ZocdocAnswersIs chemical miscarriage the right diagnosis?

Question

Is chemical miscarriage the right diagnosis?

No fetal heart beat and the fetus was not at gestational size although my uterus was growing. When I went into get my first ultra sound from my OB, at 12 weeks, she concluded that there was no fetal heart beat and the fetus was not at gestational size. I went in a week later and the ultrasound had the same results although my uterus was larger the fetus had not grown. My OB said it is a chemical miscarriage, Is the the right diagnosis? She told me she wanted to see me in three weeks after the last ultrasound. Again with the same results although my uterus had grown exponentially there was still no fetal growth. I have had no symptoms of miscarriage but She suggested that I get an Dilation and curettage, and that there was no chance at this point that I would miscarry naturally. I'm really terrified to have this procedure done and would rather go through a natural miscarriage.

Answer

I am very sorry to hear that you have had a miscarriage. This can be a difficult experience, and I am glad that you have been in contact with your OB GYN doctor throughout the process, as she will be the doctor who is best qualified to guide you through your decision making. A 'chemical miscarriage' refers to a pregnancy that miscarries so early that no fetus can be detected within the uterus by ultrasound, although blood or urine tests for pregnancy are positive. Therefore, in your case, a 'chemical miscarriage' is not the most accurate term for your miscarriage, since your ultrasounds have clearly shown the presence of a fetus which, unfortunately does not have a heart beat and is not growing. This would more accurately be described as an early miscarriage, although not early enough to be just a chemical miscarriage. Many times with a miscarriage, the body will eventually expel the dead fetus on its own. However, this does not always occur, and sometimes it is necessary to have a dilation and curettage (D & C) in order to take care of this. Not performing the D & C if natural miscarriage does not occur can be dangerous, as it may predispose to infection or other complications. Again, please talk to your OB GYN doctor, who can give you the information you need.

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