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Pregnancy

Yolk sack, but no baby

03/26/2007

Question:

This is my second consecutive miscarriage. My OB didn`t officially state that I have miscarried, but I am positive about my dates. I conducted an ovulation test and know that I ovulated 24-36 hours as of 2/1/07 which would make me at least 8 1/2 weeks pregnant. Only a yolk sack was found on the ultrasound - nothing else. My question is - isn`t this a miscarriage? and why wouldn`t the doctor just tell me? I practically begged my doctor to help me find out why I am miscarrying, but she said that there isn`t additional testing until a third miscarriage. I am 35 years old and have had prior healthy pregnancies. Why would I all of the sudden have 2 consecutive misscarriages? I am convinced there was damage done to my uterine wall due to the two c-sections I had to have, but my doctor acts like this isn`t even possible. Please give me some help and advice! I have read that having 2 miscarriages (consecutive) is reason to be concerned. I waited six months after my last miscarriage before my husband and I started to try again. After three months we conceived. My first miscarriage - the ultrasound showed a fetal pole w/no sack and no heartbeat. 2 miscarriages indicates that there is something medically wrong, right? And the fact that there was only a yolk sack and no baby - at 8 1/2 weeks indicates a miscarriage doesn`t it?

Thank you so much

Answer:

A yolks sac is evidence of a pregnancy and I would agree that you miscarried. Technically speaking this may have been a blighted ovum, given that there was no fetal pole, which is possibly important to distinguish as it relates to future pregnancy chances. Early miscarriages are very common and occur more often in women over 30. Your prior C-sections are an unlikely cause of your current misfortunes. Most early pregnancy losses are due to genetic issues in the developing pregnancy.

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Response by:

Arthur T Ollendorff, MD Arthur T Ollendorff, MD
Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati