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What Your Doctor Needs to Know Before Diagnosing your Miscarriage!

Updated on October 10, 2014

Why Another Misdiagnosed Miscarriage Page?

My name is Kay. I've written numerous pages on misdiagnosed miscarriages. I've found that there are so many types of misdiagnosed miscarriage that each and every page helps a different group of women. I'd like to have a page that most women could use when discussing with their physicians whether or not they are truly miscarrying. I hope this will be that page.

This page is a work in progress. Over time, I'll be adding more stories.

Why Your Doctor May Be Wrong in His Diagnosis

he has bad information

Taken from the SOGC "Ultrasound Evaluation of First Trimester Pregnancy Complications"


"Transvaginal sonographic diagnosis of a blighted ovum is certain when the mean gestational sac diameter exceeds 8mm without a yolk sac or when the mean gestational sac diameter exceeds 16mm without an embryo."

Taken from the Institute for Advanced Medical Education page on Transvaginal Evaluation of the 1st Trimester: Normal and Abnormal.

"HCG that is produced by trophoblastic tissue is detectable 8 days after conception. The concept of a discriminatory bhCG zone at which a gestational sac should be visualized with ultrasound was introduced by Kadar et al. A range of 1,000-2,000 mIu/ml is widely accepted for transvaginal sonography21. However, biologic variability in singleton gestations and the possibility of twins must be considered. Nearly all intrauterine gestational sacs should be identified by an bhCG of 3,000 mIu/ml. A yolk sac is identified by a bhCG of 5,000 mIu/ml and embryonic cardiac activity is visualized by a bhCG of 15,000 mIu/ml"

How We Know Your Doctor May Be Misdiagnosing Miscarriages

We've got the stories to back this up

We have been collecting stories at the Misdiagnosed Miscarriage site for a number of years now. As time goes on, more and more women find our site and, as a result, the number of misdiagnosed stories grow each month.

This page will take you through some of the guidelines doctors use in diagnosing a miscarriage and link you to stories showing there are exceptions.

We have collected stories from women with hCG levels well over 50,000 to 100,000 before they saw their babies.

We have women who saw an empty sac until nine or ten weeks and there was ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT of when they conceived.

We've had women look one to two weeks behind and they were just fine.

We've had women who have been told their yolk sacs were enlarged and they had no hope at all. They've gone on to have their babies.

We've had women who have been told their pregnancies were ectopic, and all was fine.

We've even had women who were given medication to abort a failed pregnancy or even given a D&C and their babies survived.

Not every pregnancy fits neatly into a textbook. This isn't a page about miracles. Nothing is going to change if you are going to miscarry or not (with the possible exception of progesterone for some). This has nothing to do with false hope but, instead, everything to with just being certain. You deserve to have no doubt before having your pregnancy ended.

Please Remember

If you are diagnosed with a blighted ovum (aka 'empty sac') before nine weeks, you are being diagnosed too soon!

Is Your Gestational Sac and Empty Looking?

stories of found babies with sacs more than 16mm

If your physician is going to diagnose a miscarriage based on your empty gestational sac, you want to know without a doubt he is correct. Much of the ultrasound literature states that is the gestational sac is more than 16mm (give a mm or two for human error), than you have an anembryonic pregnancy (AKA blighted ovum).


Somebody needs to tell these women and their babies (stories may be found on the Misdiagnosed site):

Jewelie's Gestational Sac

Gestational Sac Measurement: 18mm (only yolk sac visualized)

Heartbeat Found: 7 Days later

HDN's Gestational Sac

Empty Gestational Sac Measurement: 20.4mm

Heartbeat Found: 6 Days later ~ before D&C

Nicola's Gestational Sac

Empty Gestational Sac Measurement: 16mm (transvaginal and transabdominal ultrasounds)

Heartbeat Found: 8 Days later

Finah's Gestational Sac

Empty Gestational Sac Measurement: 20mm (transvaginal ultrasound)

Heartbeat Found: 12 Days later

and a story near and dear to my heart because it is my own:

Kay's Gestational Sac (My own story)

Empty Gestational Sac: 5 1/2 weeks (no measurement given)

Empty Gestational Sac: 6 weeks (no measurement given but told it grew appropriately)

Empty Gestational Sac: approximately 7 weeks (no measurement given but told it grew appropriately)

Empty Gestational Sac: approximately 8 weeks 21.5mm

Heartbeat Found: 3 1/2 Weeks after Initial Ultrasound with gestational sac measuring 28.5mm

Are Your hCG Levels Really High with No Visible Baby?

babies found with hCG numbers more than 16,000

Christy's Numbers

Only Yolk Sac Seen: 19,000 (with ultrasound) ~ scheduled D&C

Heartbeat Found: 3 Days later

BelievingGod's Numbers

Empty Sac: 23,000 (with ultrasound)

Four Days Later: 33,000 (no ultrasound) ~ D&C scheduled

Heartbeat Found: 13 Days after initial ultrasound

Jen's Numbers

Empty Sac: 11,000 (with ultrasound)

Six Days Later: another empty sac ultrasound ~ D&C recommended

Heartbeat Found: 13 Days after initial ultrasound

Sarah's Numbers

Empty Sac: 16,000 (with ultrasound)

