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Ectopic pregnancy or just too early to tell?

(27 Posts)
indiegrrl Sat 15-Aug-09 16:41:47

Hi there, I conceived around 15 July. Following some confusing pos and neg results my GP arranged for me to have a scan last Tues. Nothing showed up and scanner was adamant it should've done by this stage of pregnancy, so they did blood tests. I am pg, HCG 560 on Tue - but only 617 on Thur. Went in again this morning to give blood for another test and nurse said may be an ectopic pg. She also said nothing wld show up on a scan til HCG levels are over 1,000 so not to worry about that. She was v. nice, and they are monitoring me, but I wondered if anyone has had this experience and went on to have a healthy pg - or had an ectopic diagnosed at an early stage? I've looked at other mn threads on ectopic but they mostly deal with what happens if you are admitted as an emergency case. I have v. occasional, slight pain just below my left kidney but at the front - cld be indigestion I guess! - other than that no symptoms and no bleeding (and no pg symptoms other than missed AF). Thanks so much.

BuffyTheFluffySlayer Sat 15-Aug-09 16:50:03

sad I'm so sorry, I hope it turns out OK for you.

They can do a trans vaginal scan, this should pick up anything in your tubes. It has only been a few weeks since you conceived though, this could be why they are not detecting anything, there's normally some thickening of the urterine wall, maybe a sac but every pregnancy is different.

piprabbit Sat 15-Aug-09 17:27:38

This is a long post - and may not be especially reassuring, sorry. However, I thought I'd let you know my experience of a non-emergency ectopic pregnancy. I hope it helps a little.

I had a little spotting at 6 weeks and a positive pg test that didn't seem to get any stronger over time.

At no time did I have any pain or anything more than a little spotting.

MW sent me to the Early pregnancy unit for scans and blood tests. They were great, and I saw a lot of them as I was having blood tests and transvaginal scans every couple of days for 2 or 3 weeks.

My HCG levels weren't rising as expected and eventually they spotted a mass in my fallopian tube. At about 8 or 9 weeks I had surgery to remove the pregnancy and the tube. sad

It was a very difficult time. Hoping against hope, seeming to be continually at the hospital, worrying that I was going to get suddenly very ill, trying to keep things as normal as possible for DD, never knowing if a visit to the hospital would end in my being admitted for major surgery.

Afterwards I was off work for 6 weeks, as much to mourn and start dealing with the emotional fall-out as to physically recover.

I'm so sorry that you are going through such an uncertain and worrying time indiegrrl - I truly hope that things work out OK for you.

BTW - I've since had my lovely DS by IVF and am v. happy with my little family - but I still think about my lost little baby, who never stood a chance.

MaDuggar Sat 15-Aug-09 17:53:09

I had an ectopic diagnosed at yoru stage, and in fact it turned out to be a perfectly healthy pregnancy. Nothing showed upin my uterine scan, so they scanned my tubes & saw a mass. I was opened up to have to it removed, to find out it was just a cyst. They did HCG tests (these went up & up) & scans until soemthing showed up, which it finally did (at about 6 weeks). My DS is now 16 month s old

indiegrrl Sat 15-Aug-09 17:55:11

Thanks for the sympathy, Buffy - and pip, I appreciate so much you sharing what must have been a really stressful and sad experience. I'm so glad you did, because it is such a relief to know I'm not the only person in the world going thru this, and the kind of timescale we might be dealing with...guess that's what MN is all about. I've been beating myself up because DP and I initially felt ambivalent about the first BFP - had only just started TTC, worried wld we be gd enough parents...now feels like a self-indulgent luxury and I keep wondering if somehow I've helped make this result happen sad. You've made me realise it is ok for us to show ourselves a little compassion by taking it easy if this does turn out to be ectopic, I will really try and hang onto that. I'm glad you had a happy ending in one way with your DS's arrival.

indiegrrl Sat 15-Aug-09 17:59:52

MaDuggar that's good news, do you mind me asking did your HCG levels go up slowly like mine? I'm really pessimistic because the hosp initially told me I wasn't pregnant last wk and I went back on the wine, so I feel I've not given this pregnancy a proper chance...but then another part of me doesn't want to act like I'm pregnant because of the disappointment and upset (so I'm now on 1 glass of wine every other day or so and taking the folic acid)...

MaDuggar Sat 15-Aug-09 18:00:01

dont give up hope yet indiegrrl, its not always bad news, as my Ds shows.

