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EPAU scan shows empty uterus, but HCG abnormally high

23 replies

JJane01 · 27/10/2005 18:40

It's my first time using the talk section of MN . I've browsed a fair bit and think it's great how much support, encouragement and information there is.... which is why I am writing with my problem.
I am anywhere between 3 and 6 weeks' pregnant - I leave the dates open because:

I'm not sure when my last period was in September (been through the work mill - made redundant so probably upset the pattern)
I tested +ve at home on 11 October
Since then:
I started bleeding very lightly at the weekend, more smeary when wiping, nothing to speak of on my pad (sorry TMI)
I went to EPAU yesterday. The sample came up +ve. The scan showed nothing in my uterus; ovaries clear; no "adnexal masses" (think that means fallopian tubes are clear)
They took my blood to test for HCG count
They rang me today to say the count is abnormally high
I am going back tomorrow morning to give more blood so they can test the count again
unless I get the symptoms relating to ectopic, which means I'll be in A&E in a cat's whisker
I get the impression EPAU are convinced my uterus isn't being occupied, therefore where is my bean.... am I miscarrying (very slowly?) or do I have ectopic.
Stranger still - for them and for me - apart from feeling emotionally wrung out, I am OK; all pregnancy symptoms as would be expected.
To make things more difficult, I started a new job last week and I'm probably making a fantastic impression, being off, although it's circumstances beyond my control. I've now got a male boss and really wish I was still working at my old place because the people are much more sympathetic (whinge whinge).
So, my questions are:
has anyone experienced this situation - high HCG but nothing in uterus
what was the outcome
does anyone know anything about phantom pregnancies?
Would appreciate any help or advice.

OP posts:
trace2 · 27/10/2005 19:03

yes it was was very like mine i was carrying twins and i lost one, but to early to tell if other baby was ok, they wanted to do d&c when i lost but mine was high too so i said i would wait alittle until they could tell with scan. glad i did ds is now 3 years old

noops · 27/10/2005 19:08

they can't see anything with the ultrasound if it s very early pg. they will let you know after the second bt if it sounds like a viable pg.
sounds poss that it is twins and too ealry to see them!
good luck!!

oaktree · 27/10/2005 19:12

really don't want to make tings worse - but could it be a blighted ovum? I have had that - you test +ve ahve all teh outward signs but when they scan you there's nothing there you just keep getting bigger until your body works it out adn you miscarry or have A ERPC.
I really hope that you get good news and that its just too early for tehm to find anyhting. thinking of you

JJane01 · 27/10/2005 19:33

Interesting thoughts, thank you.
We do have twins running in the family - I understand they skip a generation, which makes it me that is next in the line.
I shall read up on blighted ovum as well, to better understand what that means.
Looking forward to the bt tomorrow - my nearly 4-year-old (he's a 5 Nov firework) will be coming with me; he's got his pre-school jab in a couple of week's time.... give him an idea of what to expect. Thankfully I don't wince/jump/scare away from bts.

OP posts:
BudaBabe · 27/10/2005 19:36

What kind of ultrasound - internal?? My DS was an IVF baby and althogh HCG levels were increasing as they should nothing showed up on crappy old scanning maching in clinic (we were o/seas) but on a proper internal scan machine - there was a h/beat.

Wishing you luck!

buffytheharpsichordcarrier · 27/10/2005 19:43

JJane - it is really very early to tell anything. just because they can't see anything, does NOT mean by any means that there is nothing there.
did they try a vaginal scan?
losing a twin is a great deal more common than you might think.
hope that you get good news - just try and hang on in there
HC x

gingernut · 27/10/2005 19:51

JJane01, sorry you're going through this worrying time. It is difficult to see much on early scans so it is usually recommended to wait a while and re-scan (6 weeks is about the limit AFAIK). A blighted ovum does show up on a scan because a sac develops. It's a possibility because you do get normal pg symptoms with a blighted ovum. But a normal but very early pg is also a possibility . If you do get another scan, bear in mind that you may see a sac and a foetal pole but you may not be able to see a heartbeat until around 8 weeks - it varies a lot.

