Finally, tested positive for pregnancy? Congratulations! After, getting tested positive for pregnancy at home by using multiple pregnancy kits, the next step is to make an appointment with a doctor and go for a blood test. After, getting positive results in the blood test. The next step for the confirmation is through ultrasound.

While going for ultrasound your obstetrician must have talked about gestational sac. The gestational sac is the first sign of pregnancy.

What exactly is the gestational sac? Is it okay not to have a gestational sac after 5 weeks of pregnancy? There is no gestational sac even after tested positive for pregnancy. What does it mean when there is no gestational sac? Have a gestational sac but no signs of the baby. These are some of the major queries of women who are expecting a baby or trying to get pregnant. This article will lead you to all the things you need to know about the gestational sac during pregnancy.

What Exactly is the Gestational Sac?

The gestational sac is a large cavity of an amniotic fluid surrounding embryo in the upper part of the uterus. Thus, it is one of the earliest signs for detecting the pregnancy.

The gestational sac is like a cover for the embryo. It is formed about five to seven weeks after the natural menstruation cycle. It appears like a white-coloured rim surrounding a centre. The shape of the gestational sac is the sign of any abnormalities or complications in your pregnancy. The round shape of the gestation sac is ideal, any unusual shape helps the doctor to predict further complications.

Yes, the gestational sac is one of the earliest signs for the positive pregnancy but there is another sac known as yolk sac which is inside the gestational sac which gives a clear indication of positive and normal pregnancy. However, sometimes even the yolk sac is not found and only the gestational sac is visible. Both gestational sac and yolk sac are clearly visible through transvaginal ultrasound. However, there can be various reasons for no gestational sac, or maybe the gestational sac not be visible.

What Does It Mean When There Is No Gestational Sac?

The gestational sac does not determine much about normal pregnancy. It is just a sign of pregnancy but does not assure a healthy pregnancy.

However, there can be a few possible reasons for no gestational sac. They are:

1. Your timing is off

As mentioned earlier, the gestational sac is visible in about five to seven weeks after the natural menstruation cycle. So it is possible that even at the fifth or sixth-week gestational sac may not be visible. 

No Gestational Sac
 Reasons for no gestational sac

Don’t panic in such a case, you are just getting the detection done too early. Wait for it. The presence of the gestational sac is also determined by hCG levels. If your hCG levels are less than 1500 than you need to wait and take another ultrasound.

2. Ectopic Pregnancy

If your hCG levels are above 1500 and it is been more than seven weeks since you tested positive for pregnancy and than also if there is no sign of gestational sac than it can be the case of Ectopic pregnancy. 
In such a situation, you should seek immediate medical help. This condition needs immediate diagnosis and treatment. Ectopic pregnancy looks normal initially but it is painful to the mother and had to be terminated. Globally 2% of the women experience such type of pregnancy. 
In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg gets implanted outside the uterus. This can be fatal for the mother. Thus, in such cases please always seek medical help. Remember, early detection of ectopic pregnancy can avoid surgeries and further complications.

3. Miscarriage

No gestational sac can also be the sign of early miscarriage. Dropping hCG levels, early pregnancy bleeding can be the sure signs of early miscarriage. Early miscarriage is also known as a chemical pregnancy. 
Most early miscarriages do not cause any physical harm but it can be tough mentally. Miscarriage is always a tough time for expecting women. 
Don’t lose hope and talk to your partner about your feelings. Apart from the absence of the gestational sac, there can be other signs of miscarriage.

What to does it Mean If There Is a Gestational Sac and No Baby?

Usually, an embryo is visible within the six weeks of gestation. However, in certain cases, there is clear visibility of the gestational sac but no baby. Such a situation can be due to various reasons such as:

1. Anembryonic Pregnancy

It simply means that your embryo is not able to develop. This can be due to poor cell division or poor quality of the sperm. Such type of pregnancy ultimately leads to miscarriage. In most cases, this happens even before women are aware of being pregnant.

2. Non- Viable Pregnancy

In clinical terms, non-viable pregnancy means that baby can be born abnormal and can die before the delivery. In most cases, such pregnancy has no or very fewer chances of survival. Anembryonic pregnancy is a type of nonviable pregnancy.

3. Detecting Too Early

In such cases, detection takes place too early that the embryo does not get time to develop. In such a case, your doctor might suggest another ultrasound test.


Yes, the absence of the gestational sac is the reason for anxiety and stress. But always remember there are alternatives which can help you. In most cases, the absence of gestational is due to wrong timing. Be patient and calm and wait for it.

It can be difficult for the doctor as well to defect the exact reason of no gestation sac, just try to relax and keep your family and friends close in such stressing times. Just keep in mind your mental health has a major effect on your pregnancy so don’t overthink and draw any conclusions in case of no gestation sac or gestation sac and no baby. Give time and never lose hope!

Also Read: Signs Of Miscarriages To Look Out For