High hCG Levels and No Baby Seen? Yes, There Might Still Be Hope!
If you have elevated hCG levels and no visible baby, this page is for you.
Hi. My name is Kay. I am mom to a very beautiful girl who was diagnosed as a blighted ovum. Thankfully, despite an empty-looking gestational sac and high hCG levels, I turned down the D&C twice. We found our baby at nearly nine weeks. Are you going through something similar?
Many women are told that if their hCG levels are over 10,000 and nothing is visible in the gestational sac, they are going to miscarry. In fact, many physicians push for an immediate D&C!
While this page will not change the direction of your pregnancy, it may, perhaps, prevent you from ending your pregnancy too soon.
I am not a medical professional. The information I share is meant to supplement the information given you by your doctor. If you feel your doctor is not doing enough for you or not willing to listen to your concerns, I strongly encourage you to take what you've learned here and get a second opinion.
WARNING: Keep in mind, this page will prove the following information wrong
A general search of Google and many ultrasound manuals say generally the same thing: If hCG levels go above 7,000 to 10,000 and nothing is visualized with the transvaginal ultrasound in the gestational sac, this is a blighted ovum (AKA anembryonic pregnancy).
One example quickly found on the web:
"At 7,200 mIU/ML, all sacs contained yolk sacs. At 10,800 mIU/ML, within all of the gestational sacs, embryos and heart activity could be imaged."
taken from Pregnancy at Risk: Current Concepts
With these levels and levels much higher there is still hope! You deserve to have no doubt before having your pregnancy ended.
...And why the textbooks are wrong!
At the Misdiagnosed Miscarriage, we have collected a number of stories to show that not every pregnancy can neatly fit into a textbook.
As you will see on this page, we have many stories from women with levels much higher than their doctors expected before seeing their babies.
My hope with this page is that you do not rush into ending your pregnancy if there are no complications. Take this information. Discuss it with your physician. Ask for ultrasounds one week apart to verify your blighted ovum. You may very well have a blighted ovum but, if so, you deserve to have no doubts ever about that diagnosis.
Want to View the Stories of Many Women who Were Misdiagnosed?
My sincere apologies. I had many links categorized here to stories by women who had empty sacs with hCG levels between 10,000 to 20,000. Another group of stories by women who numbers were up to 50,000 with still no baby seen and, amazingly enough, stories by women whose numbers were over 100,000 before seeing their little ones. I've moved them over to my blog because it was just too many links for our new host!
Also, please remember, none of these stories will change the ultimate outcome of your pregnancy. These stories, however, will help you to know if you are possibly being diagnosed too soon.
Stop Worrying about Your hCG Levels!
Once the gestational sac is viewed, many doctors stop taking hCG levels and for good reason. Your numbers can rise, plateau or drop and be normal. Some women have numbers that reach well over 50,000 and some even above 100,000 before seeing their babies. Some women plateau around 40,000 and then find their baby.
What should you be monitoring instead? Your doctor should be spacing out your ultrasounds by about one week and measuring the growth of your gestational sac if there are no complications. The UK's new guidelines encourage waiting until the sac reaches at least 25mm before suggesting a blighted ovum. My own gestational sac was 28.5mm before my baby was found.
My best advice if the gestational sac is where it should be, stop fretting over hCG levels and focus on the gestational sac.
What to do?
If you not absolutely certain that you are indeed going to miscarry and if there are no complications, you can ask to wait out a diagnosis.
If you wait out a diagnosis:
- make sure you stay monitored by your physician
- be seen if you show signs of infection
- be aware that if you are anemic and are going to miscarry, you may need surgical intervention (D&C)
- get a second opinion if you are not comfortable with your doctor's diagnosis
Blighted Ovum Poll
Do you think hCG levels and an empty looking gestational sac are enough to diagnose a blighted ovum?See results without voting
If you are diagnosed with a blighted ovum with a growing gestational sac and it has not reached at least 25mm, you are being diagnosed too soon.
IMPORTANT: Ultrasounds May Lead to Misdiagnosed Miscarriages!
IMPORTANT: Ultrasounds May Lead to Misdiagnosed Miscarriages!
Misdiagnosed Miscarriages are finally making the news and, more importantly, research is beginning to come out about them!
A snippet from that article:
"As if the worry over potential miscarriage weren't stressful enough for newly pregnant women, research released Friday shows that current guidelines for using ultrasound to determine that a pregnancy has ended may not always be accurate.
The four new studies looked at U.K. ultrasound specifications, but when the findings are extrapolated to U.S. guidelines, the researchers suggest 1 in 23 women diagnosed with miscarriage could still have a viable pregnancy."
I really believe that that figure might be much higher. For women diagnosed with a blighted ovum, something like one in five may be much more accurate.
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