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Miscarriage/pregnancy loss

positive pregnancy tests after miscarriage

23 replies

aquamortis · 27/10/2010 09:57

I think I know the answers to this really but I need a bit of hand-holding. Last week I was 6 weeks pregnant but then had a lot of bleeding and pain. GP said miscarriage, and that I should do another pregnancy test this week to confirm. I asked him what to do if it was positive, and he said 'well I really think it will be negative'. Well, it was a strong positive.

So, I'm going to test again tomorrow, and if still positive then I'll go back to the GP. Am I right that there might be retained tissue (is this the right term?) that could be causing the positive tests? This wasn't something the GP even mentioned, so I feel a bit lacking in information. Worse, I can't help hoping that it's all a mistake and that actually I am still pregnant.

That's really unlikely, isn't it? I know you can't possibly diagnose me but it would be very helpful to know whether it's common to get positive tests after miscarriage (looking through other threads I'm guessing yes, despite what the GP said) - I think I really need to try to accept that this pregnancy hasn't worked out, and stop clinging to the idea that it might.

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leo1978 · 27/10/2010 10:25

Hi there

Have they not offered you a scan? I don't want to be a scaremonger but I bled a little bit at 6 weeks and had a scan and they couldn't see anything then I had a ruptured ectopic 3 days later - so insist on a scan and get them to check for an ectopic. Lots of bleeding and pain sounds more like a miscarriage imo, but get a scan to be sure.

I feel for you, it is a rubbish situation xxx

aquamortis · 27/10/2010 10:49

thanks Leo - no, GP didn't suggest a scan, just said that as long as I felt OK (which I do, now) there was nothing to worry about, though I guess the (unspoken) implication was that if I continued to test positive for pregnancy then more investigation was necessary.

It is a bit rubbish isn't it - I hate not knowing for certain what's going on. I'm very sorry about your ectopic.

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randomimposter · 27/10/2010 11:07

Sorry you're going through this. The uncertainty is SO hard.

It's not uncommon to have bleeding (and some pain) in early pregnancy and it's NOT necessarily a mc. Obviously the earlier you are scanned the more likely it is to have a inconclusive result, as in it can be hard to detect a viable pregnancy, but if you are now 7 weeks it should be possible.

Depends how heavy the blood loss was... did you pass anything that was clot-like? In terms of the HPT results, it's not unusual to still get positives for a few weeks after a MC, but it depends on the individual and how far along the pg is/was.

I think the only definitive way to know for sure is repeated blood tests which track the HCG levels, and of course a scan. Do you have a local EPU? Can you self-refer?

larrygrylls · 27/10/2010 11:26


You could still be pg.

We already have a son (and have experienced an earlier missed misscarriage) so assumed that when my wife was bleeding after a positive pregancy test, it was a miscarriage. We were relatively chilled about it but decided to repeat the test 2 weeks later just to confirm. Turned out to be a 10 day implantation bleed. Baby due 15th November.

I think that retained tissue will not increase HCG levels and that they return to normal over 3-4 days after a miscarriage. So, chances are that you are pg.

Only one way to find out though. Go to an EPU.

aquamortis · 27/10/2010 11:30

Yes, there were small clots. I had problems with bleeding (NOT clots though iirc) throughout the last pregnancy, I think it might have been related to cervix erosion, but I did feel this time round that it was worse, and I don't want to get my hopes up by thinking that it might be OK. The stupid thing is that I had accepted it was a mc until that wretched positive pregnancy test; but it's helpful to know (perhaps my GP would also find it helpful to know!) that they can come up even after mc.

I think that I can self-refer to the hospital, yes - I phoned them last week in fact, because the GP was taking ages to get back to me (initially had a phone consultation) and I was getting fidgety. So if it's still positive tomorrow and the GP doesn't take it seriously, I will get in touch with them. There is a really good department there, they are a big teaching hospital and were wonderful when I had dd and the bleeding made things a bit scary.

thanks so much for your messages - they really mean a lot.

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aquamortis · 27/10/2010 11:35

thanks larry - and congratulations on your impending arrival Smile

twas not implantation bleeding though - had quite heavy implantation bleeding both this time and last, and it was quite different.

I need to just wait and see what the test/scan says, I know! This is as bad as those 'am I pregnant it's too early to take a test' threads isn't it...I need to try to acquire some patience from somewhere.

