So, to answer your confusion, can a fetal heartbeat disappear and reappear? The fetal heartbeat can reappear only if it has disappeared, not stopped completely. There is actually a very subtle difference between the “disappearing of the fetal heartbeat” and the “stopping of the fetal heartbeat,” which we will discuss in this article.

What Causes The Fetal Heartbeat To Stop? - 10 Major Reasons

Stopping of the fetal heartbeat means that the fetus’ heart might actually have stopped beating, and the fetus may not survive long enough if the root cause is not removed soon. Surely, you should contact your medical health provider in this scenario immediately, but some of its major causes are given in the table below.



Chromosomal Abnormalities

Chromosomal abnormalities can cause poor development of the heart and other organs, which may cause the loss of function of the heart.

Embolism Of Amniotic Fluid

It is a rare but very life-threatening condition that can cause obstruction of blood vessels by blocking them, or it can start an anaphylactic reaction in the mother, eventually decreasing the blood and oxygen supply to the baby.

Congenital Heart Defects

Congenital heart defects are structural abnormalities present in the baby, varying in location and size. They affect the heart's ability to pump blood.

Ruptured Membranes

It is also termed as the breaking of water of the mother. It has very harmful effects on fetal health and may lead to many severe complications in the fetus’ body leading to death.

Fetal Death

It is also possible that the fetus may already have been dead due to some unknown reasons or any pathologies.

Maternal Health Problems

A lot of maternal health problems, such as hypertension, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, etc., can impact the baby’s health.


Certain infections like HIV and rubella can directly affect the baby's heart or any major functional organ.

Blood Clots

The presence of any blood clot in the mother’s artery that supplies blood to the fetus causes a sudden disruption of the supply of blood to the fetus.

Issue With The Umbilical Cord

The umbilical cord plays a very vital role in the supply of food and blood to the fetus. Any kind of disruption or defect in the umbilical cord can cause the stasis of blood and nutrients in the fetus.

Low Progesterone

As progesterone is one of the major and most important hormones during pregnancy, low progesterone levels can cause fetal death by affecting its oxygen or nutrient supply.

6 Main Reasons Why The Fetal Heartbeat Disappears

The disappearance of your baby’s heartbeat means that it might have been due to a temporary disruption or maybe a faulty checkup. Some of the major causes of the disappearance of the fetus’ heartbeat are given as follows.



Less Sensitive Ultrasound Machine

It is possible that the ultrasonic machine that was used could not have been able to detect your fetus’ heartbeat. So it is always recommended to have a second checkup.

Mother Is Obese

If you have a lot of fat on yourself, then it may be due to excessive fat that the machine could not detect your baby’s heartbeat. 

You Have A Tilted Uterus

During pregnancy, your fetus’ heartbeat can also stop hearing if you have a tilted uterus. 

Anterior Placenta Came In Front

It is one of the most common reasons for the disappearance of the baby’s heartbeat, and it is not something to worry about at all.

Baby Is Not In The Ideal Position

Your baby keeps moving around, and maybe he is not in the ideal position for hearing his heartbeats.

Your Gestational Age Has Not Yet Came 

The other reason might also be that you have not even reached enough weeks to hear your baby’s heartbeat, and what you have heard before was just your abdominal aorta.

How To Detect The Reappearance Of A Fetal Heartbeat?

The eagerness to listen to your little one’s heartbeat again really becomes a dream, especially when you have already lost it. You can keep track of some of the body changes that usually precede the reappearance of your fetus’ heartbeat. These include:

Monitoring Your Body Temperature

Keep track of your body’s temperature. Before the reappearance of your fetus’ heartbeat, your body temperature rises, even though it would have been past the time for rising in temperatures.

Looking For Fetal Heartbeat

Even if you don't find any visible moments or symptoms from outside the abdomen, if you feel the reappearance of your fetus's heartbeat, then it is a positive sign and means that your baby is still alive inside.

Observing Any Irregular Heartbeat

Even if your fetus’ heartbeat has slowed or faded away, there might be hope, but look out for the reappearance of an irregular heartbeat, as this may be a sign of an alarming situation.

Why Does The Heartbeat Disappear And Reappear?

There might be a lot of reasons causing this, but if the beating reappears, it means that it was just due to some physiological reasons, not pathological ones. These include:

  • Your uterus is tilted.
  • Your anterior placenta is blocking the sound.
  • Your baby stops and starts in his/her growth.
  • Error in the handling of the ultrasound device.
  • You have not reached enough weeks to hear the heartbeat properly.

When Can You Hear A Fetal Heartbeat?

The heart of your fetus starts beating at about 6 weeks of pregnancy, but until then, you can only hear it with a professional medical device like a fetal doppler on an ultrasound machine. You can also check your baby’s heartbeat with a stethoscope at home after 18 to 20 weeks of pregnancy.

When Can You Hear A Fetal Heartbeat

What To Do When Fetal Heart Rate Suddenly Stops?

A sudden disappearance of your fetus’ heartbeat can or cannot be a sign of bad news, so you always need to be sure of anything that happens.

Getting A Transvaginal Ultrasound

When you feel the heartbeat disappearing and cannot find it even on an ultrasound scanner, you should always go for a transvaginal ultrasound before making any final judgment. In this, a small tube is entered into your vagina, and an ultrasound is performed through it.

Get A Second Opinion

It is always wise to get a second opinion from another doctor. You should also not be totally dependent on only one ultrasound report. It is advisable that you get yourself checked from some other machinery by some other doctor before making a final verdict.

Medical Management

If you have lost all hope and there is no going back, then you should pull yourself up and make arrangements for what is necessary to be done next, i.e., abortion.

You may learn more about No Fetal Pole At 6 Weeks.


Can Fetal Heartbeat Disappear And Reappear At 20 Weeks?

In normal circumstances, the heartbeat of the fetus should not disappear at the time of 20 weeks of pregnancy. However, it can still disappear in some cases, such as structural abnormalities, congenital heart defects, reduced oxygen supply to the fetus, etc.

What To Do If You Notice Your Baby’s Heartbeat Disappearing?

The first thing you can do here is to stay calm and strong and try different positions, especially if you are using a Doppler or stethoscope. If you still can't get a heartbeat, then contact your healthcare provider immediately.

What Is The Difference Between A Miscarriage And A Missed Miscarriage?


Missed Miscarriage

It usually has symptoms like vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, etc.

As indicated by its name, it usually goes unnoticed and is identified during routine checkups.

Can Being Overweight Be A Cause Of Not Hearing A Heartbeat?

Yes, excessive weight on your body can affect the device’s capability to hear your baby’s heartbeat. So losing some pounds before pregnancy can help you a lot. But this mainly affects the capabilities of smaller devices like stethoscopes; ultrasounds are usually not affected by it.

Can Your Baby Have No Heartbeat And Not Miscarry?

Unfortunately, no. If your baby does not have a heartbeat, it is useless to keep yourself in further disbelief. An absence of your fetus’ heartbeat means that the baby has already died, and you should now contact your healthcare provider for the removal of tissues.

Can A Fetus Stop Growing And Then Start Again?

Usually, if it does not stop growing, and start again, but in some cases, it may look like this phenomenon is occurring. The factors affecting these include measurement errors, growth spurts, and small fluctuations in growth.

What Is A False Miscarriage?

A false miscarriage is a situation where your healthcare provider believes that you have experienced a miscarriage, but this is not actually the case. It depends on many factors, including misinterpretation of the ultrasound and limited follow-up on miscarriage.

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