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Misdiagnosed Miscarriage after IVF

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Have Hope

Have Hope

What your Doctor may not know about your pregnancy after IVF

Because of the growing number of women who realize their miscarriages were misdiagnosed, I like to get any information out there that may help women in determining whether they are going to miscarry or are misdiagnosed.

If you have had IVF and are being told that your gestational sac or baby looks one to two weeks behind in development during the first trimester, this one is for you.

Keep in mind, miscarriage is unfortunately all too common. Reading this study will not magically change the course your pregnancy will take. It will however give you information that may save your pregnancy if you are misdiagnosed.

I believe every woman deserves to have no doubt before having her pregnancy ended.

I am not a medical professional. The information I share is meant to supplement the information given you by your doctor. If you feel your doctor is not doing enough for you or not willing to listen to your concerns, I strongly encourage you to take what you've learned here and get a second opinion.

The Study

Gestation sac size in in-vitro fertilization pregnancies


The gestation sac size in pregnancies resulting from in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo transfer have been compared with those in spontaneous pregnancies. Small-for-dates gestational sac sizes were found in 36% of the IVF pregnancies. This proportion held for both singleton and multiple pregnancies. With increasing gestation beyond 8 weeks the gestation sac volume increasingly approached normal. In contrast to spontaneous conceptions, IVF pregnancies had a low rate of pregnancy loss once fetal heart movements were demonstrated, when the gestation sac size was small-for-dates. Small sac size in an IVF pregnancy may lead to the misdiagnosis of a failed pregnancy.

Gestation sac size in in-vitro fertilization pregnancies

Our Hypothesis on Why This Happens

it's really pretty common

We've discovered from the many misdiagnosed women online that many of them have a retroverted uterus in common. The transvaginal ultrasound is really not as accurate in women with a tilted uterus. Often we'll look one to two weeks behind during the first trimester. As the pregnancy progresses, the uterus gets pushed back into a more 'normal' position and then dating looks more accurate.

Our guess, and I do think it is a good one, is that this 36% actually had tilted uteri since a number of studies indicate that up to 30 to 40% of women actually have a retroverted uterus.

What Does This Mean For You?

Take this to your doctor

If you have had IVF, you are more likely to pushed into D&C earlier than most women based on what I've been told by women online. If you just wandered into a doctor's office pregnant, the doctor knows your dates may be off and there is more room for error in his eyes. However if he is certain of dates due to the IVF procedure, he is definitely more likely to doom your pregnancy earlier. We this see this quite a bit.

Take this information to your doctor. Unless there is an immediate necessity to end the pregnancy, ask to wait out the diagnosis. Some doctors really don't like to be second guessed so sometimes it is better to say something like, "I know you are probably right, but for my own peace of mind, I'd like to wait a bit longer and see what happens." Ask for a follow-up ultrasound at least seven days out. You want to give that sac enough time to grow adequately. You stand a much better chance of seeing that baby a week out rather than two days out if you are misdiagnosed. And, yes, sometimes we have to wait a few weeks to find out we're misdiagnosed. We've found most misdiagnosed women see their babies by nine weeks but, yes, some women are even further along amazingly enough.

A blighted ovum really should not be diagnosed before nine weeks (or with a growing gestational sac, before 25mm) even in an IVF pregnancy!

If You End Up Misdiagnosed

Please, let us know!

As you can see from our collection of Misdiagnosed Miscarriage Stories IVF patients can be misdiagnosed. I am certain there are far more stories out there and, if you are one of them, I hope you share your story on the site.

I know that if you are misdiagnosed and share your story, you will, in turn, help so many other women.

Important New Guidelines for Diagnosing a Miscarriage

The UK is the first to acknowledge that misdiagnosed miscarriages are indeed a problem. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has revised its guidelines. If your gestational sac is more than 25mm and/or the CRL is 7mm or more, you should wait a week to verify (if there are no complications). If the measurements are less, you are too early to diagnose. For more information (and something to take to your doctor), please, see my new page:

New Blighted Ovum Guidelines! You ARE Being Diagnosed Too Soon!

