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So did I have a miscarriage or not? Really confused now....

(36 Posts)
Joy27 Wed 16-Jul-08 15:59:25

I posted here yesterday, after my GP said I was having a miscarriage. Here's the history:

- Didn't know I was pregnant til last weds. Went to docs re prolonged bleeding between periods.
- Faint positive from GP's test last Weds, which caused her to think I was going to miscarry.
- Faint negative (didn't know there was such a thing, but I got one, and now worried the test was duff)from a Clearbue test on Thurs.
- Masses of bleeding and passing clots and tissue from Sunday onwards.
- Bleeding calming down today.

I could have been either seven weeks or three weeks gone- the reasons for me not knowing the dates are complicated.

However, this morning I got a very clear positive as soon as I tested. My GP sent me to the hospital (still on the understanding that this was a miscarriage) and the doctor there examined me and took blood to test my hormone levels. She said my cervix is closed which means I am not miscarrying. Of course this probably means that I have miscarried arleady and it's all over. But she was talking about "the pregnancy" and saying they'd scan to see how "the pregnancy" is doing if my hormone levels came back high.

Yesterday I was coming to terms with the fact that a) I was pregnant and b) I was no longer pregnant. Today I don't know what is going on! I suppose there's nothing I can do- just see what the blood tests show.

But is this normal- to have a clear positive test and to have a closed cervix after miscarriage? Has anyone else experienced this?

cmotdibbler Wed 16-Jul-08 16:05:56

When you say a faint negative, what do you mean exactly ?

If your hormone levels are going up, then either there is tissue left behind which is still making HCG, or its possible that you lost a twin.

When will you get the results - this must feel like a terrible rollercoaster.

andiem Wed 16-Jul-08 16:07:51

what you need to do is have hcg blood tests a week or av few days apart to see if the hormone level is rising
poor you I have been through this and it is horrible
take care

NatalieJaneIsPregnantAgain Wed 16-Jul-08 16:24:49

If you are so unsure of dates, is it possible that you did miscarry, but then got pregnant again straight away?

As has been said other explanations would be an uncomplete MC, or a MC'd twin.

Sorry you are going through this, hope the bloods come back soon and you get some answers.

Joy27 Wed 16-Jul-08 16:38:46

Thanks ladies- your support and knowledge is much appreciated.

Yes it is a bloody (literally) rollercoaster isn't it, and quite maddening. My "research" on mumsnet suggests that a lot of women have this horrible confusion surrounding their MCs. It also seems that it's not uncommon to still get a pos test for a few weeks shock after a miscarriage. The closed cervix thing is still bothering me though- what does this mean???

cmotdibbler- the first line (negative line) was there but faint. The second (positive) line was definitely not there at all.
I know the neg line is usually quite clear so it does make me question the test...

NatalieJane, I couldn't be pregnant again straight away as we've not had sex for a few weeks due to the bleeding I've been having.

I suppose I could have lost a twin as a couple of people have suggested. If my hormone levels are sufficiently high the hosp will do a scan tomorrow or fri in which case we'll find out. If not then I'll have to wait to see if my hormone levels drop.

I just wish there was a quick way of knowing. I was expecting a scan today when the GP sent me up to the hospital, but this didn't happen and I felt really frustrated.

cmotdibbler Wed 16-Jul-08 16:52:19

That sounds like a duff test then - which makes it difficult whats happening.

I had +ve tests a couple of weeks after mc, but that was with a really strong +ve on the day I mc'd IYSWIM, so levels were dropping, but not quite under the detection level.

Joy27 Wed 16-Jul-08 16:59:30

Yes I think I'll disregard the negative test. I've just been googling (I know I shouldn't), and togehter with the answers I've had here, I've boiled things down to a few possibilities:

1) I miscarried a twin and there's still another fetus there (this would be lovely but quite frightening, as I'd worry about the remainder of the pregnancy)

2) I have had a complete miscarriage, which is why my cervix is now closed, and my hormone levels will eventually fall and give me a neg test (I suspect this is what's happening, really).

3) I am still pregnant, but had a threatened miscarriage. But I did pass clots and tissue (nasty experience isn't it?)- would this happen with a threatened mc? Can anyone tell me?

I wish so much that I had insisted on a scan today, then I would know. The waiting is horrid.

Thanks again ladies.

NatalieJaneIsPregnantAgain Wed 16-Jul-08 17:06:13

Not sure if it will help or not, but I had a MC in January, so know what to expect IYKWIM? I am pregnant again now, at 7 weeks I lost a lot of blood and clots, also had pain, exactly the same as my previous MC, got a scan the next day (after a fight for it!) and everything was fine, am now 15+ weeks. So blood and clots don't always mean the worst (although I was utterly convinced it was all over)

Is a private scan a possability? If not, I'd suggest camping out at A&E, tonight if you can face it, if not tomorrow, and insist on a scan. I get absolutely livid at the way the just expect women to wait it out, it borders on barbaric IMO.

NatalieJaneIsPregnantAgain Wed 16-Jul-08 17:07:20

Sorry, should read 'at the way the NHS just expects women to wait it out'

Joy27 Wed 16-Jul-08 17:17:36

Yes I felt very cross by the end of it too. Each nurse/doctor didn't seem to have my notes and asked me to go through it all again and again. I don't mind doing this, but the thing is, they didn't really grasp the background and so I didn't feel they had the right end of the stick about what was happening.

My GP seems to be the only one that understands and has a grip on my situation, and sadly as soon as she was out of the picture it all went haywire. GP assured me I would be getting a scan at the hosp; but the nurse there said I wouldn't be scanned or examined, I would just have blood tests (so I sent my partner back to work); then the doctor told me to take my knickers off and examined me. I wish I'd known that I'd be examined, because I was very embarassed about the blood etc which was everywhere, plus it was painful. I would have asked my boyfriend to stay if I'd known.
And still no scan.

On top of this, all the women there had to wait for an hour in the waiting room while the doc had her lunch. I know they have to eat, but surely they should organise cover over lunchtime?! Not to mention the fact that we, the women waiting, also need to eat, and we're pregnant (or not as the case may be- but they don't know that) so it doesn't do us any good to sit about for an hour in addition to the two other hours spent waiting. Luckily there was an absolutely edible baby toddling around smiling at everyone and dancing to the radio, which cheered up the waiting room somewhat!

If I don't get a call from the hospital today, I'll get my GP on the case tomorrow. I feel confident she'll fight my corner as she's been very supportive.

NatalieJaneIsPregnantAgain Wed 16-Jul-08 18:05:41

If it is any comfort, they would have seen lots worse than some blood before now, though understand completely where you are coming from.

Fingers crossed your GP will be able to get them into gear, let us know how you get on, won't you?

Joy27 Wed 16-Jul-08 22:22:55

Thanks NatalieJane, I will.
The bleeding is really slowing down now, but I've developed the delightful new symptom of abdominal cramps, which I hadn't really had until now. They're not bad, just niggling- but uncomfortable.
Am somehow managing to convince self I'm still pregnant- a dangerous game, especially as the HPT will back up my delusions.
I suppose I could be, but know in my heart it's very unlikely. Still, I just went out to dinner and stuck to the soft drinks...
Have got to find out, for my own sanity.

Pavlovthecat Wed 16-Jul-08 22:28:26

I am so sorry you have to go through such a traumatic experience sad.

Can you go to your local Early Pregnancy Unit? They are great when it comes to things like this.

I was like you, I was pg, only just found out, had a bleed, Dr told me I was miscarrying. I spent the weekend worried, researching etc and eventually found out about the EPU. They got me in within days, as they said the hormone levels would not be accurate for about 30 days afterwards so doing another pg test for example would not be accurate. I had a scan and found that I was pg. I had another bleed the following week, another scan with them and I was still pg.

I did not bleed as much as you seem to be and I did not have any stomach cramps apart from at the time I was bleeding. I dont want to give you any false hope, I am not a GP but what they told me was that I needed to know either way asap, which is why I went in straight away.

You need to know what is going on, as you say, for your sanity.

Joy27 Wed 16-Jul-08 22:40:19

I'm so pleased your bleeds turned out to not be a miscarriage, Pavlovthecat. Don't worry, you haven't given me false hope, just encouragement.

Unfortunately it was my local EPU I went to today, and while they were ok(ish), they fell short in the ways I've mentioned. At the time I went along with everything passively- was confused and it's all new to me- but now I'm cross, because don't they realise women need to know what is happening in their own bodies?!

Imagine if you'd been ttc for ages and known about the pregnancy for weeks and become very invested in it? How awful it would be to get put on the "back burner".

One way or another I am going to find out before the weekend.

Pavlovthecat Wed 16-Jul-08 22:46:48

joy - oh how angry for you! My EPU scanned me immediately. I did not even take DH into the room with me as I was just expecting it to be negative...I had to ask them to wait before showing me the screen so DH could come in. He did not know either until they just turned the screen round and carried on talking about 'the pregnancy'.

We had the oh we are pg, oh no we are not, oh but are we?' too and I understand how crap that it. You can't celebrate as you know it is unlikely that there is anything to celebrate, but you can't deal with the grief of losing, as you don't know if you have.
You need to know.

I feel for you, and my thoughts are with you over the next couple of days.

cmotdibbler Thu 17-Jul-08 08:06:05

They sound like the EPAU I was at - you aren't in West Sussex are you ? Unfortunatly this level of uncare is all too common.

If they won't scan you, then is a private scan affordable for you ? I had one in Sevenoaks which was 75 quid for a viability scan with a consultant, and it seems that the cost ranges from that to 120. You can often get a scan same day. If you are in London then the Foetal Medicine Centre in Harley Street is excellent ( I know several people who have been there)

oops Thu 17-Jul-08 08:31:39

Message withdrawn

ScaryHairy Thu 17-Jul-08 09:39:43

Firstly you need to have a blood test to see if you are pregnant.
If the results are positive, your hospital should repeat the test after 48 hours to see if your HCG levels are doubling normally.

