Jan 022013

“Don’t test for pregnancy until 2 to 3 weeks after your missed period.  That way if a miscarriage happens again, you can just assume it was a really heavy period.” – OB to mother with a history of early pregnancy loss.

Share Button
 January 2, 2013  OB, pregnancy loss  Add comments

  31 Responses to ““…If A Miscarriage Happens Again, You Can Just Assume It Was A Really Heavy Period.””

  1. “That would be my grandmother’s advice. But I thought you were a doctor. A doctor could test to figure out why I’m miscarrying and perhaps solve the problem rather than subjecting my body and my psyche to repeated losses. So try that again.”

  2. Aaaannnd, we’re back. :/

    “No doctor, that’s not going to work. You see, if we go that route then I’m going to be left to assume that every slightly-heavier-than-normal period is actually a miscarriage that I’m not supposed to think about. So, maybe you could actually run some tests or something and we can work on the actual problem instead of trying to cover it up?”

    Sorry OP! :(

  3. Orrr…how about we test ASAP so we can treat the problem?

  4. This is appalling! There are so many easily diagnosed and treated causes of recurrent pregnancy loss (particularly early losses) that this mentality just speaks of outright laziness on the doctor’s part. The current standard of care for women who suffer multiple miscarraiges is a travesty… many women having to wait until they’ve had 3 or 4 consecutive losses before the medical community will do anything. Doctor, do your job and find out what is causing this medical issue.

    OP, I am so very sorry.

  5. “I can’t solve the problem of your miscarriages, so I’ll try to solve the problem of you knowing that you are miscarrying. This is exactly the same as if it never happened.” Maybe this doctor should just prescribe binge drinking to forget about it. What a pile of puke.

  6. I can see both sides of this. I had four miscarriages and no cause was found, despite extensive testing. My OB advised that I didn’t test too early because, if I did have another miscarriage and it was very early, I would mourn the loss.

    What she said was that there was no reason for me to have more miscarriages but there was nothing to be gained, medically, from finding out I had experienced a so-called ‘chemical pregnancy’.

    Having said this, I agree that if there is an underlying cause for the miscarriages, then ignoring early losses only delays finding the cause and puts the body and mind through more stress.

    I also agree with the poster who pointed out that, without testing for pregnancy, every heavy period may be a suspected miscarriage and that is very hard psychologically.

    Happily, my fifth pregnancy was successful.

  7. OP, I’m so sorry for your losses.
    This doc is a joke.
    Seriously – “I don’t know how to deal with multiple miscarriages, and I don’t like dealing with emotion, so I’ll just bury my head in the sand, ostrich-style, and I’d appreciate if you’d do the same.” I hope this doc gets un-explainable aches and pains and gets a doc just like himself!

  8. I think this may have been a doctor’s attempt at kindness, just extraordinarily insensitively done. There are treatable causes of repeated early pregnancy loss, but some losses shortly after your period was due are just one of those things — I experienced a miscarriage like that myself, which I was only aware of because of an early detection test. I think the doctor may have been trying to say, “If it’s torture to you to lose a pregnancy, you would be unaware of some natural losses that occur if you opted not to use an early detection test. You could consider not testing until your period is late by 2 to 3 weeks.”

    That said, I have no medical training and I came up with a more sensitive way to say it, so one would think a doctor could manage.

  9. “Try not to think of your baby dying as anything other that a biological function, like peeing.”


    OP, I am so sorry!

  10. I am sorry to say this is mine. I am actually in the process of another early miscarriage. My first miscarriage was featured here too. “Just A Sac & Some Tissue” and “161 pounds”. I had a second miscarriage right after that and I made an appointment with this OB to try to prevent a third. It was almost a month before she could work me in.

    I think it is an important distinction to make; the quote has been edited slightly for clarity. This OB never ever called my early losses a miscarriage or even a loss. What she said was “Don’t test for pregnancy until 2 to 3 weeks after your missed period. That way if *this* happens again, you can just assume it was a really heavy period.”