I believe every woman deserves to have no doubt before having her pregnancy ended.

If I don't reply to you here, please feel free to e-mail me directly at

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If you feel this page could help others, feel free to click on the Google +1 button at the top of the page (for those of you with Google accounts). Thank you!


karnima on April 22, 2018:

Dear Kay, thank you for your help. I will post an update next week. Thanks for all you good work you do, the MisdiagnosedMiscarriage site is a great help.

Kay (author) on April 21, 2018:

It's not that these babies develop slower. It's just that your uterus may be tilted at an angle where it is difficult to get a good measurement. The best thin you can do is wait a week if there are no complications and see if the baby has grown. This is too soon to diagnose.

karnima on April 19, 2018:


I am pregnant after an IVF treatment, now 7 weeks+3.

A week ago the US didn't show a baby, but yesterday they "found" a small baby (too small, so they say for its age). The Dr said since it is IVF and we know the exact day of conception, chances are that the baby has stopped developing, but, there are no signs or symptoms of a miscarriage, so no reason not to wait. I was told to come for a third US in a week.

My question: It wass very relieving for me to see that there is a research arguing IVF babies develop slowler, but this paper is dated 1985, more that 30 years ago. Many other papers state that there was no difference found. Do you know of other references that confirm this assumption? are there any other references at all?

Thank you!


jesssiep12 on January 17, 2018:

I completely second with the information you have provided. Sometimes it can be hard to distinguish whether its a MC or not. However you are right that its okay for every woman to be doubtful about her pregnancy. Especially when this pregnancy is achieved through assisted conception treatment. This article is significant for all those women who are undergoing through this procedure. Although this is a tough procedure to go through. From my personal experience, a friend of mind told me that she had her baby through IVF . Her first attempt to IVF wasn't as successful as the second attempt.Sadly, she had a MC in her first attempt because of improper embryo implantation. However it worked for her in the second attempt. I am extremely happy for her. I grateful for the information the information you have provided. Much Love xx

Mirriam on July 25, 2016:

am 8 weeks pregnant and i had my first ultra sound were i was told the baby's heart was not beating i didn't believe and 3 more scan from different clinics. 2 scans from diferent clinic told me it was too early to see the heartbeat.but the 3rd clinic told me they didnt see the heartbeat either and told me it was i missed abortion but i dont believe,am not having any signs of miscarriage.i was abit stressed up when i was told i the baby's heart was not beating i lost 2 of my pregnant symptoms,lost appetite and breast tendering but right now a calm and my appetite giving my self time am waiting for 4 weeks more cause i really ant this baby its my first pregnacy.

Kay (author) on January 30, 2016:

Do you have an update? Really, if the sac is growing and not yet over 25mm, it just may be too soon to diagnose. (((hugs)))

Kay (author) on November 01, 2015:

I think if there is any doubt, a second opinion is a good idea. Please, keep us updated.

Mary on October 31, 2015:

I had my second ultrasound yesterday at ten weeks. Everything looked the same as it did nine days earlier. Embryo was about 4-5 mm long, just as last time. My hcg levels was measured last week at 30.000 and it had leveled out. I still feel like I'm pregnant, but my breasts are not tender anymore. The doctor sent me home with abortion pills, but it doesn't feel right to take them just yet. I'm thinking I might have a second opinion just to remove that last doubt before I take them.

Kay (author) on October 23, 2015:

Please, keep us updated!

Mary on October 21, 2015:

Thanks for sharing this article. It gave me some hope today, that maybe things are not as bad as they seem. Today I had my first ultrasound at 8 weeks after having IVF treatment. I also have a titled uterus. The doctor had a really hard time getting the picture clear and had to adjust the screen. He didn't measure the sac size, but CRL was about 5 mm and there was hart movement. He wanted to check my hormone levels over the next few days and then do another ultrasound next week. He didn't say that I have had a miscarriage, but he wasn't very positive either.

