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Abroad (USA) and scared I might be miscarrying. Should I be seeing a doctor/getting a scan?

(9 Posts)
poguemahone Fri 09-Oct-09 21:58:24

I need advice from anyone who knows anything about early bleeding or the US health care system.

We've lived in the USA for almost a year now but I'm still woefully at sea when dealing with the health system here.

I'm 6+2 weeks pregnant and have had light bleeding, lower back pain and cramps on and off for a week now.

I had already registered with an OBGYN and so have called his office 3 times in the past week (as symptoms have developed) but have been told that it's very common, that at this stage there is nothing anyone can do, but if the bleeding gets really heavy I should go to the emergency room.

I'm very worried, am getting the impression that I'm a nuisance, but when I had spotting (but no pains) at around 6-7 weeks with previous pregnancies in the UK I was taken straight in for a scan which at least set my mind at rest (thankfully they all turned out fine).

So does anyone know how far on do I have to be for a scan? The bleeding has stopped now (but still cramping) - is that a good sign? Do I have to just wait for my scheduled scan (10 weeks) to find out if I'm still pregnant or can I do a pregnancy test?

I'm going mad with worry here.

wicked Fri 09-Oct-09 22:03:49

If you are miscarrying, then there is not an awful lot anyone can do. You have to let nature take its course.

It sounds like you have a history of breakthrough bleeding, so there is reason to be optimistic.

There is no point in doing a HPT because there will be HCG in your system, even if you are about to miscarry.

My suggestion would be to wait for the scheduled scan.

If you have stopped bleading, that is a good sign. Period type pains are fairly common in early pregnancy.

Hope you can get some peace of mind.

As for getting a scan, it depends on your insurance. The OBGYN office should be able to advise, and of course you could pay out of pocket if you really had to. The office scans can be very basic, though. If you are six weeks, you probably need to go to a early fetal medicine center.

poguemahone Fri 09-Oct-09 22:04:44

Forgot to say when I call I don't get to speak to the doctor, it's always the nurse who advises me (if that's relevant).

Ewe Fri 09-Oct-09 22:06:50

Can you pay for a scan privately?

Also, what colour is the blood? I had light bleeding on and off in early pregnancy and was told not to panic unless a lot of bright red (fresh) blood. Unfortunately I think it is pretty much a wait and see scenario Hope all is ok.

Ivykaty44 Fri 09-Oct-09 22:10:53

I am sorry you are going through this, you will still feel pg if you are and you will know if something happens and know that you are no longer pg.

As the other post says, you have a history of this and that is a sign it is just what happens to you in early pg.

I bleed feom 6-7 weeks till 20 weeks in the uk and not once when I bleed did they suggest a scan, nature will take its course and there isn't a lot unfortuantley you can do.

Rest and spoil yourself

rockinghertosleep Fri 09-Oct-09 22:16:49

Sorry you're worried. I would call back and politely ask to be seen now. Depending on your insurance plan, there could be room for an extra early scan. When I became pregnant with DD, I was told that the earliest scan that my OBGYN did was at around 8 weeks and that was because before then there wasn't much visible and they wanted to be sure it was a sticker. Saying that, I'm not sure how they would've reacted to a bit of spotting.

Also, you should be within your rights to offer to pay for a scan now regardless of your insurance coverage - just ask what the cost would be upfront. And phone around to a few OBGYNs - there could be a significant variation in how much it would cost and/or how early they would do it.

One more thing, if you have any condition such as endometriosis (sp?) which automatically puts you at higher risk of ectopic pregnancy, you should bring that to the OBGYN's attention, as that could qualify you for an earlier scan.

Failing that, you could always go the ER route and pay your insurance copay for the visit. You would probably have a better chance of getting a scan there if you were still beeding.

Good luck and try not to worry! smile

poguemahone Fri 09-Oct-09 22:49:44

Thanks everyone.

Rocking, I think I will ring round the other OBGYNs and see if I can arrange a scan, whether I do pay for it or otherwise. (My own OBGYN doesn't work Fridays...) With my previous pregnancies I got a trans-vaginal ultrasound because they were so early on. According to you, Wicked, that may not be standard office equipment so I may have to wait as I'm in the middle of nowhere here and the nearest EPU is hundreds of miles away.

Ewe, the blood varies from brown to red (very little red, though). So that's a good sign, isn't it? (I'd feel less frantic if I didn't have the pains)

Ivy, comforting to hear that it's normal not to be offered a scan. Fortunately/unfortunately I have never really had pregnancy symptoms with any pregnancy. Makes me wish I had morning sickness or something.

poguemahone Thu 15-Oct-09 20:35:24

Update: I saw a heartbeat! grin

I switched OBGYN and my new OBGYN arranged a scan and everything looks great (size bang-on for dates, heart beating at the right rate).

Thank you all again for the advice and support.

ladyandthechocolate Thu 15-Oct-09 21:00:09

That's brilliant news - what a relief grin

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