    She took a brief sexual and medical history, and I highlighted a few things in my history that concerned me in reference to early pregnancy loss that I wanted her to look into. I also mentioned that losing two pregnancies in 2 months and that the dismissive treatment from the NP (another practice) really hurt my feelings. That’s why she said that, she seemed to think it would help.

    I asked to be screened for STIs and diabetes and have my progesterone checked before trying again (which would have been a good start, addressing some of the concerns I had mentioned earlier). To that she said “Technically it has to be 3 before I can consider it a problem.” (Again, not a loss or miscarriage.) So I was sent home to start working on my third “this” with the advice that I could try again right away or wait a couple of months if it made me feel better.

    I left a message on her voicemail on Christmas Eve that I had begun the process of another miscarriage and I wanted to schedule a follow-up so I could get the tests I asked for at the first visit.

    Her secretary called back in a few days and told me “The doctor is not happy with you, you are not supposed to be testing for pregnancy this early.” and “You were just here, you’re not even supposed to be trying for another two months!” I was shocked, 1 that she knew that and 2 that she would chastise me like a child (not that children ever deserve that). I told her that I wished she would just pass the message along to the doctor, and have her call me back with instructions on how to proceed. Then parroting the OB who did not want to talk to me directly (I could hear her in the background at this point, the secretary was just repeating) – “You are just getting false positives because you are testing so early.” (I said I’d never heard of that, everything I read said the opposite), “Those home pregnancy tests are so inaccurate. Stop wasting your money. If you think you might be pregnant you should come in a few weeks after your missed period for a blood test.” And “So many women think just because they get a positive home pregnancy test that they are pregnant, but you are not really pregnant until a blood test confirms it, or we find the heartbeat.”

    In the end the secretary declined to schedule a follow-up and told me to wait a few weeks to “see what happens” and call back then. Of course I’m not calling them back. I made an appointment with another OB a few towns over and I hope that goes better. In the meantime if something goes wrong with this miscarriage, I will just have to take my chances at the ER.

    • Carolyn, I’m so sorry you’re being mistreated this way. your doctor is being negligent, and she knows it.

      Afterward, when you’re in a calm place, please write to the state licensing board and be sure to include the “wasting our money” comments as well as the fact that the doctor was audible in the office and refused to get on the phone.

      And, I’d add, refused to acknowledge a pregnancy without a blood test but refuses to do a blood test.

      **hugs** and I”m sorry for your losses.

    • How horrible that they did that to you.

      I had the same thought as you–that they were treating you like a child. As if you don’t have the right to take a HPT whenever and wherever you choose. As if you care whether the doctor is happy with you or unhappy with you for doing as you wish with your own body and your own health and well-being.

      I hope that your new OB is kinder, more empathetic, and cares more about what you want and about your concerns. And I’m so sorry that you’ve had to go through any of this.

    • I’m so sorry, and as someone with a history of early miscarriages, I’m horrified on your behalf. In the case of one miscarriage, I never even had a positive pregnancy test. I just knew I was pregnant and knew it wasn’t a regular period because I know my body and had been through it before. Not having a positive test didnt make it not hurt. This poor excuse for a doctor sounds like someone who, among other shortcomings, can’t see past the clinical aspect of things. Obtaining clinical proof of pregnancy/miscarriage doesn’t change a thing about what you know and experience in your heart and soul. Again, I’m so sorry you are dealing with this, both the miscarriages and the total lack of professional care. I second Jane in urging you to document this for the state licensing board, when you are in a place to deal with that.

    • Yeah, that “it’s not real until I say it is” is very pervasive in the medical community. Like the doctor telling a friend that her child wasn’t having seizures, because he never had one in the doctor’s office. Until he did- then, lo-and-behold, he suddenly had a seizure disorder. @$$wipes.

      Carolyn, I’m so very sorry for your losses. Having had two miscarriages myself, I’m very aware of what you’re going through. You are in my prayers.

    • Wow. There are not even words for how horribly this doctor treated you. I am so sorry that you have had to endure not only a miscarriage, but this doctor’s treatment during the holiday season.

      • Oh, and definitely report this doctor as soon as you are ready. Aside from being absolutely horrible, relaying medical advice through office staff is more than likely a HIPPA violation.

    • Carolyn, I’m so very sorry for your losses, and for the callous way you were treated by those who should be helping you. :(

      Have you looked into NaPro technology at all? The practitioners are skilled at diagnosing and treating recurrent pregnancy loss, among other issues. http://www.naprotechnology.com/

      • Thanks JoAnna, there is a doctor within an hour’s drive of me who is listed on fertilitycare.org, that will be my next step if the new OB won’t even screen me for the most basic things either.

    • I’m so sorry that you are going through these hard times. When I was suffering from recurrent miscarriages, I found the book Fertility, Cycles & Nutrition by Marilyn Shannon very helpful. I also switched my clinic to a different one so that I wouldn’t have to see the same office or doctors again. Both were very helpful to me.

    • Carolyn, thank you for clarifying, and I am so sorry for the losses and for the fact that you had such a hard time. I retract my previous comment that this doctor may have been trying to do a kindness…with the additional details you’ve provided, I’d say instead that this doctor just doesn’t want to deal with the situation. I sincerely hope that your new OB provides you the care you deserve.

    • So sorry for your loss. You definitely need to report this doctor. He is being truly negligent with you. And, having the secretary relay messages about your medical condition is just not right at all. I’ve never had a blood test to confirm pregnancy. In fact, the first time I was pregnant I asked my OB about that and they said the home pregnancy test are 99% accurate and they would basically do the same test when I came in to confirm pregnancy, so what your doctor is saying is ridiculous. I hope you find a new OB who is more caring and gets to the root of your problem rather than writing you off. I had a friend go through a similar thing with her OB. He told her she had to miscarry 4 times before doing anything. After the 3rd she switched to a naturopathic doctor and he pretty much figured out why she was miscarrying right away. Again, I hope you find someone else who knows what they are doing.

    • When I first read this one, I admit I was at least a little sympathetic to the doctor. This was insensitively-worded, but it’s not really bad advice. Chemical pregnancies (for the record, I absolutely despise that term) can be such a heartbreak, and a lot of women could avoid that heartbreak if they just waited longer to test.

      But after reading the rest of the OP’s story, I’m just appalled. I’m so sorry you had to put up with this, OP. I hope you’re able to find a provider who puts the “care” back in “medical care.”

    • The secretary was bang out of order on every single level.

      • I don’t blame her at all. It was pretty clear that the doctor approved of every thing she said. I’ve been in that position before. When your boss is over your shoulder telling you what to say and refusing to get on the phone it is not an easy thing to deal with. Mine used to do that all the time.

        • Yes, I’ve worked as a secretary and been in a similar situation. I didn’t read the part where the OB was telling her what to say – tricky. Doesn’t say much for the OB.

  11. “Fine. Then don’t send me a bill until 2-3 weeks after my appointment. That way, if I don’t pay you, you can assume it’s just because I was never really here.”

    • That made me smile. This visit ended up costing me $15/minute (and that was after insurance paid part), worse than any 900 number I’ve ever heard of. And doctors wonder why some patients wait so long to seek treatment when there is clearly something wrong.

      • Glad I could make you smile. I’m so sorry for your losses and for having to deal with this D-bag of a doctor. I hope your new OB works out better!

      • What on earth is this doctor charging you for? She didn’t do anything, didn’t examine anything, didn’t test anything… She effectively denied you care when you called for help with this m/c.

        Maybe someone else can answer this: Is there any recourse for what are in effect charges for no service? The office visit is billable, but is there any way to nail this doctor’s office for insurance fraud or billing fraud when the doctor has refused to provide any kind of care one could reasonably expect from a doctor?

        • My husband corrected me, it was $15/minute before insurance and $12/minute after insurance. Since it was only a 10 minute visit, this was just the normal fee for a new patient office visit. She did weigh me, measure my height, take a history and come up with a plan of action (do nothing / wait and see). My insurance company says that is what a new patient office visit is and that it was a fair charge. But you’re right, it isn’t right.

Leave a Reply