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Empty sac - pregnancy won't progress. How long before miscarriage?

(25 Posts)
MintChocAddict Thu 16-Jul-09 20:11:44

Bit long sorry - Looking for advice really. Have had brown spotting with occasional red bleeding for past 4 weeks (very light) - started just shortly after +ve result.

Had a scan at EPAU on Monday where I should have been 8+5 but abdominal and internal scan both showed sac measuring 6+3 but no embryo. sad I'm very sure of my dates so couldn't really be earlier along than I thought.

Midwives explained that pregnancy wouldn't progress and that I would miscarry sac etc at some point soon. They took HCG level and was 27000. I had to go back on Wednesday for 2nd HCG and it had risen to 31000. They stated that they can't discharge me until it drops below a certain level. I've googled and know that this rise is probably due to the fact that my body still thinks that there is an embryo when in fact there's not. The spotting is showing no signs of progressing to proper bleeding. In fact it appears to be getting lighter!

Anyway, I've to go for a 3rd HCG tomorrow and hope that levels will be dropping and miscarriage will happen soon. I just wondered if anyone had any experience of this and if so how long can this situation go on for? I feel stir crazy already and just want it over with. Can I ask for D&C if no sign of anything happening naturally, or will they offer me that as a matter of course if the miscarriage is not progressing?

Any words of wisdom greatly appreciated. smile

sunburntats Thu 16-Jul-09 20:16:14

Hello, this has happened to me 3 times now. sad so i do have experience.

1st time i waited. Knew at 6 weeks, same as you. Didnt mc till i was 13 weeks. It was awful. The wait was torture.

2nd & 3rd time i had a "medically managed mc"
This was still awful but over in 24 hours.
I was able to get back to normal quite quickly after this.

Have you been given any options?

canella Thu 16-Jul-09 20:19:28

Mintchoc - so sorry you're having to go through this!

i went through this between having dc1 and 2 - i was about what i thought of as 7 weeks pregnant so about the same. The hospital offered me the options of going home and waiting for my body to naturally miscarry or i could come in and have a "medical evacuation of products of conception". This just meant i went in first thing in the morning and took some tablets then later in the day passed the empty sac into a bedpan (sorry if TMI!)
I really easily chose the latter cause i couldnt bear the waiting as they said it could take a few weeks - i had had a big cry when they told me there was no embryo but then i was rational that there really had been no baby so it could never have progressed so wanted to move on from it and try for dc2. had the med evacuation then had to go back a few weeks later for a scan to make sure it had all been removed.

I know i sound a bit cold about the whole thing but i really detached myself because there was no baby and we'd not told anyone i was pregnant anyway.

Hope you get some help from the EPAU - they were a huge help to me!

MintChocAddict Thu 16-Jul-09 20:19:43

Hi sunburnthats
Sorry that you've had to go through it 3 times. sad
I've not been given options yet but midwife indicated that it usually happens within a week or two.
I just don't think this is gouing to be the case for me. I really don't think I can wait for another month for it to end naturally.

MintChocAddict Thu 16-Jul-09 20:21:33

I feel the same canella. Doesn't sound cold at all. I just want it all gone and to get on with trying again.
I'm never been the most patient of people.

sunburntats Thu 16-Jul-09 20:22:47

You can have a D&C,
You can have tablets, then pessaries and this will induce the loss quickly
or you can wait, which as i say took me another 6 weeks until it finally ended.

Sounds like you want it to be over quickly, can you go back tomorow and ask for your options then make a decision?

sunburntats Thu 16-Jul-09 20:25:42

Also just to add, i am told that for it to happen to some one, it is just plain bad luck and there is no reason for it to happen again, so please dont think that this is going to happen to you.

MintChocAddict Thu 16-Jul-09 20:36:35

Thanks very much sunburntats. I actually feel OK about it, more disappointed really but hopefully next time I'll have better luck. I think I'll go in tomorrow and ask for more information on medically managed options. Just hope my HCG starts to drop.

thefatladyscreams Thu 16-Jul-09 21:26:21

MintChocAddict - just seen your thread. Sorry you are going through this too. Hope you get the help you want tomorrow.

MintChocAddict Thu 16-Jul-09 22:24:55

Thanks TFLS. I think I'll just need to go in armed with all my questions and hope things can start gathering pace.

I really hope you get the result you're hoping for.

All the best and take care.

rainbowdays Fri 17-Jul-09 14:01:58

MintchocAddict - so sorry to hear you are going through this. I hope that you get the help that you need soon. However, you might like to look at this website just in case it applies to you? Sorry again for your sadness.

canella Fri 17-Jul-09 14:35:23

mitchoc - feel quite shocked at reading the website linked above - i just took the doc's word for it although i did have a few scans over a few days and there was def a sac and no fetal pole.

Was telling dh about you last night - he's a doc (although not a gynae one) and he said it is dangerous to leave you with this inside if there is def no embryo as it can become dangerous (his word was "invasive") in some women. Think he means it can change into a different type of cell which could become malignant if not treated.
Really dont mean to scare you but think you need all the facts when you go back!

MintChocAddict Fri 17-Jul-09 14:53:21

Hi Canella
Had my blood test appt earlier and pushed the midwife to ask about intervention sooner rather than later as still no sign of anything happening. Spotting isn't coming to anything and no pain at all. She's going to discuss with the registrar and hopefully put a plan in place, so should know more early next week.
Thanks for the link rainbow days. I had initially hoped that it was a mistake and that it was just too early to spot anything, but absolutely sure of my dates so unfortunately am sure it's a miscarriage. Should be getting another scan middle of next week which will confirm first one. Just want it over with ASAP as keen to start trying again as soon as I can. smile

thefatladyscreams Fri 17-Jul-09 14:59:17


Sorry to hear that you're still in limbo. I went to the EPAU today and found out I've had a missed miscarriage - baby died 3 weeks ago.

