Women's Health: Postpartum Community
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Avatar universal

No yolk sac but fetal heartbeat

I posted this in Women's Issues, but saw someone mention the expertise here, so I'm reposting.  I would appreciate any comments.

Hello all. I have a question -- can you have a fetal heartbeat (even a slow one) without having a fetal yolk sac?

I keep reading about having the yolk sac but not having a fetal heartbeat...but can it be the other way around?

Has anyone heard of this?

My first US had a slow fetal heartbeat -- didn't tell me until I questioned them later that they did not (could not?) find a fetal yolk sac. Seems that is the first to develop (before HB) so if it never did then how can you get a heartbeat.

Any help is appreciated.

Thank you.
13 Responses
Avatar universal
How far along are you?  I had u/s at 5, 6, 7, & 8 weeks and was upset b/c each time we saw different things until the 8 week, when we saw yolk, h/b, etc.  I'd ask to go back in 5-10 days for another. How are your HCG numbers & prog?
Avatar universal
no yolk sac no baby.  the yolk sac is what makes the pregnancy progress w/o the baby can't sustain itself.  it must of been hiding. ultrasounds are tricky..
159354 tn?1286371288
I agree with 5preg2b, it must be hiding ...you are so early.  I wouldn't worry....depending on how far along you are there have been several posts at seeing this and that at this stage....but not this...

I say around 8-9 weeks is the best time to get an u/s ....they usually can see everything at that point.

Avatar universal
M y fiancee and I are having the  samre issue.  When we first found out we were pregnant the doctor figured we were about 4 weeks along alreasdy 6 .  My fiancee had missed 2 periods, and this is what the doctor was e doctor figured based on the information.  But My fiancee also will sometimes miss a period because of stress.

Anywho....she went to the ER today because of cramps, they did a vaginal ultrasound and could not find the yolk sac, but there is a baby that looks about 6 weeks and there is a heartbeat of 150bpm.  so we are thinking that the doctors initial guesimation on when we got pregnant was incorrect, 6 weeks make a little more sense to us, but regardless we are still really worried.  We have another apointment tomorrow at a better hospital with better equiptment, so we are praying for the best, that maybe the baby is just "hiding"  

Thanks for listening, it is nice to know that there are groups out there.
Avatar universal
It is my understanding that the heart forms from the yolk sack, so no yolk sack, no heart beat.  I watched this on "building babies" on the discovery health channel.  Maybe you could order this video... it is amazing seeing the stages of development.

Your little guys heartbeat is VERY strong that early.  I wouldn't worry about a thing.  At 8w2d my baby's heartbeat was 167.7
Avatar universal
I promise you this is possible because it happened to me..I had no yolk sac but my fetus had a heartbeat at 6wk3days of 124bpm. 2 days later it died. So, it is possible because it happened to me but my Dr. said it is very rare..like I have a better chance of being hit by lightening than what happened happening..but I know now any absence of yolk sac is a bad sign even if you do have a heartbeat. Hope this helps.
1074678 tn?1255626679
I am 7 weeks, i went to get an ultrasound, and my sac, and yolk sac were perfectly round. but they cannot see a baby yet. please help me, the dotcors are being negative....is it possilbe to see one at 8 weeks instead?!?!?!
Avatar universal
hi it is true about the fetal heartbeat with no yok sac. i was eight weeks pregnant and i started spotting. i was sent for a ultrasound scan and they siad that there was a fetal heartbeat there but cannot find the yolk sac. i was called back four days later  for a rescan and the baby had died. the midwife said without a yolk sac the baby wouldnt really be able to survive without it. this is my second miscarraige this year now. frightened to try again, but the only hope is that i have a seven year old daughter, so i know i can have children. the midwife said i have to have three miscarraiges on the run to be tested why. hope this helps you. good luck.
Avatar universal
it is true that you can have a fetus with a heartbeat without the yolk sac as it has happened to me. i started bleeding at 9 weeks and i went for a ultra sound scan and there was a fetus there with the heartbeat but no yolk sac.  the midwife said it is rare. they told me that the baby didint really have a chance to survive without the sac. i had a follow up scan a week later and the baby had died. so upsetting. hope this helps. good luck and take care.xxx
Avatar universal
I've had 4 miscarriages and are pregnant with my fourth child.  We are approx 6 weeks along and have a fetal heart beat but no yolk sac.  Unfortunately, this is what happened in all 4 of my miscarriages, I know that it is just a matter of time before I miscarry this pregnancy.  It's awful and doesn't get any easier each time.  The baby cannot sustain itself in the womb without the yolk sac.  I'm sorry you're going through this as well.  
Avatar universal
My wife was told there was no yolk sac but there was a heartbeat and the pregnancy was "abnormal". She was told to come back in two weeks for another ultra sound. This freaked us out. My wife was crying. I looked into the matter and it seemed from my online research that it was not possible to have a heartbeat (a growing fetus) without a yolk sac, because the sac is the only means of nourishment before it attaches itself to the placenta. Cells cannot divide without nourishment. However there really did seem like not a whole lot of info. I found a ton about there being a yolk sac but no heartbeat and that tended to usually be a bad sign. Anyway, those were the longest two weeks to wait. In the end all was fine. It seems the technician didn't see the sac and it must have been hiding or bad equipment or just a bad technician who then really freaked us out and didn't explain anythiing and you're probably going through the same thing but just know that at least in our case (and the others I've seen online) all was fine.
Avatar universal
I just came from my us and I am 8 wks and 3 days strong heartbeat but the nurse couldn't see the yolk!  I am a nervous wreck and don't get another us until Jan 8th!
Avatar universal
Unfortunately if there is no useyolk sac then baby is most likely not going to make it unless you are earlier than you think and just cannot see it yet. I am currently going through a miscarriage because I had no yolk sac. If you do experience that then you are supposed to wait 3 months Trail Cycles to try but it rarely happens more than once.
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