are you worried about why a 20 week scan couldn’t measure heart? We feel you.

There are several cases where parents-to-be lose their child at 20 weeks of pregnancy. That’s why the question hits them the most.

Here we share everything about the topic so you can gain all-rounded and precise information.

Without further ado, let’s get the ball rolling.

A 20 Week Scan Couldn’t Measure Heart: Is It Normal?

20 week scan couldn't measure heart

Yes, it’s normal.

In fact, not only you but numerous people are in the same boat. And this question is common in both the search engine and on all the mom networks and forums around the world.

You can find mommies post a question or share their experience, so 20 wk scans that couldn’t measure the heart rate are super common.

Still, some of them go with good results, and some of them do not. That is why figuring out the exact culprit behind it is the most important thing.

Why Can’t I See My Heart On 20-Week Scan?

Is it normal to not get all measurements at 20-week scan

Because Your Baby Is A Mischievous Child

The most popular reason is your baby lying in an inconvenient position so the doctor or technician can not check the heart. Is it normal to not get all measurements at 20-week scan in this case? Yes!

In the first trimester, not all measurements are detected, not only the heart but also the face, kidneys, and other parts.

You will be asked to come to the next appointment for a complete check to see whether that scan is differ from previous ones. So, don’t worry. You will get a better result down the line.

Unless your doctor tells you to do further tests or asks you for any confirmation, don’t stress out. Similarly, some mommies even joke that the babies are mischievous and do not want to cooperate.

They know there is a “sneak peek” from outside, so they stop everything. At this point, trust the doctor’s words and feel free to relax.

But, in case you’re truly worried and can’t stop thinking, call your doctor for reassurance, yet it doesn’t seem like anything is wrong.

However, the rate of miscarriage in the pregnancy’s first half is high because of heart defects.

So, let’s continue reading to get more knowledge on this matter so that you have full information regarding ultrasound scans at 20 weeks.

Because Of A Heart Defect

There is a small possibility of finding out congenital heart defects in a 20-week sonogram (the anatomy scan).

Once something is amiss, the doctor will ask the mother to do another scan and test.

Don’t worry sick when there is no other word from your doctor. Only when there is anything of concern will they tell you.

How Common Are Heart Defects In 20-Week Scan?

Can You See Heart Defects On 20-Week Ultrasound? 

Yes, you can see some, such as ASD (atrial septal defect) or similar, heart structural anomalies, heart valve disease & other malformations, but not all heart defects are detected on ultrasound at 20 weeks.

The doctor will have to do a thorough fetal ultrasound check-up and other tests if needed. Only one ultrasound can’t be enough.

How Common?

The rate is about 1% of fetuses getting heart defects in the world.

The percentage that doctors can find heart problems (like congenital heart disease) during the ultrasound examination at 20 weeks varies from 50% to above 90%, depending on the sonographer’s skills, the severity or type of heart defect, and equipment quality.

But not all of the results are 100% correct. The doctor will need to perform another test, not just an ultrasound, to confirm the situation.

So, mothers need to follow the advice to schedule an ultrasound to know their baby’s situation as soon as possible.

How Do Parents Know Their 20-Week-Old Baby Is Healthy?

  • The doctor tells you everything goes well. Your baby is at a good growth rate.
  • The measures are at the ideal number: Length (head-toe): 16 cm, weight: 320 g.
  • They are super good in the vernix caseosa – the substance protects your little one’s skin.
  • The heartbeat reaches 120 – 160 per mins.
  • Muscles develop well. Your little monster is active and moves a lot.
  • The fingerprints of your baby are formed.
  • Permanent teeth inside the gums.
  • Your dearest can hear the voice or heartbeat of the mother, although the ear of the baby has not completely developed.

When Should Parents Worry?

When Should Parents Worry

It is worth noting that the scan can’t detect everything, but it can give the doctor some rough ideas. But only when further tests are done do they have the full data to conclude.

If your health provider finds something, such as congenital heart disease or spinal cord problem – which is less likely in the first trimester, they will ask the mother to do another test to know what’s wrong or understand the situation before they conclude.

Then, they will share with you what you should do so that you have a full picture of your situation before you make the decision.

Unless the result is evident, do nothing but rest your mind.

Like a 3D ultrasound wide nose, in fact, there is nothing wrong with it. But a bit of negative info makes the mother fret.

A positive pregnant woman will give your child a positive vibe. Let’s spend a little time doing light exercise or yoga, going to the chiropractor for a foot pain relief, etc., to lift your mood.

That will be much more relieving to wait for the next appointment.


Without A Heartbeat, Can Pregnancy Continue?

Yes and no, depending on how many weeks you are pregnant.

If there is no heartbeat, the doctor will examine other symptoms of miscarriage (bleeding, cramps, pain, etc.) and do other tests if they see it is necessary.

Otherwise, they will ask you to come back for another sonogram examination, so it is more likely that the baby’s heart will be measured on the next visit.

What Signs Showing A Baby Is Dying During The Pregnancy?

No moving or kicking.

Besides, the mother also has miscarriage signs like cramps, bleeding, or pain. Some terrible shocks may cause miscarriages too.

Therefore, during the pregnancy period, pay attention to your emotions. It is part and parcel to your child’s development.

Final Thoughts

In short, the 20 week scan couldn’t measure heart problems, it is not an immediate conclusion that the heart has a problem.

The 20wk scan is important to find out whether there are heart defects or other abnormalities.

But it is not enough to make a final decision. Take the doctor’s word, and feel free to ask for any confirmation from them.

Most of the time, it is because of excess fluid or the baby’s wrong position, so the equipment can not measure the heartbeat.

Otherwise, the doctor will tell you to do another test and explain the situation.

Leave a Comment