Still Feel Pregnant After Miscarriage

Recently I miscarried (December 19), the doctor assumed I was about 10 weeks along. When I began bleeding, I phoned his answering service because it was after office hrs. His advice was for me to wait to see him in his office the next day at 1:00 p.m. At that visit a pelvic ultra sound was done (he didn't see anything) and a blood test for my hCG levels. A few days later I called for my results and my hCG level was 553. I was told to come in a week later to repeat the test. That test came back negative.

Since then (19 days later) the feeling of pregnancy is stronger. My breast are swollen and ache and I have the same puffy/swollen feelings in my hands and legs. (The bloated/puffy feeling began about three weeks before I miscarried).

Furthermore, I assumed I was only a few weeks pregnant (about 5 weeks when all this took place). (My periods are not regular). Could I can still be pregnant Or is this normal after a miscarriage? (19 days after) I would be happy with any information you can give.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

This is difficult to answer because it could go either way. Usually, hCG levels are not read as positive or negative but according to the chart below. Another test done 2 days later would have shown a 65% increase if the pregnancy was viable. I'm assuming that they just told you it was negative to indicate that the levels were falling or were remaining stable.

This is a chart of normals for hCG.

Days from last menses
34.8 +/- 2.2
40.3 +/- 3.4
46.9 +/- 6.0
Beta - hCG mIU/mL
914 +/- 106
3783 +/- 683
13,178 +/- 2898
Vaginal ultrasound findings
fetal sac seen
fetal pole seen
fetal heart activity seen

They should increase about 65% every 48 hours so it does depend on the first and the subsequent reading. At 8 wks (56 days) ultrasound should be a more reliable predictor of fetal well being.

Rarely, the ultrasound technician could be mistaken and might have missed a viable pregnancy (perhaps a new pregnancy had begun which was too small to see or the technician might have only made reference to the evidence that a miscarriage had already taken place). Occasionally one of a set of twins can miscarry with the remaining twin developing normally.

If you are still feeling symptoms this late, your hCG levels are probably still elevated which can mean that you are still pregnant, newly pregnant or there are still products of conception left inside. Also there is a rare chance of "trophoblastic disease" which needs to be evaluated.

I would recommend that you seek another opinion - perhaps have a serum pregnancy test done and one more set of serial hCG levels drawn and/or another ultrasound evaluation.

I hope all works out for you. Let us know.

Thanks for writing.
Peg

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