Fetal Tachycardia

Definition - What does Fetal Tachycardia mean?

Fetal tachycardia is an abnormal increase in the heart rate of the growing fetus and is diagnosed as a heart rate exceeding 170-180 beats per minute. This increase can be from illness of the mother or abnormalities with the fetus itself. Treatment for fetal tachycardia depends on the cause and most conditions can be successfully controlled.

FertilitySmarts explains Fetal Tachycardia

The fetal heart rate is an important component of prenatal visits. During each visit ,a Doppler is used to detect the heart rate, not only to make sure the fetus is alive but to also make sure the heart rate is between at a normal pace. An average heart rate is dependent on the age of gestation, with normal heart rate ranges between 120-170 beats per minute. A rate beyond this signals abnormality with the mother or the fetus itself.

Issues impacting fetal tachycardia from the maternal side include:

  • Infection
  • Blood loss
  • Diseases such as thyroid dysfunction or Diabetes
  • Medication or Drug use
  • Labor
  • Dehydration
  • Caffeine
  • Anemia
  • A decrease in oxygen supply
  • Chromosomal abnormalities
  • Heart Defects and arrhythmias
  • Infection
  • Detachment of the placenta from the wall of the uterus

On the fetal side, anything that can cause fetal distress can abnormally elevate the heart rate. These include:

  • Anemia
  • A decrease in oxygen supply
  • Chromosomal abnormalities
  • Heart Defects and arrhythmias
  • Infection
  • Detachment of the placenta from the wall of the uterus

Treatment for fetal tachycardia is always dependent on the cause; at times lifestyle changes of the mother or improving the health of the mother can resolve the issue. In other situations, treatment may require medical intervention such as drugs like Digoxin or Amiodarone.

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