MaDuggar Sat 15-Aug-09 18:04:17

oop s sorry, x-posted. I didnt have my HCG levels tested until after the laparscopy. My levels did rise a bit quicker than yours, but i was told that if it was ectopic, the levels would rise very high. How many weeks are you now? It such a horrid feeling, isnt? YOu dont know what to believe - your body is telling you that you are pregnant, you have been thinking you are pregnant then someone of "authority" tells you that you arent I will be keeping my fingers crossed that you get an outcome like mine.

Did the scan show any uterine thickening or any shadows?

indiegrrl Sat 15-Aug-09 18:20:08

I should be 6 weeks (counting it from date of last period as drs do), conceived around 15 July. HCG over 500 but then rose by less than 100 in 48 hrs. Scan on 3 Aug showed some uterine thickening, and last scan (on Tues) she did say she could see 'something v. small that cld be a sac', but she wasn't sure and said she was positive she'd see more for a pregnancy at my stage if it was proceeding normally...but I've heard conflicting info since. She had a gd look at my tubes and couldn't see anything there, but obviously early days...thanks for giving me some hope!

MaDuggar Sat 15-Aug-09 18:25:12

at 5 weeks, all they could see was a "shadow" and uterine thickening. At 6 weeks, a fetal pole but no heartbeat was seen. at 8 weeks i finally saw a tiny flickering HB.

Did you know that shoulder pain was a sign of an ectopic? Just something for you to be aware of.

pasturesnew Sat 15-Aug-09 18:41:07

This site Ectopic Pregnancy Trust has lots of useful information.

The symptoms of an ectopic are not necessarily very obvious at all, I found out I was pregnant, had a stomach cramps for a while before a feeling that something was very wrong and then "prune juice" bleeding, I never had shoulder tip pain and no doctor (GP, hospotal etc.) seemed concerned about the possibility until the scan showed a ruptured tube etc. Sorry my story is not a nice one but it is good that you are being monitored so carefully so hopefully you should not get to that point, even if it is ectopic hopefully they can treat you in such a way as to keep the tube.

Also although I lost one tube I have not had any problems conceiving since, which I hope is reassuring for you.

But I really hope it is not ectopic and that you are all right.

indiegrrl Sat 15-Aug-09 20:08:19

Thanks pasturesnew, great site, I just checked it out. Really relieved to hear you conceived afterwards.

pasturesnew Sat 15-Aug-09 20:17:50

Yep human body is a wonderful thing, DS conceived as you would imagine from the ovary with fallopian tube intact but this baby (due in a few weeks) was conceived from the ovary on the side with the missing tube, the remaining one stretched over to catch the egg!!

I do hope you will be all right but it is sensible to inform yourself either way.

indiegrrl Sun 16-Aug-09 11:31:07

That makes me feel a bit better...got to wait til tomorrow for blood test results and it feels sooo long, of course I keep imagining pain in my womb and shoulders but really I've got no symptoms at all other than missed period. Did Clearblue digi this morning, I don't know why, just for something to do. It says I'm 2-3 wks, which I think is prob because my HCG levels are low, I'm 99% sure I'm now 4-5 wks since conception. I keep reading about pple with morning sickness etc and feel like a total fraud, yet I can't concentrate on anything. Sorry, just having a moan, my head's all over the place.

pasturesnew Sun 16-Aug-09 11:50:00

Thinking of you, it's such a horrible worry.

Assume you know that the actual date of conception can be quite different from the date you had sex depending on your cycle and other factors?

Unfortunately all you can do today is wait, but it's nearly noon now so tomorrow will come!

piprabbit Sun 16-Aug-09 23:22:32

Hi Indiegrll - the waiting is awful, I'm thinking of you tonight.

Don't beat yourself up about not giving the pg a chance.... whatever you and DPs initial feelings were, whether or not you've had a glass of wine - none of this would affect the pregnancy one way or another. Nature can be pretty brutal at times, and amazingly, surprisingly forgiving at others - and I've found that there is very little we can to influence the outcome of a pg, especially at such an early stage. So please (easier said than done I know) be kind to yourself.

Good luck with tomorrow's test.

MaDuggar Mon 17-Aug-09 08:13:04

Hoping you get good news today xx

pasturesnew Mon 17-Aug-09 20:24:19

Thinking of you again today. Don't know what else to say really, not expecting you to feel much like posting if the news is bad sad.