But maybe things are not as bad as they seem. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Kay (author) on September 13, 2015:

They should be monitoring the size of the gestational sac. If it is growing and there are no complications, they shouldn't diagnose a blighted ovum until it measures more than 25mm. (((hugs)))

Kay (author) on April 01, 2015:

Generally a week after the baby is seen without a heartbeat, they'll do an ultrasound to verify. You should have your answer then. Sometimes those heartbeats are found and sometimes they are not. Just hard to guess which way it is going. (((hugs)))

nimisha on March 30, 2015:

I'm 10 weeks pregnant from usg at 5 week 4days showed gestational sac of 4 weeks usg at 7 weeks 4days showed yolk sac of 5 weeks at 9 weeks 4days usg shows an embryo of 6weeks 2days with no said it might be a missed abortion. I've been suggested to repeat usg after 1week.i haven't had any cramping or bleeding so far.

has something like this happened with anyone else?what shall I expect?can I be hopeful....

Kay (author) on January 18, 2015:

Has the gestational sac been growing? If so, I really like the UK's new guidelines that say to wait until it is 25mm and then have one more ultrasound a week later to verify (if there are no complications). Please, keep us updated.

laavanya on January 17, 2015:

I am 9 weeks pregnant with ivf procedure. Dr told me there was no progress in the pregnancy as there were only gestational sac seen with no baby. Now he is suggesting d &c. Is there any hope?

hopeful30 on March 05, 2014:

Hello,I am 7 wks 4 days today after IVF cycle.yesterday I had a scan showing empty sac measuring 6 wk 2 fetal pole or heart beat.the technician mentioned that she could see a very faint yolk sac.but not sure about it.everyone thinks its not a viable hcg level rose from 15000 last wk to 34000 utrus is not ther any hope for me?

FCAbroad from Edinburgh on August 29, 2013:

Thanks for posting

anonymous on May 16, 2013:

wonderful blog thank you for posting...

anonymous on June 14, 2012:

Thank you so much for this! I had my first ultrasound on Monday June 11th. The doctor found the gestational sac with a yolk sac, fetal pole and heartbeat! Then he told me the sac was small. It had been 4 weeks and 4 days since my transfer and 6 weeks and 6 days since the start of my LMP. Two 8-celled fertilized eggs were transfered on May 10th and one appears to have implanted according to the ultrasound. I go back on June 21st for another ultrasound and have been praying that my sac increases appropriately in size. Interestingly enough, I have a retroverted uterus!! I am a nervous wreck!

KReneeC on March 16, 2012:

Great lens... Thank you so much for this!!

anonymous on December 03, 2011:

Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!! I have beenworrying about my hcg levels not doubling AND on top of that they did a scan at six weeks because of some stabbing pains and they said the yolk sac was too small for its gestation. I had my heart ripped out of my chest when they re-did the hcg levels and found it was not doubling. However after reading your site it makes a whole lot more sense now because i fell pregnant through IVF AND i think i may have a tilted uterus AND i was eight weeks when the doc did my hcg tests according to ivf dating. He felt the levels hadn't risen enough but on having an ultrasound three days later there was my baby's heartbeat. I know we are not out of the woods yet but your information on IVF and HCG levels has helped get me back into the positive frame of mind i thought i would be in during this amazing experience.

wungkim on September 23, 2011:

thanks Michelle... this info means a lot for me...

Florence_Beckworth on September 21, 2009:

Thanks for sharing your personal story with us -- this is a must-read for anyone going through IVF! *****I have included your lens in the top 100 Infertility Site so more people can read your excellent lens when they search for general information and tips of getting pregnant.

anonymous on July 21, 2009:

i would never end the precency life is beauitful no matter what comes to your way if it can be safe and the baby are good have it any way love of having and making babys are good

anonymous on March 29, 2009:

This is a very informative lens. Thank you.IVF Abroad

Kay (author) on March 19, 2009:

Oh Michelle, you need to take this study with you to your next appointment. I have talked to a number of women who look a week or two behind after IVF and all ended up fine. Of course, a miscarriage is always a possibility with any pregnancy but if you are having no complications, there is no reason to have a D&C this early. Seven weeks and even eight weeks is just too early to have a D&C for a blighted ovum. Please, keep me updated. Feel free to email me.

