Sunday, August 22, 2021

Can a Miscarriage be Misdiagnosed ?

 There have been many cases of misdiagnosed miscarriage as some situations lead to faulty diagnosis of a miscarriage. It is always advisable to get a second opinion when you have been so diagnosed since the very thought of a miscarriage is dead scary. Some circumstances in which a pregnancy can be misdiagnosed are:

  • Confusion of Conception Date – In the initial stages of pregnancy, since the embryo grows rapidly, at times the ultrasound does not detect a heartbeat. Usually doctors would conduct a follow-up ultrasound after a few days to ensure that miscarriage has not been misdiagnosed. If your doctor has not done the follow up test, ask for one.

  • hCG Levels – The pregnancy hormone hCG can rise and fall gradually. The slow increase of hCG levels in a woman can make one suspicious about miscarriage. So, if your diagnosis states that hCG levels are not rising as normally as they should, do not lose hope. Your pregnancy can still be viable.

  • Heterotopic pregnancy – If hCG levels are detected to be falling, it is usually a sign of miscarriage. In some circumstances such as a heterotopic pregnancy, the miscarriage can be misdiagnosed. In heterotopic pregnancies, there are two conceptions, one of which is ectopic which is bound to end prematurely, while the other one is viable. The healthy foetus of the viable pregnancy would remain while hCG levels drop due to ectopic conception.

  • Vanishing Twin Syndrome – This is a case of only one conception in twins getting miscarried while the other foetus is stable and capable of growing.

  • Baby not seen on ultrasound – At times the gestational sac is not detected by the ultrasound machine well past the specified time of 6 weeks. 13 mm gestational sac is expected by 6 to 7 weeks. It does not always work out like that always. At times, the gestational sac of some women gets detected after it is well past 20 mm in size. So, do not start getting hopeless when the machine does not show your baby. It will do so soon.

Some other conditions can also lead to miscarriage of pregnancy such as tilted uterus or what has been termed bicornuate uterus (a sort of divided uterus) can make detection of foetus difficult to examine with an ultrasound. Thus, it is not right to lose all hope when a miscarriage is diagnosed. You must get a second opinion to confirm it.


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