Aitchiswaitingforalegalopinion Mon 17-Aug-09 20:37:46

hope you heard good news today, indie. i have had two eps and then two dds. it was tough, though so let's hope for something different for you.

indiegrrl Wed 19-Aug-09 10:03:22

Thanks so much for your supportive messages, I can't tell you how much these have helped me because I haven't felt able to confide in many friends. The blood test result on Mon wasn't good...they've now done 3 tests and the HCG is rising too slowly (about 20-30% over 48 hrs) and is still well below 1,000 although I shld now be at least 5 wks pregnant. The hospital have decided the pregnancy 'isn't developing normally' and I'm going in for a scan next week by which time hopefully they will be able to see something. I don't know how I'll feel if they do, relieved I hope that they can then sort this out, but somehow it will make it more real and horrible if they do see something (these comments are assuming they are not going to find a normal pregnancy - they've gently let me know that is now a remote possibility because of low and slow rising HCG). It feels very wierd to be pregnant but not properly, I can't think about it too much without feeling a bit mad and desperate. This is my first pg and I don't want to get symptoms if it isn't going to go full-term, all those things I thought I'd feel happy about like swollen breasts are now just a reminder of something strange happening inside me. I felt horribly unnatural yesterday when I met a couple of pregnant friends, like I'd failed or was an alien or something! Sorry, I'm confused and sad and rambling. Thanks again everyone.

oranges123 Wed 19-Aug-09 11:22:22

Really sorry to hear things are not going so well Indiegrrl and really hope that it turns out ok. In case it doesn't though I just thought it might help a little bit for me to post as I went through similar at the end of last year. In my case, I got pregnant through IVF so is a little different from you of course. Went for a scan at what should have been 6 weeks and only an empty sac there. Consultant got me back the following week and still nothing so he was starting to get concerned even though I was in no pain and not bleeding. He sent me for blood tests (early on I had had very low HCG levels but they had been doubling ok) and although they were high with the tests he did - 4000-ish and then two days later 6000-ish, they weren't nearly doubling so he called me in for another scan. Sure enough he found an ectopic pregnancy at the entrance to one of my tubes (in the wide part at the top so probably why I wasn't in any pain I guess). I had an op two days later.

This was just before Christmas and we went back for transfer of our remaining frozen embryos in February. I am now 28 weeks pregnant and expecting in November. I tell you this only because my story is by no means unique regardless of whether you are looking at IVF or natural pregnancy. The statistics are VERY high for people to be pregnat within a year of an ectopic pregnancy. That doesn't make it any easier at the time though. Even if it does turn out to be bad news, please don't feel like you have failed. I found that as soon as people knew I had had an ectopic pregnancy I heard loads of stories about people they knew who had had one and gone on to have children soon after. Before I had never really heard of anyone having one except on ER once.

All that said I really hope it turns out well for you this time at your scan next week.

MaDuggar Wed 19-Aug-09 11:26:53

indiegrrl Im so sorry that your test hasnt been reassuring One thing though, this is not your fault, you have not "failed" and are definitely not an alien! It seems as though your body is trying desperately to hold onto a pregnancy that just isnt meant to be. This limbo you are in must be so confusing and sad for you, I really hope you get some definite answers soon.

pasturesnew Wed 19-Aug-09 20:53:30

sorry you are still left hanging around indiegrrl, you can get through this, but not surprised you feel like you are going mad at the moment.

AitchwonderswhoFruitCrumbleis Thu 20-Aug-09 17:26:01

gosh, all the feelings are so complicated and hideous and self-torturing, aren't they? i remember it well, unfortunately.
don't completely rule out hope, though, my third pregancy behaved more like an ectopic than the others and turned out to be dd1. really, she took three days to go from an hcg of 54 to 81... (long weekend in every sense).
but if it all turns out not to be a keeper, well, my profoundest sympathies and be sure to call on our help here. smile

funtimewincies Thu 20-Aug-09 20:14:22

It's good that they're keeping a close eye on you. My ectopic wasn't fully diagnosed until I had a laparoscopy. I'd had uterine thickening, but no sign of anything in the tubes on a trans vaginal scan. HcG levels weren't rising very fast and after 2 heavy bleeds still showed a +ve test.

A tube was removed and I conceived ds within 4 months grin.

Good luck and hope that things work out for you.

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