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What does whooshing sound in the fetal HP doppler test indicate?

Mar 2014
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Answered by
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 1390 Questions

I am wondering if there are any large arteries just superior to the pubic bone midline. I'm questioning pregnancy and used a fetal HR Doppler this evening. I'm picking up a strong "wooshing" pulse in the location above, but no baby heart beat. I would be 11 weeks along if pregnant. Does the above description sound like it probably is placental blood flow or is there another artery I can attribute it to? Thanks!
Posted Sat, 30 Aug 2014 in Pregnancy
Answered by Dr. Madhuri N Bagde 30 minutes later
Brief Answer:
These are not due to baby's heart beat

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

Congratulations for your pregnancy.

I understand the query. I must first inform you that immediately below the pubic bone lies the urinary bladder. One artery that traverses that area is the inferior epigastric artery. However most of the major vessels are deep inside.

The fetal heart is too small at 11 weeks and the baby just weighs around 200-300gm. Also it is still inside the pelvis at 11 weeks. The uterus can be just felt above the pubic bone at 12 weeks and we can manually feel the baby parts only after 24-26 weeks [ sometimes a few weeks earlier].

At 11 weeks the fetal heart is very very small and its beating cannot be picked by the fetal HR doppler device. So the sound that you are hearing is either an artefact or pulsations of the epigastric artery or arteries from the bladder.

At this stage the fetal heart can only be seen to be beating using an ultrasound. You may be able to hear it with a doppler after 16-20 weeks or even later in many cases. Around this time the mother is also able to perceive the babies movements.

Hope this helps you.

Wish you a safe and happy pregnancy.
Thanks for using HCM.     
Feel free to ask any more questions that you may have.
Dr Madhuri Bagde     
Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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