Probably stupid and possibly sensitive question about early MC (4 weeks or less)

(7 Posts)
BerstieSpotts Thu 17-Oct-13 22:14:12

This is really stupid since I am on the pill and we are not TTC. But DP has been told that he has some kind of chromosomal disorder (translocation?) which, from my reading, mainly of blogs, seems to suggest that there is a high chance of miscarriage if we were to conceive. The articles I've read say that most miscarriages would be early on and the couple aren't usually aware that they are happening.

The plan is that before we start TTC - in probably about a year or so, after we are married, we are going to see a genetic counsellor and find out what the score is, but ever since I've looked this stuff up I've started to get really paranoid every time I have a period. It hasn't been every time because we have been living apart due to an international move, so haven't always been sexually active, but when we have been I get really worried when my period arrives. I use a mooncup and I've been frightened to look at the contents just in case I see that I've miscarried.

What's not helping is that recently it seems like my periods have changed and I've been getting clots which I've never had before, and (at least once) a piece of spongy-looking tissue, which I asked about on here and was reassured it was probably womb lining. I've also been getting stringy, mucousy blood which I don't remember having before.

I've only just realised today how worried and scared I am feeling about it. I know it's ridiculous because I'm on the pill and it's rather unlikely we would have conceived anyway. (Although this month I did miss one, we used condoms for 7 days afterwards, but had already had sex a few days before and I couldn't get the MAP). Possibly also DP made me feel a bit jumpy this month because he said he had a "weird feeling" I might be pregnant and asked me to do a test (which I didn't, because it was far too early). I am absolutely the world's worst at convincing myself I'm pregnant when I'm not and apparently don't need much persuading blush

But yes - oh god, this is an epic ramble. I am wondering if, firstly, I am freaking out unnecessarily - is it one of those situations where if I'm going "Oh, I'm not sure, there's maybe something, but I don't know" then it definitely isn't the case because it would be far more obvious? And secondly, in the (very unlikely, I am sure) event that I did have a miscarriage at 4 weeks or before, would there be anything to see anyway? ie, am I freaking myself out for no reason when realistically I would never actually know?

Kasterborous England Thu 17-Oct-13 22:28:36

Hi, I'm no expert but I've had miscarriages at six/seven/eight weeks after positive pregnancy tests and they were no worse than a normal period for me, with no obvious foetus tissue. It could be because you are worried about it that you are thinking that you are seeing bits of tissue that could be something else that are really just bits of tissue. I don't mean that to sound patronising. It's natural to be worried.

Maybe it would be worth trying to see a genetic counsellor a bit sooner if it's making you this worried. It can be easier to deal with things if you know the full picture.

I hope you get some answers and some help soon.

justhayley Fri 18-Oct-13 01:03:27

Hiya I had a miscarriage at 5 weeks and the only reason I knew was because I had taken a test a few dys before and got a positive result. My period was heavier than usual and I had a few clots for 2 days, I also experienced cramping but apart from that everything physically was the same. I can't remember the exact percentage but apparently a very high % (a majority infact) of pregnancies end in miscarriage with women never knowing.
Try not to freak yourself out, if you were to miscarry at 4 weeks you wouldn't see anything horrible.
Maybe have a chat with your genetic counsellor now might put your mind at rest a little x

exexpat Fri 18-Oct-13 01:26:23

At 4/5/6 weeks pregnant, a miscarriage really produces nothing more than a heavy period (though the cramping etc can be worse). At four weeks pregnant, the embryo is the size of a poppy seed and would look nothing like a baby even if you had a microscope to examine it.

I've had several early MCs and agree with other pps that they are very similar to a normal period with nothing to see.
I suspect that a lot of the different things you are noticing during your periods are probably not new, but you are paying extra attention to then at the moment because you are looking for signs as to what is happening with your body. When I was TTC I started to notice all sorts of odd things about my periods which had simply passed me by when they weren't important.

PicardyThird Fri 18-Oct-13 07:51:43

I've had one completely natural mc at 5 or 6 weeks and four somewhat later ones (7-9 weeks, 2 incomplete, 2 missed, all ultimately ending in ERPC).

I'm going to tell you about my first, second and my fifth mc here, as they seem most relevant. The first was a completely natural one and it was exactly like a period - not even particularly heavy - although I had some mild pain which was mainly distressing for what it signified iyswim. The second (incomplete) was painless. The bleeding was fairly heavy but not alarmingly so, and I eventually lost something the rough shape and colour of a kidney bean, which was possibly the sac. Again, the trauma was mostly emotional.

The fifth mc was 8 or 9 weeks and happened after we had seen a heartbeat. I began bleeding a few days after that scan and it was discovered the baby had died. As everything looked intact I booked in for ERPC. The night before the operation the bleeding intensified and I began to have mild but rhythmic pains, exactly the same in rhythm as contractions (my story is not all doom and gloom - I have 2 dc). Eventually the baby came out - about the size of a large pebble, recognisable as what it was - an 8-ish week embryo/foetus. Then the pain stopped immediately. The bleeding was steady but not overly heavy.

I've told you this so you have an idea about what miscarriages at various stages might look like (but no two women have the same experience). I agree with the PP who said that you are perhaps hyper-observant and -vigilant about your body atm because the idea of miscarriage is looming quite large in your mind. But if you're are concerned about anything, it is always best to get checked out, for your peace of mind.

I also know a little bit about translocations, as we have just been tested for one (neither of us have one, so the search for causes goes on). My geneticist said that most of her translocation patients do have a live baby eventually, even if they do have to go through several miscarriages, and she would not discourage people with translocations from trying. It is, in every conception, the luck of the draw as to whether the 'normal' set of chromosomes pairs up with the partner's or the translocation - and then much will depend on which chromosome the extra or missing 'bit' attaches to. Some trisomies or monosomies have no effect, others are incompatible with life (the baby I described losing above had monosomy 21, which means there was only one copy of chromosome 21) and others lead to disabilities of varying degrees. It's not necessarily true that all such miscarriages would happen before you were aware of being pregnant. So I think it's wise to be aware of the possibility, but I can tell you, from my own experience, that, as hard as it is, the risk of mc does become part of your reality and you find ways of living with it.

Hope thie helps a bit.

BerstieSpotts Fri 18-Oct-13 10:56:59

Thank you so much everyone. This has really helped, especially your descriptions, Picardy.

I ended up talking to DH about it last night and had a good cry and now I feel so much lighter. One of his previous partners had a miscarriage several years ago (they weren't trying either but the pregnancy was more advanced) and I think I was feeling like I should hide my fear from him in case it was true and he was upset by it,but he wasn't, and when I realised that then it just suddenly felt so much better.

When I did the research into translocation I did come to the same conclusion, that it was likely we would end up with a healthy baby at some point. I was also reassured that miscarriages caused by this are likely to be early on and generally mean an incompatibility with life. Am sort of vaguely aware that the emotional impact will be far harder to deal with than the idea of it happening, perhaps this is coming out early.

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