Friday, May 29, 2015

Do Doctors Try to Scare Women into Ending Their Pregnancies Early?

Yesterday Michelle posted on The Misdiagnosed Miscarriage site about her misdiagnosed miscarriage.  Her doctor had been trying to convince her to end her pregnancy for weeks before she pulled out her trump card.  She told her the pregnancy was likely molar and she needed to end it now. Michelle refused, got a second opinion, and saw her baby with a strong heartbeat.

If you'd like to read Michelle's story, here is the link:
Chelle31 - Diagnosed Molar, Told to Have D&C - MISDIAGNOSED!

So, you've been diagnosed with a molar or ectopic pregnancy, what do you do?  Both these types of pregnancies can have very serious consequences including death.  You have to take this sort of diagnosis seriously but you also want to know that is correct, right?

And, so, I wonder if *some* doctors pull the ectopic or molar card because they have made up their minds and are likely slighted bugged that you aren't in total agreement. 

But, on the other hand, ectopic and molar pregnancies are fairly common.

What is a mom to do?

My doctor did try to convince me, strongly convince me for two weeks to have a D&C with my daughter.  Thank goodness I knew two people who had serious complications from D&C and could no longer conceive.  I declined.

Let me pause a moment to say that while I turned down the D&C, D&Cs do have their place.  If there is an emergency or you are more than 10 weeks along, a D&C may well be needed and your best hope.  For me, though, I was fine.  There were no complications and I was still less than 10 weeks.  For more on my story:  When a Blighted Ovum is Not a Blighted Ovum

To give my doctor credit, I don't think he was trying to scare me because he was tired of seeing me and wanted to move on.  He was a newer doctor who had just come out of med school and honestly believed the textbooks on blighted ova were correct (they're not). 

However, I've talked to more women than I can count over the years who have shared how rude some physicians have gotten when they've questioned the diagnosis.  With everything still looking normal, they've been told they need surgery immediately.  I have no doubt many women end up having the surgery.  I hear from the ones who do not and some have found their babies. 

I once asked a doctor why other doctors are so quick to push the D&C or medicated miscarriage.  His response?  Because doctors really do believe they are correct and they don't want to be called in the middle of the night to meet you in the ER or answer questions about your pregnancy. 

Because an ectopic or molar pregnancy can have serious complications, just waiting it out may not be an option.  Your best bet is to get a second opinion as soon as possible especially if you feel your doctor is overly pushy or rude.  You may end up needing that surgery but I do believe a woman deserves to know with 100% certainty that her pregnancy is failed before having that surgery.  Find a physician who will really listen to your concerns.

If you are going through a miscarriage scare right now, I don't know how this will end.  Just stay monitored and get a second opinion if you think one is warranted.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Ten Years of Misdiagnosed Miscarriages

I realized recently that I began The Misdiagnosed Miscarriage in 2005.  That was ten years ago!

I had actually shared my own misdiagnosed blighted ovum story a year or two before I started the site.  Slowly messages started popping up.  Women were wondering if they could have a misdiagnosed miscarriage as well.  At that time, a Google search of 'misdiagnosed miscarriage' turned up absolutely nothing related to misdiagnosed miscarriages.  That's right, nothing!   I scoured the web for help.  It certainly could not be found on pregnancy/miscarriage forums.  General consensus was to get a D&C and move on. 

With the advent of the site, I also was surprised by the backlash.  Women were upset that I believed I was misdiagnosed.  I was assured by many including one woman who ran a website for women going through miscarriages, that my story was a fluke and doctors would never ever EVER misdiagnose a miscarriage.

Ten years later, and Google results show tens of thousands of pages when you search for 'misdiagnosed miscarriage'.  Our site has nearly 700 misdiagnosed miscarriage stories.  In fact, there are probably more because women will discover they are misdiagnosed and with the sheer number of posts, their story never gets moved to the Misdiagnosed forum.  Looking at my gmail account, I have probably received about 10,000 emails from women about the possibility of a misdiagnosed miscarriage.  A number of those women have been misdiagnosed.  I can do that Google search and find stories all over the web by women who were also misdiagnosed.

What a difference ten years makes!

And, your stories matter!  Ten years ago, doctors were constantly telling women miscarriages are never misdiagnosed.  Now, the UK has recognized this is a real problem and has changed their guidelines in diagnosing a miscarriage.  If they stick to these guidelines, I'd guess they'll eliminate at least 90% of misdiagnosed miscarriage cases.  I hope the United States and other countries are not far behind. 

What can we conclude?  Miscarriages can be and are misdiagnosed.   Every story shared helps so many people and gets the word out there.  Each of you sharing a story is making a difference and saving lives.

Thank you!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Enlarged Yolk Sac? Might Not Be Enlarged After All

Ten years ago, Stacy posted on The Misdiagnosed Miscarriage.  Her doctor had given her no hope due to an enlarged yolk sac and told her to expect a miscarriage.  Her doctor was wrong.  Stacy went on to have her baby boy and he was perfect in every way.

You can read her post here:
An Update About an Enlarged Sac

Since Stacy's posts, I have talked to so many women who have been given little to no hope because of an enlarged yolk sac.  I will say up front that, yes, some have gone to miscarry but, then again, many women without an enlarged yolk sac have gone on to miscarry.  I've talked to a number of women who continued their pregnancies and went on to have babies who were just fine.

Could the problem be that the tech is making an error with measurements?  I believe that answer is a yes.  Why do I believe that is a possibility?  I've written a series of blog posts on the unreliability of ultrasound measurements:

Ultrasound Measurements in the First Trimester Are Not as Accurate As You Might Believe and Lead to Misdiagnosing Miscarriages!

And, Even More on the Unreliability of Ultrasound Measurements During the First Trimester

And, yesterday, Fletch3 shared her story of being given no hope with an enlarged yolk sac which got me thinking about all of this:

Fletch3's Story - There IS HOPE with a Large Yolk Sac

If studies are showing that ultrasound measurements can vary 8mm with different ultrasound techs, women with 'enlarged' yolk sacs need to take note.   Could your tech be wrong?  Absolutely.  That 8mm sac might only be 5mm.   On the other hand, could your yolk sac be enlarged?  Sure but there are numerous stories from women who went on to have their babies.

Enlarged yolk sac?  Don't give up hope just because your doctor has and, please, really think about the D&C you are being offered before you have it.  If there are serious complications, then yes, that D&C may be needed but if it is just because of an 'enlarged' yolk sac, it may be time to find another doctor.