Hope things turn out well.

karmamother · 27/10/2005 22:30

JJane01, If it's any help adnexal masses aren't referring to your fallopian tubes, your adnexa lie to either side of your uterus. My sister had a scan which showed an empty uterus but continue to bleed & have pain. The ectopic had been missed by the sonographer.
When you said the HCG levels were abnormally high did they mean in relation to an apparantly empty uterus or did they mean for an established pregnancy?
A blighted ovum is this....after fertilisation, the cells divide & within a day or two, they organise themselves into 2 poles which will develop into a head & tail. This (or the lack of) can be picked up on a early scan. When this doesn't occur, it's known as a blighted ovum. It will never develop into a fetus, sadly. The cruel part is the pregnancy hormones are still produced which give you your symptoms. By the time the placenta would normally take over hormone production, the "pregnancy" will come to an end as there is no placenta either.

Will they repeat the scan along with the blood test?

trace2 · 28/10/2005 14:07

JJane01 what happening?

JJane01 · 31/10/2005 14:33

Hello everyone.
Well, had second blood test on Friday morning and wasn't allowed home - they wanted to wait for the results, which turned out to not be very good.
I was admitted to Surgical Assessment Unit and put on the emergency list for operation to remove "query-ectopic".
No food or water on Friday, but at 9pm was allowed to eat as theatre was busy with trauma surgeries, so agreed to postpone until Saturday. Nil by mouth from midnight Friday. Went in for operation sometime around 2pm Saturday, back on the ward at 4pm. My ectopic was big, fallopian tube damaged, so removed too. I think the Consultant was perhaps surprised it hadn't ruptured and I'd had no symptoms. I have N, S, E and W incisions on my tummy from the laparoscopy, as my ectopic was being a bit awkward.
Back home yesterday (Sunday). Emotionally all over the place, physically coping with the twinges and muscle ache. Peed off because my husband's boss is being a bitch and won't give him time off to be with me. Parents are being fantastic beyond words.
My other fallopian tube is damaged too, but we don't know why. 1 in 20 chance of ectopic again, so if conceive will need 6 week scan to check all OK. If don't conceive within year of trying, can be referred for IVF c/o local Primary Care Trust.
All is not lost - I have a fabulous family and a gorgeous nearly 4-year-old boy who has been outstanding these past few days.

My advice to anyone reading this is - if you experience bleeding in pregnancy, get to the doctor. It may be nothing, it may be something.

OP posts:
gothicmama · 31/10/2005 14:37

JJaneo1 I had an ectopic prg 1st time round give yourself time to heal I have a dd now even with one damaged tube good luck

HappyMumof2 · 31/10/2005 14:38

Message withdrawn

piffle · 01/11/2005 19:03

jjane I jusrsa w your post on the other ectopci thread and came to see your pdate here
I'm so sorry to hear about this, I had a amssive ectopic as well and ruptured my tube, ambulance in the middle of the night job for me....
I had a really huge laparotomy scar low down as well as the lap incision.
It did take a long time to heal physically, it was 3 weeks before I even felt remotely normal, I am sad to hear your other tube is a bit iffy too - I've had trouble conceiving since, well I had trouble before ectopic to be honest, so I could go along ivf route but as I've 2 kids already am thinking its ok I'll stick with what I@ve got.
Hugs hope your emotions are ok

SoupDragon · 01/11/2005 19:07
karmamother · 02/11/2005 11:36

Jjane01. so sorry to hear about your ectopic. Sending you huge hugs. Plaese be positive as lots of women conceive with one tube. Good luck.

harpsichordcarrier · 02/11/2005 11:37

really sorry to read this JJane01, and sorry it was not better news for you
HC x

BudaBabe · 02/11/2005 11:40

Sorry too JJane01.

Hope you feel better soon. Give your self timeto get better.

AnnaK · 04/11/2005 13:52

Every sympathy, get well soon and good luck with trying for the next one, when you feel emothionally and physcally ready for it!

beansprout · 04/11/2005 13:54

Best wishes to you and your family and best of luck for when you start to try again xx

QueenVictoria · 04/11/2005 14:00

Sorry Jjane01. Hope you feel better soon. xx

frauleinmaria · 04/11/2005 14:08

Very sad to read this thread - hope you feel better soon. Take care.

frauleinmaria · 04/11/2005 14:08

Very sad to read this thread - hope you feel better soon. Take care.

expecting · 07/01/2006 13:15

You are an inspiration to me at this point in my pregnancy. I too am at risk of ectopic as uterus empty when scanned. I greatly admire your grounded approach to what is such an awful situation. I know what you mean when you talk about your wonderful family and your lovely son. I have a gorgeous 18 mth old and looking at him every day reminds me that things could be a lot worse. I hope you are physically comfortable now and that the emotional pain heals in time.

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