Here's for better luck in the future hey. Will join you ttc again....

MintChocAddict Fri 17-Jul-09 15:05:10

So sorry TFLS. sad
I hope you're coping OK and have someone with you.
It's a rotten thing to happen and so very cruel. Take care of yourself and hopefully when you feel ready you'll have a happier outcome. I'll be lurking around the conception board fairly soon, so maybe see you over there.
Take care. smile

thefatladyscreams Fri 17-Jul-09 20:34:22

MintChoc - it's a date wink sad. See you when you feel ready.

sunburntats Fri 17-Jul-09 20:47:03

i'll join you.
We are ttc at the moment. Would LOVE to share a BFP with you all when it us all. smile

MintChocAddict Fri 17-Jul-09 21:13:54

Sounds like a plan! See you both soon. smile

rainbowdays Fri 17-Jul-09 23:54:13

Mint - good to hear that a plan is in place. I have had many early scans for miscarriages and successful pregnancies, and now don't really trust them personally! With my second pregnancy I was told at 7+ weeks, I had a failed pregnancy as there was a sac and no fetal pole and therefore would miscarry, but two weeks later my original dates were confirmed along with the pregnancy. Even with my 8th pregnancy (my latest miscarriage) I was surprised to see on the scan that it measured 6 weeks with a margin of error of +/- 3 weeks!!!! It is very difficult for them to make measurements with early scans and the errors are huge. But I have a strong belief that you know if all is ok or not. So go with your gut instinct.

Canella - your dh is talking about a molar pregnancy, yes it does happen, but it is relatively easily diagnosed compared to a blighted ovum (where there is a sac but no embryo) there are details in this website extract from which is "A mole may be suspected for several reasons in an ongoing pregnancy, for example if the womb is larger or smaller than it should be for the stage of the pregnancy, or if you are being sick more than in a normal pregnancy. ... Complete hydatidiform moles also have a characteristic appearance on an ultrasound scan so this, and the fact that no developing foetus is seen when you have a scan at the ante-natal clinic, can allow the diagnosis to be suspected. ...In a normal pregnancy the placenta makes many hormones to support itself, the baby and the mother. One of these hormones is called human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), and in a molar pregnancy, where there is overgrowth of the placenta, there is a large amount of this hormone produced." Since the OP hcg levels are fairly normal, it would suggest either a misdiagnosed miscarriage or a blighted ovum. I just wanted to post this to reassure people who might read and worry about it. Hope you don't mind.

TFLS - sorry to hear about your missed miscarriage, it is so hard to have this happen.

I am currently in my first cycle since my last miscarriage (of three so far in the last year) hence my lurking on these boards, but I wish that none of us had to go through this.

MintChocAddict Sat 18-Jul-09 11:30:50

Thanks for all the info Rainbow Days. It helps to find out more about all the possibilities.

Scan scheduled for the end of next week as HCG levels from yesterday's bloods (third set this week) had risen again. Should get the diagnosis confirmed and hopefully if things haven't started to happen naturally by then will be able to discuss next steps.

I'm just fed up waiting for nature to take its course, but consider myself very lucky that I've not been through this before. Really sorry to hear your story as three miscarriages in a year must have been so hard.

Hope you're doing OK. smile

thefatladyscreams Sat 18-Jul-09 12:01:08

MintChoc - must be so strange to get your blood results back and they are still rising. How are you doing today?

Rainbow - 3 miscarriages in a year sounds incredibly tough. Hope you're doing OK.

MintChocAddict Sat 18-Jul-09 12:15:29

Doing fine,thanks. How are you doing? Hope you're feeling OK today?

I'm sitting on the couch relaxing. Was at Next Sale at 8am for a bit of retail therapy and had a bowl of ice-cream at 11am but figure that given the week I've had, what the hell! grin

I think my body's not recognising that it's not pregnant and that's why the levels are still rising. I think until things start to happen properly, levels will stay high. Have been spotting for about 5 weeks though and getting fed up with that. Feeling another bowl of ice-cream coming on! wink

thefatladyscreams Sat 18-Jul-09 13:13:30

MintChoc - icecream sounds very much deserved. Make sure you are well stocked for the weekend wink

Not surprised that you're fed up with 5 weeks of spotting - trouble is your brain must still try and analyse it all.

I've been a bit all over the place - went between hysterical tears and black humour all yesterday and woke up feeling empty and numb but feeling better now thanks. Have read a lot of other ladies' stories and I guess it helps put things in perspective and not make me feel alone.

I also opened a very medicinal bottle of wine last night and may get another in for tonight! Then back to the healthy ttc diet....

thefatladyscreams Sat 18-Jul-09 13:19:13


Just reread your post properly - can't believe you've been through this 3 times. Good luck with the ttc - yes, let's all hope for some more positive news in the future.

MintChocAddict Sat 18-Jul-09 15:17:27

Glad you're feeling better. Very natural to go through a rollercoaster of emotions I reckon. It's early days and will all take time, but I think keeping positive for the future if you can is a good thing.

Hope you enjoy your wine tonight. I'm going out for a bite to eat later and intend to eat lots and try to be merry! smile

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