Monday, September 28, 2015

Just Because You Saw Your Other Babies at Seven Weeks Does Not Mean That Will Happen Every Time!

Over the years, I've been contacted by a number of women who are scared they have a blighted ovum because at seven or eight weeks their gestational sacs look empty.  They assure me they have seen their babies by this time in the past and, for that reason, they have no hope.  Yet, a number of those women ended up finding their babies with a strong heartbeats. 

Today's misdiagnosed blighted ovum story was shared with us by Fathi (her post can be found here:  misdiagnosed blighted ovum at 8+weeks ).  Fathi shares that at just over eight weeks, her doctor did not see her baby and was pretty sure it was a blighted ovum.  Rather than wait one week for a follow-up ultrasound, Fathi waited two and, yes, she found her baby. 

Fathi was surprised for two reasons.  First, she had seen her other babies well before eight weeks and second, she doesn't have a tilted uterus.

I've learned over the years that a tilted uterus does not always stay in the same position.  It can change from pregnancy.  Just because you did not have a tilted uterus before does not mean you don't have one now.  And, we know that with a tilted uterus, babies are often seen a bit later.  For this reason, as I've blogged many times e.g. Medical Researchers Are Warning that Viable Pregnancies ARE Being Misdiagnosed as Miscarriages, a blighted ovum should not be diagnosed before the gestational sac is more than 25mm.

And, yes, this is for women who have been told they do not have a tilted uterus as well.  As you can see from Fathi's story, even women with a non-tilted uterus sometimes have to wait to see their babies.

Don't expect to see your babies at the same time during each pregnancy.  Instead, focus on the size of the sac.  If it is growing and not yet over 25mm, you still have hope.  Usually this happens at about nine weeks or so.  

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Medical Researchers Are Warning that Viable Pregnancies ARE Being Misdiagnosed as Miscarriages

For more than ten years, we've been raising the alarm.  Too many women with viable pregnancies are being misdiagnosed as having miscarriages.  Many women have refused to end their pregnancies until they were 100% certain they were indeed going to miscarry and, as a result, many babies have been saved.

For years, doctors denied this was happening...despite the fact that we had already collected hundreds of stories at The Misdiagnosed Miscarriage.  All of that is changing.

This week, we have two new news articles on the problem of misdiagnosed miscarriages: 

and, of course, the study they are referencing:
If you are being diagnosed with a blighted ovum, here is our takeaway message:
- Is the gestational sac greater than 25mm? 
   If the sac is greater than 25mm, this may indeed be a blighted ovum.  My own gestational sac measurement 28.5mm before my daughter was found and I had had to turn down the D&C twice.  If this is your first ultrasound and there are no complications, one more ultrasound a week out might be a good idea to verify.

- If the gestational sac is not yet greater than 25mm, is it growing?
To know if the gestational sac is growing, you should space your ultrasounds out by a week to  verify growth.  As I've blogged, measurements can vary between techs but a week gives enough time to see some definitive growth.

- Are you more than nine weeks? 
We've just talked to too many women who were about nine weeks, myself included, before finding their babies.  I'm a firm believer that if a sac is growing a blighted ovum should NEVER be diagnosed before nine weeks.

- Is your doctor monitoring your hCG levels?
If so, stop!!!  Once the gestational sac is viewed, there really is no reason to monitor your levels.  Levels can go up and be normal.  Levels can plateau and be normal.  Levels can even drop and be normal.  Levels are good for confirming pregnancy and confirming this is not an ectopic pregnancy.  I can't tell you how many women I've talked with who were scared needlessly because their doctors kept monitoring their levels after the sac was viewed.

-  Have you seen a yolk sac?
If so, this is NOT a blighted ovum.  A baby is needed for a yolk sac to form.  That doesn't mean this can't end in miscarriage but it does mean this is not a blighted ovum.

And, during this time, stay monitored.  If there are any complications be seen right away.  In the meantime, space those ultrasounds out by a week each.  If you feel your doctor is pressuring you to end your pregnancy too soon, please find another doctor.  Although it is slow going, more and more doctors are accepting that they have been diagnosing miscarriages too soon. 

If you are going through this scare, ((((hugs)))) from somebody who has been there.