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Misdiagnosed miscarriage at 7 weeks IVF - can this happen?

(17 Posts)
Leyton Wed 22-Jul-20 22:13:00

I'm 7 weeks pregnant with IVF and yesterday got 2 completely different diagnoses: one from the IVF clinic and another from my local hospital's emergency gynaecology unit.

Because it's IVF, I had a 7 week scan yesterday at the IVF clinic and two different doctors there said there was definitely no heartbeat (there hadn't been one the week before either). They used the doppler to double check and there was definitely no sound. CRL measurement was 7.7mm. They told me to stop taking the IVF medication immediately and referred me to my local hospital to make arrangements for a managed miscarriage (I haven't had any bleeding or cramps, probably because I'm on progesterone).

I went straight to my local hospital and got seen by a midwife sonographer. She said she could definitely see a heartbeat. She measured the CRL at 2.8mm, and this was only 2 hours after the clinic had measured it at 7.7mm. She wouldn't use the doppler to check.She just said she could clearly see a heartbeat, so I should wait another whole week and get rescanned then, and to keep taking the medication.

Both scans were transvaginal, so more accurate than ultrasound. I suspect the IVF clinic, being private, had better scanning machines. There can't be very much room for dates being wrong, as it was IVF.

When I told the IVF clinic what the hospital had said they were incredulous and said it had never happened before. But they said just in case, I should keep taking the meds and wait another week for another scan, while also being on standby for a miscarriage to come.

Has this happened to anyone? My hunch is that the hospital sonographer just mistook one of my blood vessels for a heartbeat and wanted to go home as it was the end of the day.

It's agonising not knowing what's going on or what to plan for, especially with my nearly 4 year old at home picking up on all the tension and confusion and not knowing the reason. I want to protect her from trauma as my youngest daughter was stillborn at full term last year.

OP’s posts: |
Smidge001 Wed 22-Jul-20 22:20:47

I would assume the same as you, that the IVF team would be right. The measurements don't make any sense given it was IVF. I wonder if the local hospital isn't used to doing scans so early? Whereas the IVF clinic would be far more used to scanning at 6 or 7 weeks.
I don't think there's much you can do except keep taking the medication and get another scan in a week. But I would be really annoyed with the local hospital and want the same woman to do the scan again next week given she was so sure and wouldn't double check. Sometimes people only learn to trust other suggestions if they've experienced it themselves. She'll have gone home certain she was right and will likely never find out what happens next.

So sorry.

Elouera Wed 22-Jul-20 22:20:59

Sorry you are going through this. Did either facility actually show you the screen? Did you see the flicker of the heart beat at the EPU?

I don't have this exact experience, but did have IVF in Mar. I was measuring a week behind but did have a HB at 7 weeks. I was told that at such an early stage, it really is tiny and easily missed.

Even 7mm still smaller than 1cm- which is still very small. Did you only have 1 embryo put in? Could there be a chance of twins, where 1 is viable and the other isnt at this stage?

Sorry I can't offer 1st hand experience or advice, but I hope things work out flowers

Anaesthetist83 Wed 22-Jul-20 22:28:48

Sorry, uncertainty is a horrible thing but I think the IVF clinic are likely to be right. CRL at 7 weeks should be about 11mm. I don’t think a fetal heart would be visible if it was only 2mm

Leyton Wed 22-Jul-20 22:33:59

@Elouera Yes, I did see the flicker she was pointing at at the EPU. But then, I think I saw the same flicker on the screen at the IVF clinic when 2 doctors were looking at it saying there was no heartbeat, so I thought it must be something like a blood vessel in my womb.

I only had 1 embryo put in so it can't be twins.

OP’s posts: |
Iwanttositundermyownvine Wed 22-Jul-20 22:40:53

Gosh what an incredibly hard situation. IVF is such a difficult thing to go through, the uncertainty and waiting and waiting is brutal. I don't have any advice, it's an unusual situation.

So sorry to hear about the death of your beautiful daughter as well. You've had a seriously tough ride. flowers

maxdash Wed 22-Jul-20 22:57:50

The IVF clinic is probably right BUT I wouldn't stop taking your medication just now until the next scan.

Smidge001 Fri 24-Jul-20 17:52:07

@Leyton how are you doing OP? Do you have the next blood test booked in? I presume you are still taking the progesterone. Uncertainty is crap. Hope you're OK.