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mrsmillsfanclub · 27/10/2010 12:07

Things could be fine, but I know its a worry. I don't want to put a downer on you, but I still had a positive pg test four weeks after my mmc, personally I wouldn't rely on pg tests. A scan will be far better.
Im keeping my fingers crossed for you.

aquamortis · 27/10/2010 12:10

thanks mrsmills, and don't worry about the downer - in truth I'd rather expect the worst so I'm not disappointed all over again. It's just so hard to convince my subconscious of that.

so sorry about your mmc

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batteryhen · 27/10/2010 13:03

Hello - I think the only way you will know is get a scan. Go back to your gp (or another) and ask to be referred. He should have done this in the first instance. Being left in limbo is horrible - get a scan and one way or the other you will find out xx good luck and let us know how you go. And don't be fobbed off by your Dr :) xxx

MummyAbroad · 27/10/2010 14:34


If you want to arm yourself with information before you go back to your doctor, there is a lot of very useful information about mc's and what is "normal" and what is not.

I do hope this info turns out to be irrelevant though and that you scan shows all is well.

good luck xxx

banana87 · 27/10/2010 21:24

I would NOT expect a pregnancy test to be negative a week after a miscarriage. I would give it 2-3 weeks to go negative. You do need a scan though, as you may have retained tissue. Are you still bleeding?

aquamortis · 28/10/2010 11:40

Thanks for all your messages. I seem to have stopped bleeding, or almost stopped.

Another strong positive pregnancy test this morning which hopefully will make the GP take it seriously and send me for a scan. If not I think I can just go into the hospital on my own. He's due to phone me later today.

I really wish that he had not planted the idea in my mind that if I continued to get positive tests, things might be OK....

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mamadoc · 28/10/2010 16:04

I was told after my MC at 8 weeks to do a test 2 weeks later and if that was -ve (which it was) no need for a scan so perhaps it is just too early.

emptyshell · 29/10/2010 10:23

It's taken me 5 1/2 weeks to get negatives following an EPRC - hormones can hang around for a fairly long time (I was the longer side of normal though).

lissieloucifer · 29/10/2010 10:27

you could still be pg, with ds i bled from 5w-20w. very heavilty at times. or you might not be, as others have said, it does take a while for your levels to settle down again, or it could be an ep. either way im disgusted that your gp didnt arrange a scan. you need one ASAP. call EPU. NOW

aquamortis · 29/10/2010 11:10

thanks again for all the messages, they really are appreciated. I've been for a scan this morning - they were lovely at the hospital, and didn't make me feel (as the GP did a little bit, though he did refer me when I said that was what I wanted) as though I was making an unnecessary fuss. Scan not 100% conclusive but suggests that I've miscarried and that there are retained products (there was what looked like a 5wk pregnancy sac when I should have been around 7wks). They are going to keep track of things for a bit to rule out ectopic pregnancy etc.

So, there's no particularly happy ending, but I feel so much better for having a much clearer diagnosis. THank you again for all the messages.

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lissieloucifer · 29/10/2010 11:12

oh sweetheart, sorry it wasnt better news

aquamortis · 29/10/2010 11:27

thank you lissie, I'm sorry too, but strangely it really does feel better to know for sure

back to ttc I guess...must remember to ask at hospital if retained products rule that out for the present

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lissieloucifer · 29/10/2010 11:32

you need to wait until you have the all clear before you have sex again, you are currently at risk from infection. i know what you mean about being almost relieved you know, when is your next scan? did they take bloods?

aquamortis · 29/10/2010 11:50

ah, I thought that might be the case. They took bloods as they want to monitor HCG levels to completely rule out ectopic pg, so I'm next in on Sunday. Will ask them then about ttc and so on.

yes it's funny that it's feels a bit like relief just to have an answer, isn't it - I hadn't realised how upset the uncertainty was making me.

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lissieloucifer · 29/10/2010 11:57

with all of my mc's i was relieved when it was confirmed, then instantly felt guilty for feeling relieved iykwim. make sure you drink plenty and rest, dont be afraid to ask for painkillers too.

lissieloucifer · 29/10/2010 11:58

oh, and do NOT use tampons.

aquamortis · 29/10/2010 12:04

so sorry to hear of your mcs lissie

our bodies play silly tricks on us with our emotions, don't they? relief then guilt sounds very familiar

thanks for all your advice, it's very helpful

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