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Have Your Doctors Told You?

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a blog by Marie Lee

Now this may be putting the cart before the horse, but I found it SO TRUE for my viable and non viable pregnancies that I kinda wish I had known it so I could have known better what to expect. Basically besides your ‘betas’ (the rate at which your pregnancy hormones are doubling), three markers in an early ultrasound can predict with up to 94% accuracy (slightly less for women over 40), whether your pregnancy outcome will be successful.

From the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists:

    Investigators performed transvaginal ultrasound at postconception days 33 and 36 to measure fetal cardiac activity, gestational sac diameter, and yolk sac diameter.

    On postconception day 33 to 36, investigators found that if they could identify fetal cardiac activity, the success rate was approximately 90%. Without cardiac activity, the miscarriage rate was approximately 88%. If the gestational sac was more than 12 mm [in diameter], the pregnancy's success rate was about 92%; if it was less than 8 mm [in diameter], the miscarriage rate was about 96%. Gestational sac size diameter between 8 and 12 mm was a gray zone; the success rate was about 66%," said Dr. Bae.

Thus, the presence of fetal cardiac activity, a gestational sac diameter of more than 12 mm, and yolk sac size between 2 and 6 mm in diameter were all associated with a successful pregnancy. If all 3 markers were visible and within those stated ranges on days 33 to 36 postconception, successful pregnancy could be predicted with 94% accuracy for women younger than 40, Dr. Bae observed.

Now my first pregnancy, which ended in miscarriage, I THOUGHT was going just swimmingly so I was devastated when I miscarried. The doctor was all sorry, etc. BUT when I ordered a copy of my files and ultrasounds, I saw that they’d made all sorts of notations (“small for gest. age,” “subchorionic bleed?”)

If I’d seen these notes, I would have known the miscarriage was coming and not been so shocked and traumatized.

My second pregnancy, I was bleeding all over the place and was sure I was going to miscarry for about seven months and the nurses kept saying they’d never seen someone bleed so much and carry to term! But I had all the “right” signs from the get-go, from the 12 mm gestational sac, etc.

Geez! Is this is too much information? Sorry! But if you have had miscarriages before, it's a handy dandy guide to what the docs won’t tell you.

Of course, my GreenFertility caveat is to NOT overuse ultrasound, and I would especially not do it just to see “what’s inside”.

(Apparently you can even make DVDs of that, which I think is crazy.)

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