Smidge001 Fri 24-Jul-20 17:52:50

Sooty, I meant scan, not blood test.

myworkingtitle Fri 24-Jul-20 17:54:20

Gosh you must have had a difficult week waiting. I hope you’re okay.

Leyton Fri 24-Jul-20 18:43:33

I'm hanging in there, thanks @Smidge001. I thought about going to a different hospital but as far as I can tell from the info online about early pregnancy units, they won't see me unless I'm actually bleeding or in pain (or unless I get a GP referral, which could take a week anyway). I've got some very mild cramps but that's about it.

I've got a scan booked at the hospital and I insisted on the clinic booking another one too, but the earliest I could get at either place was Wednesday, which is still 4 days away. I think I've come to terms with the loss, because nothing will ever be as devastating as losing my daughter at 38 weeks. But I am quite scared of the physical process that lies ahead, especially because as part of the IVF I've been taking blood thinners, which surely make you bleed more? The clinic says keep taking them until Wednesday but they didn't really answer when I asked them if it was dangerous because of the bleeding.

In my head I'm crossing off each hour that passes, but they're really long hours. I made sure the hospital scan is with the same woman and I will definitely make a formal complaint about her when it turns out the two IVF doctors were right and she prolonged my agony for a week unnecessarily. I feel stupid injecting myself with blood thinners every night while stockpiling maxi pads at the same time.

Thank you for checking, that's kind.

OP’s posts: |
Climbingallthetrees Fri 24-Jul-20 18:49:28

A miscarriage at that stage won’t be too bad physically, try not to worry about that aspect too much. I’d have thought it was more likely that a heartbeat was missed than that one was found erroneously, but it seems so unlikely that two drs missed it at the precious scan.

Smidge001 Fri 24-Jul-20 19:29:52

Glad you have two scans booked and will be seeing the same lady. You're right of course, it can't possibly be as bad as losing your daughter at 38 weeks.
I went through 5 rounds of IVF and didn't manage to get pregnant. I knew within days of the transfer each time that it hadn't worked (I'd bleed despite the progesterone) but they would never let me take the blood test any earlier to let me stop the charade of taking the meds (it was ridiculously late - something like 17 days post a 5dt, so they definitely could have done). I understand the waiting. I used to just want to go to sleep for 5 days and wake up on the test day. No such luck!
Hang in there.

Greenfloors Fri 24-Jul-20 20:09:09

Hey OP, sorry to hear you are in limbo at the moment, sounds like a really tough place to be. Sending you lots of positivity and strength x

Leyton Tue 28-Jul-20 20:54:55

Hello, OP here. Just in case it helps anyone else in the same position I thought I'd post an update. I got the clinic scan brought forward by a day, so had it today, at 8 weeks (technically 8+4 with the extra days added for blastocyst transfer). They did detect a very faint heartbeat, but it was very faint and irregular and slow (I think 68 bpm, which is quite slow even for an adult and it should be at least twice this speed in an early pregnancy). They also measured the CRL as having got smaller since last week (by their measurements, not the hospital's ones which were crazy), and saw that there's a small bit of the lining of the womb that has started to collapse.

They concluded that it's a failing, rather than failed, pregnancy. The doctor said it's very unlikely to become a healthy pregnancy now but medicine can never be 100% certain. We decided to stop taking the progesterone and see if nature takes its course. If by some miracle nothing has happened in 2 weeks, they will rescan again. She said some patients are advised to stop taking progesterone around now anyway (technically 8+4 weeks now) without any harm done to the pregnancy, so me stopping it won't affect the outcome now.

She also told me to postpone the hospital scan for another week as there's no point having a scan the very next day, so I've done that.

It's sad but I think I will be ok. I'll trust my body to make the decision. Thanks to everyone who replied.

OP’s posts: |
Smidge001 Wed 29-Jul-20 00:04:05

Gosh, thanks for updating OP. How tough. But I hope you feel some comfort from a clearer diagnosis/explanation of what is happening. As you say, it is out of your hands now, and your body will make the right decision for this particular pregnancy. Wishing you all the best

Frozenfrogs86 Wed 29-Jul-20 00:09:01

What difficult news. Not having a clear outcome is perhaps harder. Will be thinking of you this week as you wait.

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