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No heartbeat, but hcg levels rising, very confused

(135 Posts)
Cobweb Tue 06-Jul-04 17:36:20

Hi I am new, so firstly I want to say hello.

I am desperate for any hope anyone can give me.

3 weeks ago I had some spotting at what I thought could be around 6 weeks pregnant. I went to the hospital and was scan only to be told that she could see the sac but nothing in it.

I was scanned two weeks later and they could see the yolk sac and foetal pole which she said measured 5mm, but couldn't see a heartbeat. She confirmed that I was just 6 weeks. The consultant said I was to have bloods taken that day and two days later. My results were 12,197 and then 14,500, so because they hadn't double I had another scan last Tuesday where they said that there was no development in measurements on the scan and no heatbeat (I should have been 7 weeks). I was told that I should have a d&c or wait naturally but that they wanted to do final bloods.

I got a phone call that night to be told that my hcg levels had muddled them because it was still rising (18,000) but not at the rate that they would like. Therefore the registrar was not happy to perform an operation whilst the level is still rising and I am being scanned next Tuesday.

This is emotionally draining because I had prepared myself for the worst and now don't know what to think.

Is there anyone with any information or guidance as I am desperate.

Thank you Cobwebxxx

serenequeen Tue 06-Jul-04 17:39:31

i am very sorry this is happening to you. i know from experience that the uncertainty and waiting is the worst. i can't advise you any better than the medics have - under the circumstances (IMHO) the best thing to do would be to grit your teeth and wait for another scan.

i really hope it turns out to be good news next week.

Cobweb Tue 06-Jul-04 17:52:15

I am trying to grit my teeth, but keep worrying and wondering if anyone has had any positive outcomes from anything similar.

twiglett Tue 06-Jul-04 17:54:31

message withdrawn

Blu Tue 06-Jul-04 18:01:57

Hello Cobweb - and welcome. Sorry it's such a horrid situation that's brought you here - if you don't find the exact advice, you will at least find lots of support.
Hang on in there,

maisystar Tue 06-Jul-04 18:03:48

i too wanted to offer support, cobweb, and hope everything works out for you xxx

Tinker Tue 06-Jul-04 18:05:18

Sorry you're going through this cobweb. Don't really have any advice but hope you get good news.

Marina Tue 06-Jul-04 18:07:44

Cobweb, sorry to hear of this drawn-out miserable situation. Just hope you can get some answers soon. Can't advise about the hcg levels, I'm afraid. Thinking of you.

serenequeen Tue 06-Jul-04 18:30:43

oh dear, didn't mean to suggest you are not gritting your teeth...

Cobweb Tue 06-Jul-04 18:31:34

Thank you all for your lovely messages of support.

I know I am clutching at straws, but am hoping someone out there has any similar experience, I have read a few of the previous posts about hcg levels and miscarriage.

Tuesday seems so far away to wait for results.

Thank you all again xxx

Blu Tue 06-Jul-04 18:33:40

Cobweb, keep bumping this up...a scientific/medical/midwife MN-er will be along in due course, honestly, or someone who has been through something similiar.

Angeliz Tue 06-Jul-04 18:38:56

Cobweb, just wanted to say hello and offer my suprot too.

I hope that Tuesday brings some good answers!

I dp know that someone on the DUE IN FEBRUARY thread had a very early scan where they saw the sac but nothing in it, but i think that she too is in the same boat. In limbo at the moment but you could read her story here.

(it's Jolly who i'm talking about)

Cobweb Tue 06-Jul-04 18:52:28

Thank you for the link, which I have just read, my lmp was 28th April, the doctor told me that I could have conceived between 14th 21st May, therefore I could be anthing between 6 and 7 weeks pregnant.

Oh I am so confused its horrible not knowing

taramac Tue 06-Jul-04 19:16:32

Cobweb I had a similar situation about a 18 months ago. Had a negative period and only found out I was pregnant as I had intermittent bleeding and a doctors preg test showed up positive. My hcg levels rose very slowly - not doubling as they are supposed to but the scan revealed nothing - so at least you are seeing a sac and foetal pole. I had to go to hospital for blood test every 2 days for @ 2 weeks which was hell - you do keep hoping. Finally the levels started to fall slowly and although I knew it was going to happen I still held out for a miracle. It was hard as I was told basically I didn't have to come up for blood tests anymore but to come and have another preg test which I was then told was negative so a bleed was imminent. I have heard of women in similar situations to you who have gone on to have a healthy pregnancy so I think the fact there is something visible on the scan is good. However the hcg levels are important and they need to be doubling every 2 days. The other thing (not wanting to scare you) it might be is an ectopic pregnancy which was a concern for my doctor but they can usually rule that out with an in depth scan. I hope this is of some help to you - I know what its like to just want to know that it will be ok. I will be thinking of you and I hope the best for you.

Cobweb Tue 06-Jul-04 19:32:24

Thank you Taramac.

That's what is so confusing as my hcg levels are not doubling but the doctor said that they were high, the last one done on Tuesday was 18,000+.

They have scanned both ovaries, so its not eptopic and also the sac, yolk and foetal pole are all in the correct position, its just the hearbeat that they cannot find (said they wouldn't always see if pre 8 weeks).

The registrar is going to be present on Tuesday, so I want answers to all my questions re hcg levels (does anyone know what a good hcg level is) and the developmental issue. Am I 5, 6, 7 or 8 weeks pregnant. Why can't someone tell me???

Thank you all again. Hope full Cobweb

smellymelly Tue 06-Jul-04 19:37:39

Hi Cobweb - how utterly horrible for you.