If not, then the pregnancy could be failing or could be ectopic.

If your HCG levels are over 2000 (or increase to that level) they should be able to see a pregnancy in the uterus if all is well.

Your EPAU are not doing what they should. Can you speak to your GP and get her to ring them and talk through what they are doing? If they don't get their act together, do you live within a reasonable drive of an alternative unit?

Frankly I find it bizarre that they gave you an internal at all. I have had a normal pregnancy, an ectopic and a miscarriage and have never been given an internal to find out what was going on. Bloods and a scan are what is needed.

Sorry you're going through this, by the way. I know what it is like to be in this limbo and it is hard.

Joy27 Thu 17-Jul-08 09:42:35

Thanks for all the advice. Oops, how lovely that you had your little boy despite the worrying bleeding during your pg. One of the blood tests they took yesterday was for an ectopic (they didn't tell me, I just nosied at the pieces of paper).

The EPU has just phoned and said that my levels as per yesterday were 1184 so they can do a scan tomorrow. They didn't mention anything about the other blood tests so I guess they're fine.

I'm loathe to second guess the medical professionals, but since I've had more help on this site than from the hospital, I wonder whether anyone can tell me what this level (1184) could suggest, if anything?

It's tricky, because I could either be (have been) 2-3 weeks preg, or 6-7 weeks. Does that make a difference to the significance of the hormone level? Is all this speculation a road to ruin? Should I just chill out and wait for the scan?

The problem is that the hosp seem to be assuming that I was 2-3 weeks because they are not listening to me when I say that the bleeding I've had over the last month wasn't necessarily a period (basically I've been bleeding since June 15, with the proper deluge w clots etc starting on July 13). As soon as they heard "bleed" they dated that as my last CD1, not paying attention to the fact that I hadn't had a cycle for years due to being on the mini-pill until mid-May. My instinct now is that I was pregnant from before June 15- but who am I to say? I didn't even realise I as pregnant sad

My worst case scenario would be that I go to the scan tomorrow and come away none the wiser. Any tips?

Sorry to be such a drain on everyone's knowledge! I would try to advise others too, if only I knew f all about any of this!

Joy27 Thu 17-Jul-08 09:47:39

ScaryHairy we cross posted.
The EPU is going to do another hormone level test tomorrow (48 hours after last one), depending on what the scan shows.

I was quite surprised at the sudden internal exam, especially as she said afterwards "well the cervix is closed so you're not miscarrying", seemingly not taking into account that fact that I could have finished miscarrying.

Limbo IS hard, esp when my GP has (very supportively) been helping me through my "miscarriage" and the EPU are talking about my "pregnancy". And especially when the HPT screams "yay! positive!" against my better judgement.

oops Thu 17-Jul-08 09:52:26

Message withdrawn

Joy27 Thu 17-Jul-08 09:56:33

Thanks Oops- that's clarified things for me. Now I'll attempt to stop driving myself mad until tomorrow!

ScaryHairy Thu 17-Jul-08 09:57:28

I'm not surprised you are confused after all that.

One number on its own doesn't really tell us anything - except that you are, or have very recently been, pregnant.

When you have another blood test, if your HCG has at least doubled within 48 hours that is a good sign because HCG levels often do not double in a failing or ectopic pregnancy. (Although with my ep they were doubling, so it's not always true.).

In 48 hours your levels should be over 2000 so they should be able to see the pregnancy on a scan.

Ranges for "normal" HCG levels are quite wide. If you google, there are a bunch of websites showing what normal ranges might be for different gestations. The thing is, we are all different, and so there are no hard and fast rules about where HCG levels should be. I should add that I have read that 15% of normal pregnancies have HCG which is slow to double, so it is the serial blood tests and the scan which give an overall picture - you kind of need to add all the facts together.

If you are still pregnant and they find it on the scan in the uterus they will be able to date your pregnancy for you from the scan.

Pavlovthecat Thu 17-Jul-08 10:00:31

Joy - when are you going to the EPU? Good luck, and try to insist on a scan...I cant see why they just wont do it, it will take 10 mins and will give you an answer either way.

orangehead Thu 17-Jul-08 10:10:27

hi joy, Im so sorry you are going through all this. I am trying to rack my brains to remember what my level was but I cant remember. Tbh I think it varies from person to person and its more important whether it is going up or down rather than the level itself. I was told that if the preg progressing normally your level should should double every 48 hrs, so retesting you in 48 hrs sounds good. Just a warning about the scan if you are less than 6 weeks they might not be able to see anything (although sometimes they can at 5 weeks). I know this waiting is horrible, I have had 3 mcs. I have since had two boys but I had heavy bleeding, clots and cramps several times when pregant with them. Hope all goes well tomorrow

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