Kay (author) on March 19, 2009:

Oh Michelle, you need to take this study with you to your next appointment. I have talked to a number of women who look a week or two behind after IVF and all ended up fine. Of course, a miscarriage is always a possibility with any pregnancy but if you are having no complications, there is no reason to have a D&C this early. Seven weeks and even eight weeks is just too early to have a D&C for a blighted ovum. Please, keep me updated. Feel free to email me.

anonymous on March 19, 2009:

After the last IVF cycle, last Friday I had my first ultrasound at 7 weeks. The ultrasound didn't show much going on and I only measured 5.5 weeks. A nurse took me into an office and told me that the embryo arrested and that I need a D&C done ASAP. I have no bleeding, spotting or fever. So I left feeling really disheartened and ready to proceed with a D&C the following week, but not until I speak with my doctor. The IVF kept pushing me into a D&C and I didn't feel comfortable doing it until I had my questions answered and I was ready. My RE kicked me out of the practice via a phone conversation with my husband and kept insisting that I must get this done. I am seeing my obgyn now and I'm ok if we need to do a D&C, but not until we're absolutely sure.

anonymous on March 03, 2009:

I think I may have also been just misdiagnosed with a misscarriage after IVF. My inital HCG came back at 48 on day 14 (after retreaval). I was told to repeat the test on day 17. On day 17, the level was 28 and I was told that the pregnancy is not viable. I was told to stop progesterone and estraidol. On day 21, I started having heavy bleeding which stopped on day 24.. I had a repeat HCG on day 24 to confirm the HCG was now normal. However, my HCG was 53. This is the highest value I've had and so I started thinking that I possibIy had a viable pregnancy that misscarried only when the support medications were stopped. I repeated the test today, day 28, and level was 21. The doctor's office told me that I may have had an ectopic that my body is now "reabsorbing." It's heartbreaking for me to think that stopping the support medications could have caused a misscarriage? Could this have actually happened or is the doctor's office right about the possible ectopic pregnancy?

anonymous on January 09, 2009:

Have extremely irregular periods.Was told in a routine exam i have a very retroverted uterus.December 3rd got a positive early result PT.January 6th go in for first internal u/s. Tech was very rude didn't pay attention when I said I have a retroverted uterus and spent 1 minute doing the U/s than told me I'm going to have a m/c.Doctor explains that I should be nine weeks and they see a healthy sac, embryo, and what seems to be a start of a baby. but the sac looks to be 6 weeks size but should see heart beat and don't. like what they see at 4 or 5 weeks.So I could be not as for along as i think i am?Maybe. but your probably going to miscarry.Asked me at least three times if i had any bleeding or cramping no, no, no, and no diminishing pregnancy symptoms.Takes my blood and says I am Nine weeks with what my hormone levels say, 30,000..Than says sorry (didn't check to see if they were going up or down)The baby isn't developing. is there Still hope? No m/c symptoms.. u/s Tues so scared

Kay (author) on November 19, 2008:

Angie, so you think you miscarried but then on the ultrasound the sac was still there? Sometimes women do go through miscarriages and don't realize they are miscarrying a twin. I've had women tell me they had complete miscarriages and weeks later still didn't feel right. When they went in, they found out they were still pregnant. Oftentimes they were told it was probably a twin. Also, sometimes just bleed heavily during pregnancy. I know I did. Hope you get your answers soon.

anonymous on November 19, 2008:

can they misdiagnous a misscarge if the baby was seen at 6 week and at 8 when bleeding starts another doctor on another machine see nothing? I misscarred yesterday but the sack was still there still perfect. What happened?

anonymous on November 19, 2008:

can they misdiagnous a misscarge if the baby was seen at 6 week and at 8 when bleeding starts another doctor on another machine see nothing? I misscarred yesterday but the sack was still there still perfect. What happened?

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