I had my bloods taken for this pregnancy, and for there to be a positive pregnancy the hcg levels have to double every 48 - 72 hours.

All women are different but it does sound as though your levels haven't increased enough to have a pregnancy that is progressing normally. There is a website I found which says this -

'Abnormal Numbers
An HCG level that increases but is less than double the previous one is considered abnormal and suspicious of an ectopic pregnancy. Pregnancies that are both low in level and slow to rise are almost certain to fail. Singleton and
vanishing twin pregnancies have a wide range of acceptable HCG levels on a given day.

Greater-than-normal levels may indicate choriocarcinoma of the uterus, ectopic pregnancy, hydatidiform mole of the uterus, normal pregnancy, or ovarian cancer. Once you have had an ectopic prgnancy, you have an increased risk for another, so your HCG numbers may be monitored more carefully.

Lower-than-normal levels may indicate dead fetus, incomplete miscarriage, or threatened spontaneous abortion. Pregnancies destined to miscarry or to be ectopic (tubal) pregnancies tend to show lower levels (eventually), but often have normal levels initially. Some normal pregnancies will have quite low levels of HCG ˜ and deliver perfect babies.'

I'm sorry it doesn't sound too good, but I hope this helps a little.

(If you do a google search for Hcg levels you may find some more info)

smellymelly Tue 06-Jul-04 19:39:40

This is a link for levels of hcg levels in a normal pregnancy.

Did they do an internal scan????

eyelash Tue 06-Jul-04 19:40:45

Cobweb - I do hope you get an answer on this either way. I had a positive pregnancy test in December at 4 1/2 weeks, then started bleeding and had a full 5 day bleed which was classed as a miscarriage. As the scan had shown up nothing they said everything was fine. One night about a week later I had a bad stomach cramp, went to hospital, only to be told the pregnancy tests were still showing positive and my hcg levels had risen. This went on for 2 weeks until they eventually came back down. It was awful and I really felt in limbo. The hospital had absolutely no explanation except that it is pretty common. Obviously this is no consolation to you now, except I do hope you have some resolution either way before too long.

Cobweb Tue 06-Jul-04 19:46:34

Thank you, I guess from what you are saying then Smellymelly that its not looking good for me.

They did internal scans for all of my scans.

I don't know why they just didn't let me go ahead with the D&C rather than prolong the wait and have another scan on Tuesday.

It will be 4 weeks of uncertainty on Tuesday. Why hasn't my levels decreased in this time, if it should only take 2 weeks for the body to miscarry.

Thats why I am so confused.

Thank you anyway for your support xxx

smellymelly Tue 06-Jul-04 20:15:59

I think your hcg levels are still in your body even after a complete miscarriage. Unfortunately it is one of those things. I really hope you can get your answers soon, cobweb, and start to look forwards.

Cobweb Tue 06-Jul-04 20:22:06

The doctor told me that hcg stays in your body for 10 days after a miscarriage.

That's why my hcg levels are muddling them because they are still rising, although not at the rate that they would like.

Its horrible because I want closure on the issue be it good or bad and it seems the hospital are prelonging my agony.

Thank you again xxx

mummytosteven Tue 06-Jul-04 20:50:55

Cobweb - I had similar experiences to you with a scan showing a sac, but not fetal pole, and then HCG levels not doubling after 48 hours, and now have a 16 week DS from the pg. I'll post again in a bit when I have more time - got to do a bottle.

smellymelly Tue 06-Jul-04 20:58:40

There you go Cobweb - better to wait, I'd say till they are completely sure.

Must be tough, but at least the doctors are not rushing the decision!


mummytosteven Tue 06-Jul-04 23:14:42

Hi again cobweb. just a little more on my experience. I had what seemed like a very light period 5.5 weeks after the last one, tested at 6.5 weeks, got a BFP straightaway. Went to docs next day, told her about light period, and she was concerned about miscarriage, and referred me to the hospital for a scan the next day. The sonographer for some reason best known to herself only gave me an abdo scan, and told me that an internal would not show more (cobblers). All the sonographer could see was a sac, no fetal pole or heartbeat. She said that what she saw meant I was either about 2 weeks out with my dates, or I had m/c, and would have to come back in ten days for a repeat scan. They then did my bloods that day and two days later. These results were 3,600 and 4,900 (came back 3 days later) At that point they told me that it could be an ectopic, and to come in straighaway if I had any pain, but if not to come in the next morning for a scan. The scan this time was internal, and found a heartbeat. They reckoned I was about ten days out with my dates, so 6 weeks instead of 7.5 at that point. How pg you are can be difficult to work out if you had an irregular cycle, or even if you just ov'd late for some reason. They didn't bother redoing my bloods, and just had me back for another internal ten days later which was fine. Basically you would expect to see fetal pole at about 6 weeks, and a heartbeat by about 7/8 weeks, which is why, given your HCG levels are rising, they are wanting to wait a bit longer before concluding it was a m/c. It is an absolutely hellish waiting game having this sort of experience and you have my utmost sympathy. TBH I was still paranoid about m/c until my dating scan at 15 weeks because of the HCG levels not doubling. I remember when I was looking on the web last summer I read that HCG levels double in 48 hours in 85% of normal pgs - which would basically mean a signficant minority of normal pgs where they don't double in 48 hours.

Cobweb Tue 06-Jul-04 23:45:57

Thank you so much Mummytosteven and Smellymelly. It has been so good to hear people's experiences and all in all I have to ride this storm and see what happens.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, because I have been on other forums and not had much of a response, which is horrible in itself.

Thank you xxx

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