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Early scan has scared me!

(39 Posts)
fluffyslippers Tue 12-Sep-06 11:00:43

This is my first post here so I'm sorry if this is something that's already been discussed.
I found out I was pregnant on Friday, very happy, been trying since January - this is my first pregnancy and I estimate I'm around 6 weeks pg (but my cycle has always been very long 35-40 days).
Visited GP yesterday, when I mentioned I had experienced some cramping abdominal pains she was concerned and immediately sent me up to the hospital for an early scan as she wanted to rule out an ectopic preganancy.
Obviously I was very scared and anxious; the scanner was not available for 1 week so the doctor arranged for her registrar to come an do a vaginal scan. This registrar told me he was not a qualified scanner, although he knew how to use the equipment he had to make me aware it was not his specialism (that filled me with confidence!). From the scan he was pretty certain the pg is not ectopic he could see the sac in the womb.
However he then said it was too small for me being 6 weeks pg - the sac was 4mm rather than 20mm. I am sure of my dates of my last period, but I always have a cycle longer than 28 days (more like 37 days) so surely this could mean I was less pg than they are calculating as my cycle is not average?
I have to go back on monday for another scan, I have been told to completely rest as my blood pressure is through the roof (not surprisingly being so anxious). I have now convinced myself that I've had a missed miscarriage (I've had no bleeding)... I'm very worried and can't think of anything else, has anyone else experienced anything like this?

anniediv Tue 12-Sep-06 11:15:14

I haven't experienced this but I'm sure someone else will have, so I'm bumping it for you

Socci Tue 12-Sep-06 11:37:14

Message withdrawn

katyjo Tue 12-Sep-06 11:38:09

Try not to worry, the positives are you do not have an ectopic pregnancy and you are pregnant. I know your doctor was worried by the cramping pains but alot of people feel this in early pregnancy. I am no expert on sac size, but it doesn't sound like the registrar is either, so really don't worry. Congratulations! X

fluffyslippers Tue 12-Sep-06 11:44:29

Thanks people, this is all so new to me and I'm a natural worrier! Feel like I went in with one problem and came out with another, guess I'll just have to put my feet up and try and put my mind off things until next Monday.

The doc who did the scan was very insensitive and has made me very worried. Kept joking & about lubricating the scan thing with the nurses (yes it resembles a vibrator but didn't need the innuendo) , laughing about it and didn't seem to care about my feelings at all. After the scan, he turned to the nurse and said 'I'll leave the bedside stuff to you...'

Didn't give me any useful info, just said 'it's too small' and left. I'm just willing that it grows and next week I have someone a bit more sensitive.

Gem13 Tue 12-Sep-06 11:44:49

I had a very similar situation. At 5 weeks they didn't see anything, 6.5 weeks they saw a sac but nothing else, at 8 weeks they saw a tiny fetus with a heartbeat but said that I was probably around 6.5 weeks.

I know I didn't get a positive pregnancy test a week and a half early! I still can't work it out but subsequent scans have been fine and I am now 24 weeks.

Easy to say but try not to worry. I don't think the medical staff realise the impact they have when they say things sometimes. Try to take it that if they are not concerned, you shouldn't be either.

fairyjay Tue 12-Sep-06 11:57:08

I had a scan at 6 wks and the dr. said he couldn't see a heartbeat. It was there at 7 wks. though.

Try not to worry too much

CurrantBun Tue 12-Sep-06 11:58:34

So sorry to hear you've been made to worry unnecessarily. My due date is based on my LMP date despite the fact that I too have long cycles (shortest 32 days). I was actually temperature charting when I fell pregnant and from the temperature 'spike' in my chart I would guess that the cycle would have been 32 days but the scan confirmed my LMP as the correct date. This may cause a problem if I go overdue.

Don't worry about what the registrar said. He obviously didn't really know what he was doing (and pretty much admitted it). You haven't had any bleeding so please try to relax as high blood pressure won't do you or the baby any good. I had actually booked an early scan and ended up cancelling it and waiting until 12 weeks - mainly because a) I didn't fancy the idea of a vaginal scan and b) I was told that so early in pregnancy it isn't always possible to see a heartbeat and that would have just made me worry. All was well at the 12-week scan and I was glad I'd waited.

Socci Tue 12-Sep-06 11:59:22

Message withdrawn

fluffyslippers Tue 12-Sep-06 12:01:19

I'm so glad I found this forum, I don't really have anyone to talk to here so it's lovely to have friendly and reassuring advice. Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences with me

I realise rest and postive outlook are the best things for me right now, so I will go and watch daytime tv (haven't done that since student days!!!).

Nicola63 Tue 12-Sep-06 12:15:26

I agree that you should make a complaint about the doctor. A registrar is still in training and this man needs to be taught how to behave, obviously. I know you have other things on your mind right now, but I would really advise you to write an official complaint letter to the hospital explaing what happened. They are obliged to act on it, and you may be helping to prevent other women from having a similar experience.

Toady Tue 12-Sep-06 12:33:09

Sounds like a right n*b if you ask me. I am sure your long cycles will make a difference. This may also affect your due date. Not much advice but just try not to worry. Hang on a minute let me go and find pupuce she may be able to give you some advice.

maltatheterrible Tue 12-Sep-06 12:49:06

Hi Fluffyslippers

Again, my situation was similar to yours. I have a long cycle, approx 37 days and used ovulation kits to get pregnant as standard dating methods based on 28 day cycles were not producing results.
I did inform the midwife that I was nearly certain of the conception date, but she pulled the "we'll see" face and booked me in for my twelve week scan. (she is lovely though!)
The sonographer decided that our dates were correct and as the baby was not developed enough, she nearly sent us away and told us to come back in a fortnight. Fortunately she could make out enough to be happy that all was well, so I am waiting nervously for 20wk scan now.
These long cycles are a real pain, and I agree that everyone else your registra was a prat.

