Why Does an Ultrasound Show No Baby But You Feel Pregnant?

You may decide to take a pregnancy test when you feel the signs of pregnancy. After knowing you’re pregnant, you may then visit an obstetrician to make sure, right? When you do an ultrasound test, it does not show that you’re pregnant, but signs of pregnancy really appear on your body. Why does it happen?

In fact, there are so many moms who experience this—finding their pregnancy isn’t visible on an ultrasound scan. For cases like this, an obstetrician will do a series of blood tests to find out how your pregnancy is developing. For further monitoring, tests to check pregnancy hormone levels will usually be done.

ultrasound scan illustration

If you experience the same case and want to know why an ultrasound does not show a baby but you feel pregnant, you can dive into our post to find out the information. Let’s check it out!

What Should You Do If an Ultrasound Test Shows No Baby?

If an ultrasound does not reveal pregnancy, an obstetrician will usually request another one after a certain amount of time has passed. This method aims to find out whether the pregnancy is developing in the uterus or if mom has had a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. Of course, further monitoring may take a few weeks, so you should be patient.

It is known that the use of ultrasound is quite common in pregnancy. This tool was initially designed to help monitor the status of complicated or high-risk pregnancies. Robin Elise Weiss states that ultrasound is considered a standard aspect of prenatal care.

He also revealed that although an ultrasound can definitely provide important information to obstetricians about the development of a pregnancy, there are times when an ultrasound can show inaccurate results.

The Reasons Why Ultrasound Shows No Pregnancy

A pregnancy that is not visible on an ultrasound scan is called an “unknown location of pregnancy.” The following are the most common reasons why an ultrasound scan does not reveal pregnancy:

  • It is too early to perform an ultrasound scan to confirm the pregnancy.
  • There is an ectopic pregnancy,
  • A mom has experienced a miscarriage.

In addition, there are some other things that may cause an ultrasound scan to not show a pregnancy. Here they are:

1. Incorrect pregnancy date

When using an ultrasound, an obstetrician will usually use certain features on the ultrasound machine to determine if everything works as it should. Through these features, the obstetrician will find out whether or not there may be a sign of a problem.

If a mom says that she is seven weeks pregnant but there is no fetal heartbeat on an ultrasound scan, it may be caused by an incorrect pregnancy date that does not match. If this happens, the obstetrician will require you to have another ultrasound scan in the next few days as a re-examination. Don’t be worried! Your pregnancy would be fine in the end, and it only takes a simple date recalibration.

2. Due to a technical problem

In recent times, ultrasound technology has been simplified, but it still requires skills to gain accurate results. The study on the use of ultrasound in emergencies shows that misdiagnosis occurs in anywhere from 8 to 10% of cases. However, there have been no actual studies of this effect in obstetrics.

Similar results are seen with other methods, such as chest x-rays (with a failure rate of more than 20 percent) and mammography (with a failure rate as high as 75 percent).

3. Obesity

Obesity is the final reason why ultrasound does not reveal pregnancy. In fact, being overweight can make it hard to detect pregnancy and increase the risk of fetal birth defects and pregnancy complications such as postpartum hemorrhage and preeclampsia.

A study indicates that obesity reduces the likelihood of an accurate reading by nearly 50% when compared to women of normal weight. To overcome this problem, an obstetrician may often do a transvaginal ultrasound at 12 to 15 weeks of gestation. This time is known as the period when the risk of fetal defects can be more easily seen.

These are the reasons why an ultrasound does not reveal pregnancy. If you experience this, you should notice every reason why it happens.

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