Missed Miscarriage or Misdiagnosis? No Heartbeat at 10 Weeks 140


I was told at 10 weeks that my baby had no heartbeat and had stopped growing at 8 weeks. It was just a routine dating ultrasound. I’d had no bleeding, no cramping, and no indication that anything was wrong. I suffered from a missed miscarriage. As a mother of three healthy boys with no previous history of miscarriage, this was a new experience for me and one I found would have been far easier on me had I known what to expect. I’ve chosen to share my story from start to finish in a series of short articles so that other women who face what our family did are more prepared. You’ll find my story enhanced with research as well as information gleaned from talking to other women who have had miscarriages and healthcare professionals I met through the process to help answer questions you may find yourself asking. missed miscarriage

Article one will deal with whether or not missed miscarriages or miscarriages in general can be misdiagnosed, whether or not you should get a second opinion, and if so, when.

When I was first told I’d had a missed miscarriage, the doctor was very brusque. The ultrasound was very short and my options were shorter. I could have a D&C (Dilation and Curettage) or wait it out naturally. I didn’t believe him. I left that office 100 percent sure he was an incompetent hack. I spent the next week reading stories of people that were told they’d had a missed miscarriage and had everything turn out OK. One minute I was sure my baby was fine, the next I was in tears because I knew she/he wasn’t. It was the longest week of my life.

Is it possible for a miscarriage or missed miscarriage misdiagnosis to happen?

Yes, based on forum responses from women on misdiagnosedmiscarriage.com and personal interviews with women who preferred to remain anonymous, misdiagnosed miscarriages are most common in early pregnancy.

Your chances of a missed miscarriage misdiagnosis may be higher if:

-You are 6 weeks pregnant or less. The further along you are after the 6 week point, the lower the chance of miscarriage misdiagnosis.

-Your ultrasound was not done vaginally. Vaginal ultrasounds are far more accurate in early pregnancy.

-A fetal pole was not seen. This may indicate your due dates are off or you may have a tilted uterus. It appeared to be more common for no fetal pole to be seen and a baby to be found later, than a baby with no heartbeat to later have one.

If a baby is seen measuring 8 weeks or larger with no heartbeat, the chances are quite slim that you had a misdiagnosed miscarriage. If you’re looking for hope, I know that’s not what you want to hear, but I found false hope made my week of waiting far longer. In my case, I was wrong. My doctor was right, and I did have a missed miscarriage, but I’m still glad I got a second opinion. Most of the women I spoke to felt better about things if they got a second opinion or wished they had if they didn’t. It offers that certainty that keeps you from wondering if you’re doing the right thing if you opt for a D&C or struggling with the idea your baby may be alive if you decide to wait it out for a natural loss.

How long should I wait before I get a second opinion about a missed miscarriage?

I know your first instinct is to run straight to another doctor, clinic, or the ER to get a second opinion right now, but the general guideline is to wait at least one week. If you get a second opinion right away, yes you’re getting a new machine and new person reading that machine, but if your due date is incorrect or your baby is developing slowly due to other circumstances, it’s possible you’ll still get a misdiagnosis. Many women who get ultrasounds around 6 weeks find no heartbeat and later find one. Your baby’s heart begins to beat around 6 weeks. If your due date is even a few days off, you could be misdiagnosed with a missed miscarriage.

What about HCG blood levels to catch a missed miscarriage misdiagnosis?

I declined HCG blood testing for the most part. I didn’t want one more thing to stress over. Why?

HCG is supposed to double every 48 hours in early pregnancy before peaking around week 10, and then it begins to decline. Note the word, “supposed.” It is not uncommon for women to have non-doubling HCG levels and have perfectly healthy pregnancies. If your due date is off, your levels could already be dropping. If your baby passed recently, your levels may not have begun to drop off and could remain high for weeks. There are so many things that make HCG levels irrelevant. It’s really just information that’s going to make you worry more. What you do need to know is that your levels return to zero if you do indeed miscarry, meaning a blood test after your loss, if it happens, is recommended.

Article two covers handling the grief of a miscarriage. I hope that this article helps those who are facing a possible missed miscarriage and a sincerely hope you have no need to read article two.

You may also find relevant:
3 Ways You Can Be Pregnant and Still Have a Period

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Cherry Pie Lacar

Hi good day, 10 weeks with no heartbeat Last July 3, 2018 i had my viganal u/s and showing the baby had a low heartbeat/low cardiac rate. I take duphaston for almost 1 month. During follow up check up last august 4,2018, during vaginal U/s it shows no heartbeat. It was so heartbreaking for us, it my first pregnancy anyway. Last day, august 9, 2018 i had a abdominal U/s in our local area it really shows to heartbeat. Ita so devastating. I was adviced last august 4 to wait 2-4 weeks to come out naturally.. now im so worried… Read more »

Jenelle

Hi there, I found out I was pregnant very early on at around 3 weeks and today I should be 10w 2d. (LMP 26 May 2018, conceived 8 June 2018) I had my first ultrasound done 2 weeks ago (8w 2d) they couldn’t see anything so I had to sign a consent form for vaginal u/s. They never stated if Baby was small or measuring okay. They showed me a small “white flutter” on the screen and told me it was my baby’s heartbeat however it was too small to get an accurate bpm reading. I went back there today… Read more »

Annie Pham

I still don’t understand, I had no spotting, no cramps, no signs of any sorts as read. My first u/s read I was at 8 weeks 2 days, no heartbeat. So I was sent to 2 blood tests 5 days apart & my HCG was increasing positively which made my GP send me to the second U/S 9 days after. This time they did the vaginal one as well and unfortunately still no heartbeats. I can’t wait to see my GP tomorrow as the last 2 weeks was just a nightmare to me. What is going on? I have 2… Read more »

Krystal

Okay I’m doing my best to stay positive here, so yday around 10.15am I had contraction like pains, it didn’t subside after 10 mins so I rang 111 and before I could finish I started to bleed. I was told to get to the hospital within the hour which I did. I had blood tests and a pee test and they all come back fine. I couldn’t have the scan till today. I was sent home told to worry and rest. I didn’t bleed through the night or anything so I was becoming more positive as I hadn’t lost to… Read more »

Anonymous

I am having such a hard time dealing with this ! It’s comforting to read your article, since I too was told that I had a misses miscarriage and have truly been struggling with accepting it. I have experience two months of bleeding and/or brown .. blood or discharge – I am really unsure. I keep finding myself holding on to false help, and I never went back to the doctor out of frustration. I just knew that I was further along than what the doctor had told me, and based on my last period I should have been. I… Read more »