The same useless "try not to worry advice" I'm afraid.

Flamesparrow Tue 12-Sep-06 12:50:24

Same here (sort of) - scan at 12 weeks showed 8 week baby (luckily a heartbeat so not the worrying). She stayed 4 weeks small, was born 4 weeks late (by MY dates), but came out looking like a very overdue baby although she was on time by their dates.

I know when she was conceived.

Scans are far from perfect. Please try not to worry too much. It could easily be confused dates with your cycle length, or just an oddly growing child like mine

lemonaid Tue 12-Sep-06 13:09:23

You wouldn't expect a 20mm sac until around 7 weeks, anyway, I think. 4mm would imply probably around 5 weeks, which sounds well within your range of possible dates and probably more likely than 6 weeks given your cycle length.

That doesn't mean that you don't have a blighted ovum / missed miscarriage. Sadly they are very common. But it does mean that they had no basis for telling you anything other than that it was too early to see more than a sac and they'd need to do a follow-up scan -- there's no reason to particularly suspect a m/c.

The cramping in early pregnancy is very very normal -- in fact, with DS I didn't test for ages because the cramps had me convinced my period was about to start. I had far more cramping with the successful pregnancy than with the one that ended in m/c.

Sangeet Tue 12-Sep-06 13:44:56

*Hi fluffyslippers and All!*

I face a similar situation. I noticed a slight brown discharge around week 6 of my pregnancy, panicked and went to my GP. She did an internal check, advised that the neck of my womb was closed but still recommended a scan. I went for a scan but no heartbeat could be detected. I was told that it was too early; maybe I got the dates wrong and have another scan appointment 10 days later which is the day after, on 14th Sept. I am extremely anxious as well.

Does anyone know if an ultrasonic external and/or internal scan is harmful for the growth of the foetus and later the baby?

Good luck to you...

Olihan Tue 12-Sep-06 13:53:58

Hi Fluffyslippers, I also have a long cycle (35 days) and with all of my pgs I know I conceived around days 20 - 22. As a result the midwives will never accept my dates and always send me for a dating scan. It's entirely possible that you may only be 5 1/2 weeks which won't show a heartbeat on a scan but there's also the fact that the incompetent doc measured it wrongly anyway. AFAIK, you ovulate 14 days approx before your period is due, rather than 2 weeks after the last one iyswim. So you could be a bit behind what you think.

I also had cramping around 5 - 6 weeks each time and I panicked first time round then realised with #2 & #3 that it was more to do with implantation, like others have said.

Olihan Tue 12-Sep-06 13:55:14

Sorry Sangeet, meant to add that there's no evidence suggesting that scans are harmful to babies at all.

novadandypowder Tue 12-Sep-06 14:57:54

sorry, just wanted to stick my oar in re: dates.

I went for a dating scan thinking I was about 8+ wks. Turns out I was only 6+5 which didn't fit in with LMP. Also (due to an embarrassing lack of BD-ing) I thought knew the date when bubba was likely to be conceived, which also didn't fit into being 6+5. However, turns out sperm can be sticky stuff and that this bubba was conceived 6 days after BD-ing. Turns out I ovulate very late into my cycle.

I went for another scan two wks later to make sure it was growing properly and it was all good.

Not really advice, just wanted to say smaller than you think is not always bad

pupuce Tue 12-Sep-06 15:09:05

Sorry no time to read all the replies... i DO think you cna only wait until Monday to see what's going on and there is little you can do about it.
I have been told by doctors that vaginal scans DO increase the risk of miscarriage and as you have had some before.... try to avoid these sorts of scans if you can (I appreciate you had no choice here!).
Try to relax as sadly there is nothing you can do..... I know easier said then done ! Good luck

Socci Tue 12-Sep-06 15:27:28

Message withdrawn

fluffyslippers Thu 14-Sep-06 13:08:16

So I'm waiting the week out to have another early scan on Monday and trying to put things out of my mind when I just get a green copy of the 'Discharge Summary' from the hospital on my doorstep.

In the notes it says '? viable pregnancy' no explanation, nothing... although they told me the sac was small on Monday they didn't put it quite so bluntly as this and it has made me sooo upset. There seems to be no thought with the hospital as to my feelings.

I feel more or less resigned that this pregnancy is lost now. Sorry to bump this post up, but I'm really upset about it.

3andnomore Thu 14-Sep-06 14:07:17

Viable pg actually means the pg seems so far to be intact, i.e. o.k. not miscarried!
If you do have a long cycle then indeed the normal maths will be pretty incorrect, as it goes by 28 days you have to add those 9-12 days on top, so, indeed you are probably more likely to be 6 weeks rather then 8 weeks pg which explains why they can only see a sac so far,I think the heartbeat appears around 7 or 8 weeks...!
Tje pains could very well be implantation pains, and there could also be a minor bleeding which often is Implantation bleeed rather than a sign of a loss of pg!
But the Doctor sounds like a bit of pr* to me, to say it bluntly and he should not have made you feel uncomfortable....but then, he may just have been this insensitive because he was nervous and unsure...but this is still no excuse!

fluffyslippers Thu 14-Sep-06 14:10:21

Thanks for the reassurance.
Trying to remain rational about it all... this is the longest week of my life and the 'discharge note' just made me start to worry again!
Born worrier me!

3andnomore Thu 14-Sep-06 14:17:04

Fluffyslippers...what do you mean? Why does the discharge note make you more worried?
Sorry if I am being thick here!
But, I do understand how worrying it must be for you all...I had 2 m/c's in the past and it isn't easy...but so far I really can't see any indication, from what I read in your messages, of you having a m/c or anything!

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