Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thanks everyone ...

... for telling me your experiences which are all so very personal and painful. As I read through each of your comments, I felt myself nodding in agreement at everyone's points. I definitely see the differences in early/chemical pregnancies and a m/c which is after fetal tissue has already formed. And there is also a difference between a stillbirth.

It was interesting to see the difference in the post "AFs" after each type each of you described. How a chemical pregnancy is really just like a normal period, maybe a few days late but nothing out of the ordinary and how a m/c after fetal tissue has much more physical symptoms. How a chemical pregnancy is sometimes only barely "caught" due to an early hpt where you get a light bfp for a day or two but how in a m/c is completely different. From what you've all told me, a heavy period with cramping/clotting and even labor-like pain is how a m/c feels - where you would definitely have a +hpt and betas to back it up and even u/s showing sac, yolk, fetal tissue, even a heartbeat at one time. Which just goes to show how wrong a doctor could be who says a "heavy period" without ever seeing a +hpt would be a miscarriage. Without the "evidence" of an +hpt, a severely heavy period couldn't be diagnosed as really anything.

The conclusions I'm drawing here is you would definitely know if you were having a miscarriage, not a chemical pregnancy, due to pain/+hpts/betas/ultrasounds/heavy bleeding. If you "simply" have heavy bleeding or painful cramps, it couldn't be diagnosed as a m/c because there was no +hpt and it couldn't really be labeled a chemical pregnancy because with those, the post-AF is usually "normal". I say "normal" because with a chemical pregnancy, implantation just tried to happen but it didn't really stick around to grow anything, therefore, there would really be nothing more than "normal" to pass.

I'm not trying to make chemical pregnancies be so simplistic. But by definition, a chemical pregnancy barely implants before being shed, so there wouldn't be much, if any, "pregnancy tissue" to pass, therefore for most women, it would be a normal period. Assuming a chemical pregnancy due to heavy bleeding would be inaccurate for a doctor to say because by it's own nature, there should be heavy bleeding because there wasn't time for tissue to grow. I'm definitely not assuming there is never heavy bleeding with a chemical pregnancy, but if there is, it's probably due to how a particular woman's cycle just is, ~not~ because of tissue that grew from a day or two of the pregnancy.

All this is going back to the fact how so many doctors deal with heavy bleeding the wrong way. Nothing here can be "assumed" as I see happening to many women. Heavy bleeding would point to something else before an early miscarriage because there shouldn't be that kind of bleeding in a chemical pregnancy because there was never time for tissue to grow. Especially when all hpts came out negative, I would think other things would have to be looked at.

I just googled "reasons for heavy periods" and found 1 in 5 women experience heavy periods where the symptoms are:
~ Menstrual flow that interferes with your regular activities or lifestyle and causes anxiety about embarrassing accidents
~ Periods that last longer than seven days
~ Menstrual flow that soaks through one or more tampons or napkins every hour for several consecutive hours
~ Menstrual flow that includes large blood clots
~ Fatigue or shortness of breath (which are symptoms of anemia caused by blood loss)
~ Painful cramping

Wow - 20% of women experience those symptoms and if you are ttc, doctors actually tell some of these women "it's probably a miscarriage" when it's a very common ailment for women to have. What a terrible thing to tell someone! The issue should be treated separately from a ttc standpoint instead of using the ttc as a reason. Obviously there isn't 10% of women out there having monthly "early miscarriage"s, they have a very common issue of heavy periods. Which, I might add, could be a reason for infertility because there is a such thing as "too thick of a lining" for successful implantation. Heavy periods could definitely be a symptom of having lining that is too thick and doctors should look at that.

Anywho, I kind of got off on a tangent. I just wish some girls I read about could get the necessary attention from their doctors. Telling a woman she "probably had a miscarriage" when there could very well be a problem due to her heavy periods is definitely an injustice to her.

("S", just in case you are reading, this is totally ~not~ about you. I didn't want you to think just because you have heavy periods I am talking about your story. The people I am actually talking about are girls I don't actually know, just reading about on random message boards and blogs. If I knew them, I'd approach them directly instead of discussing through my blog. And to anyone - if we comment back/forth on board or through blogs, it's also not about you!)


Anonymous said...

I think everyone is different and everyone defines things differently. I was spotting and wanted to stop prog. so I took hpt=+. Beta 1= 50, start bleeding that day, beta 2= 200, continue bleeding, beta 3= 200... and then they fell. SO- my dr. called it a chemical pg b/c I started bleeding day AF was due... but I did not bleed like AF. AF is usually 2.5 days.... w/ this I bleed heavily w/ bad cramps for a week. It was most definitely different... but still a chem. pregnancy.

JamieD said...

Thanks for these posts and comments. My experience with my two miscarriages were similar to everyone else. So was everything I have read on chemical pregnancies and post-miscarriage treatment. My doc agreed to start testing after 'only' two miscarriages since we have been TTC over two years now but so far everything is coming up roses.

It is so reassuring to know I'm not alone . . .

Nikki said...

Correct - all heavy bleed periods are not necessarily miscarriages / chemical pregnancy. All miscarriages (natural) would involve cramping, heavy bleeding etc. (I never had that either - mine was a missed miscarriage, and once they found out that the heartbeat had stopped, they did not want to let my body do it naturally since they wanted to test the tissue for me - so I had a D&C)

I think with this topic "assumptions" of any kind are wrong. It is wrong for a doctor to assume a miscarriage if there is a heavy period. It is wrong for a girl to accept that and think she's miscarrying.

Sarah R said...

If "S" is me, it's totally okay! I know you're not talking to me.

By the way, it wasn't AF coming after all! You'll have to check out my blog fot the details. ;)

MrsDrink said...

I'm guessing "S" is me? lol It's ok, I didn't think you were talking about me. Granted the thought has crossed my mind before that some of my more heavier AFs might have been missed m/c's but I would ~never~ say it was without knowing 150%. =)