The diagnosis of a miscarriage is heartbreaking for many women. However, can a miscarriage be misdiagnosed? In some cases,
yes, this diagnosis can be false. A misdiagnosed miscarriage is when a miscarriage is diagnosed because an ultrasound does not find anything, or the technician does not think there is a viable embryo.
Having miscarriage symptoms without an accompanied miscarriage is possible. As a matter of fact, it is fairly common to bleed during the first trimester. A miscarriage diagnosis should not be made if the technician is unsure of the pregnancy’s status. Unfortunately, a decision is often made too soon.
A false miscarriage can be frustrating, and miscarriage recovery is hard. When you have to go through pain for no reason, it is okay to be angry or confused. However, consider yourself lucky for being able to carry on with your pregnancy even after the scare. Ensure that your pregnancy is really over before making any moves to deal with it, physically and emotionally.
Table of Contents
- Reasons for Misdiagnosed Miscarriage
- Chances of Misdiagnosis
- What You Can Do
- Misconceptions of Misdiagnosed Miscarriage
- 1. hCG levels rise every 48 hours
- 2. A baby should always be seen by ultrasound at a particular point in the pregnancy
- 3. When hCG levels are high enough, the baby should always be seen
- 4. A tilted uterus has no effect on a pregnancy
- 5. There is no hope for a baby with no heartbeat
- 6. Doctors could never misdiagnose something as important as a miscarriage
- 7. If there was a heartbeat last week and not one now, there is no hope
Reasons for Misdiagnosed Miscarriage
There are several reasons that a misdiagnosed miscarriage can happen. The most likely one is that you could have a tilted orbicornuate uterus preventing the embryo from being seen by normal methods. It can also occur due to the conception, and due dates are off. These are the main causes that can cause a misdiagnosed miscarriage.
1. Misdiagnosed miscarriage tilted uterus
- A tilted uterus can be a reason that a miscarriage is misdiagnosed. Since it is titled, it can be hard to see the contents with a normal ultrasound. Vaginal ultrasounds are the most accurate, but still, have a margin of error.
- A bicornuate uterus, one shaped like a heart, can also cause this event.
2. Misdiagnosed miscarriage no heartbeat
- Sometimes, a miscarriage is diagnosed because there is no heartbeat. This can be false when the pregnancy is younger than it was first thought to be. Sperm can sometimes take up to six days to fertilize an egg, so it is very possible to be a week off in your diagnosis.
Chances of Misdiagnosis
This pattern of misdiagnosis is disconcerting. How many women have grieved their lost pregnancy to find out that it was not really a miscarriage after all? These misdiagnoses are more common than the medical field would like to admit.
The following are situations in which you are more likely to have a misdiagnosed miscarriage:
- Six weeks of pregnancy or less
- Non-vaginal ultrasound
- Fetal pole not seen, which can indicate a tilted uterus or that your due dates are off
What You Can Do
When diagnosed with a miscarriage, you should almost always wait a week until making any moves to deal with it. This is because the miscarriage could be diagnosed, and a whole week can cause the pregnancy to be doing what it is supposed to. If you have a fever or excessive pain and bleeding, you will probably need to do something right away to ensure your own health and safety.
The best thing that you can do is to wait until it naturally goes through or to get several ultrasounds. A misdiagnosed missed miscarriage is possible if you are not aware of what your body can do.
Misconceptions of Misdiagnosed Miscarriage
1. hCG levels rise every 48 hours
- This does tend to happen in the first trimester, but the levels slow, plateau, and can even decline.
2. A baby should always be seen by ultrasound at a particular point in the pregnancy
3. When hCG levels are high enough, the baby should always be seen
4. A tilted uterus has no effect on a pregnancy
- Yes and no. It has no effect on miscarriage but can cause problems with ultrasounds. The uterus will generally fix itself around the first trimester before going back to being tilted after the pregnancy is over.
5. There is no hope for a baby with no heartbeat
- Sometimes the angle can be wrong, or the baby is still too small to be seen.
- Get a follow-up ultrasound a week later and see if anything has changed. Make sure that your pregnancy is not viable before taking any actions.
6. Doctors could never misdiagnose something as important as a miscarriage
- Many misdiagnoses happen so this is clearly not true.
7. If there was a heartbeat last week and not one now, there is no hope
- There may still be hope, and another week will show more telltale signs
Overall, a misdiagnosed miscarriage can be upsetting and might even lead to unnecessary actions to be taken. As long as you ensure that the pregnancy is, in fact, no longer progressing, no misdiagnosis should happen. Talk to your doctor about your concerns over misdiagnosis. This will help him to look harder and be more open to your pregnancy still being there. Do not let your doctor convince you to do anything until you are 100 percent sure.