Three Days Later: 24,800 (with ultrasound) ~ refused D&C

Seven Days after Initial Ultrasound: 34,000

Heartbeat Found: 14 Days after initial ultrasound

Steph's Story

Empty Sac: 12,000 (with ultrasound)

Three Days Later: 45,000

Second Empty Sac: 7 days after initial ultrasound ~ D&C refused

Heartbeat Found: 14 Days after initial ultrasound

Tera's Numbers

Empty Sac: 80,000 (with ultrasound)

Two Days Later: 76,000 (no ultrasound)

Heartbeat Found: approximately one week after the initial ultrasound

Keep in mind, these are only a few of the many stories we have collected. Will you be one of these stories? There is just no way to know. Time is the only true test of a blighted ovum.

Misdiagnosis Poll

Over the years, I've heard from so many women who were misdiagnosed. Often I have women ask me what they should do about that doctor. I don't have any easy answers but would love your opinions. These are all avenues different women have reported taking with their misdiagnosed miscarriages. Feel free to comment on why you voted the way you did.

What should a woman do who has been misdiagnosed with a miscarriage?

See results

New Guidelines for Diagnosing a Miscarriage

The UK is the first to acknowledge that misdiagnosed miscarriages are indeed a problem. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has revised its guidelines. If your gestational sac is more than 25mm and/or the CRL is 7mm or more, you should wait a week to verify (if there are no complications). If the measurements are less, you are too early to diagnose. For more information (and something to take to your doctor), please, see my new page:

New Blighted Ovum Guidelines! You ARE Being Diagnosed Too Soon!

Need to contact the author? You may e-mail Cari_Kay at

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    • Cari Kay 11 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      You are being diagnosed way too early. I love the UK's new guidelines and have shared more on my blog but they say you should wait until the gestational sac is 25mm (if it is growing) and then wait one week to verify. (((hugs))). Please, keep us updated. If you are misdiagnosed, I hope you share your story on the Misdiagnosed site.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Hi, I just wanted to say thank you for giving us hope again.

      My husband and I are pregnant for the first time and we think we should be around 8 weeks according to lmp. But I have an unusually long cycle, so we don't know for sure when I ovulate.

      We had the internal ultrasound on Tuesday (8 wks exactly) she measured the sac to be about 7 wks and 4 days. There was no yolk or fetal pole.

      She told us that it is a miscarriage but scheduled a followup for next week.

      We are so worried and we don't know what to think.

      Is there a chance she was wrong? And that it was just too soon to see our baby?

    • Cari Kay 11 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      I am so sorry you are going through this scare. Honestly, I think you need a new doctor. Even if you were eight weeks, that is too early to diagnose a blighted ovum. The main thing is you want to see the gestational sac growing. If it is growing, it should get to at least 25mm before diagnosing.

    • profile image

      Brianna Miesfeld 

      5 years ago

      Hi my name is Brianna and I was diagnosed with a blighted ovum at only 6 weeks and i have had lite bleeding for a few days now nothing major at all few cramps here and there that was it i go in tomorrow morning she is saying im 8 weeks but i know im not i had a period at the end of august going into september i had a positive test.on the.15th of sept it was a very faint line you could barely see it i didn't even have implantation bleeding she is telling me oh you have an tubal preg then oh you have ectopic preg then last week she.said you have a blighted ovum but were not 100 % sure and then she wanted me to have a d&c and i told her NO. Im just so confused i just want everything to be okay. Please help me out.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi my name is Sarah I am measuring 8 weeks 1 day with hcg levels over 100,000 with no heart beat. They want me to have a d&c and after my last miscarriage being so painful I am scared to let them touch me at all. I would much rather let the pregnancy pass on its own if it is a miscarriage but I am dreading the thought of possibly carrying a dead fetus within me for however long it takes to pass. I've told the doctor I want to wait it out but she is being so pushing tell me terrible things that could potentially happen to me if I wait. I don't know what to do. I'm so heart broken with it being almost a year to the date that I miscarried last time my emotions are so out of control I don't feel like I can think straight.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @anonymous: Really the hCG numbers matter little. I've talked to women with low levels and they've been just fine. What is more important that at that next ultrasound (at least one week out from the last) that they see that heartbeat. Please, keep me updated!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi- I am 7.5 weeks pregnant and we still have not seen a heartbeat.I went for my first ultrasound at 5w5d and only saw a sac. Tested HCG and was at 5866. Tested HCG again when I was 6 weeks and had risen to 8448. Tested again 5 days later and was over 20,000. I then went in for another ultrasound when I was 7w1d. We still did not see a heartbeat, but the fetal pole was measuring 3.6mm. I was told that I had a 50/50 chance of this being a viable pregnancy and that I needed to come back for another ultrasound at 8w1d to see. I have tested my HCG levels again and am now at 33,000.So, they are rising but very very slowly and are on the low end of the scale for as far along as I am.No spotting, very mild cramping, very little pregnancy symptoms.Are we doomed? Waiting to go for our 3rd ultrasound to maybe see a heartbeat, but I am not hopeful at all. Would love to hear what you think.


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