chance of miscarriage after 10 weeks - Mothering Forums

chance of miscarriage after 10 weeks

english-mummy's Avatar english-mummy (TS)
11:55 AM Liked: 0
#1 of 17
11-06-2010 | Posts: 61
Joined: Sep 2010
For some reason I have had such a hard time believing this pregnancy is viable. I have all the symptoms, and can't believe how big my tummy is already (10 weeks today). With my daughter we had no major problems and now have a bouncing two year old. Maybe it is just that I can't spend as much time focusing on this baby. Anyway, a few days ago, after many tearful episodes in which I told my husband and midwife that I had a hard time believing that nothing was wrong with the baby, I finally went for an ultrasound yesterday. We were not planning one until the 20 week scan, but I felt that I really needed to know either way.
I was so nervous for the two days before and was totally preparing myself for no heartbeat, no baby, or maybe twins! Turns out, baby is there, bouncing around, with a strong heartbeat and growing exactly on schedule. I can't tell you how relieved I felt. Suddenly this pregnancy felt real. My daughter watched her little brother or sister bouncing around on the screen and, for the first time in the last 10 weeks, I felt able to be excited about this.
Then, just as we were about to leave the room the doctor stopped us and said, "you know, you are only 10 weeks along and at the moment the chance of miscarriage is still very great, 20%. Not until 11 weeks does the chance drop to 2%."
Boom, there went my feelings of elation. My husband told me it was ridiculous Surely, if everything is right on track now then the chances can't change that dramatically in just one week can they?
Why do doctors use this scare tactic? Man, this is why I am with a lovely midwife!
Anyway, does anyone know whether I can start to relax a bit, or whether the chance of miscarriage really is still that high?
sonshine_rae's Avatar sonshine_rae
12:02 PM Liked: 12
#2 of 17
11-06-2010 | Posts: 851
Joined: Apr 2008
well 20% isn't really that high.. and once you hear the heartbeat/see baby on u/s the chance drops dramatically too.

Anything can happen......... but chances are baby is and will be just fine!
samstress's Avatar samstress
03:29 PM Liked: 62
#3 of 17
11-06-2010 | Posts: 2,236
Joined: Feb 2008
i have no idea what the statistics are, but i felt pretty good after i heard the heartbeat (probably because we never made it that far with the last pregnancy).

sorry that doctor was such a killjoy.

try to focus on how you felt before that.
clutterbug's Avatar clutterbug
04:32 PM Liked: 23
#4 of 17
11-06-2010 | Posts: 2,026
Joined: Apr 2007
I have no idea on the accuracy, but I came across a link that tries to look at the week by week risk. Of course, I can't find it now :P

20% is the OVERALL miscarriage risk for the whole first trimester (or whole pregnancy? not sure). Obviously that risk goes down by week (seeing as the majority of losses are very early).

My pregnancy week-by-week book indicates that the fetal stage of pregnancy starts at 10 weeks, and this is when the risk of miscarriage really starts to drop. Add to that the fact that you've now seen a healthy, on-track fetus, and I think your individual risk drops further. I can't imagine it's 20% at this point.
sillysmile's Avatar sillysmile
04:50 PM Liked: 11
#5 of 17
11-06-2010 | Posts: 266
Joined: Nov 2009
Everything that I've read suggests that once you've seen the hb by u/s, the risk is closer to about 5%. Risk goes down week by week. That doctor was an idiot... the risk doesn't suddenly go from 20% to 2% when you cross the magic line from 10 to 11 weeks. I'm so sorry that you were given such bad information.
HappyMamaBeth's Avatar HappyMamaBeth
05:27 PM Liked: 12
#6 of 17
11-06-2010 | Posts: 245
Joined: Sep 2010
Originally Posted by sillysmile View Post
Everything that I've read suggests that once you've seen the hb by u/s, the risk is closer to about 5%. Risk goes down week by week. That doctor was an idiot... the risk doesn't suddenly go from 20% to 2% when you cross the magic line from 10 to 11 weeks. I'm so sorry that you were given such bad information.
What she said. I KNOW I've read (several times) that once you have confirmed a heartbeat after 8 weeks, the risk of miscarriage is something like <5%.
KarenMT's Avatar KarenMT
10:55 PM Liked: 19
#7 of 17
11-06-2010 | Posts: 862
Joined: Mar 2006
I agree, once you see baby, hearbeat and you are on track without any symptoms of a miscarriage the statistic is not 20%. I agree with everyone, why the hell do Drs and technicians have to be so negative about pregnancy. Yes, there are some high risk individuals but when a normal healthy pregnanant woman comes in does it make them feel better to send her away with fears. I went for a CVS at 11 weeks and had previously spoke with my midwife who didn't even mention "AMA" since I am 40- she focused more on healthy diet, exercise, etc. I am super healthy and all. Well the perinatologist after the procedure commenced to lecture me that I needed to have my 18 week scan with them and then "I'm sure you'll need more, plus twice weekly Non Stress tests from 34 weeks" "You are 40 and .... blah blah...your placenta... ".. I left there thinking... just because I'm 40 you think my placenta is suddenly going to shrivel up and fall out at 40 weeks??? Anyways.... I think they are trained to try and scare us into thinking our bodies are fully inadequate to birth.
clutterbug's Avatar clutterbug
11:56 AM Liked: 23
#8 of 17
11-07-2010 | Posts: 2,026
Joined: Apr 2007
Originally Posted by KarenMT View Post
I agree with everyone, why the hell do Drs and technicians have to be so negative about pregnancy.
I think philosophy definitely plays into it, but I also think that the litigious nature of medicine, particularly this area of medicine, hasn't helped, either. They don't want to provide blanket reassurance because they don't want it to come back to haunt them as "The doctor said everything was fine, and then [insert bad thing] happened". I don't think the vast majority of patients even think that way, but it seems like doctors often look at everyone as capable of being a potential lawsuit and make sure they cover butt at all times, even if it means being overly harsh
Blanca78's Avatar Blanca78
12:55 PM Liked: 263
#9 of 17
11-07-2010 | Posts: 2,078
Joined: Jul 2009
I posted this in longer form yesterday but the computer ate it. Anyway, just wanted to share that my doctor--who is normally pretty cautious about giving false hope, especially because I had previously had a lostt--told me at 8 weeks that upon seeing a strong heartbeat and getting past 8 weeks, the miscarriage chance drops to around 3%. And she also told me that most miscarriages happen by 8 weeks, which I also read online.

Sorry your doctor was freaking you out.
ryleeee's Avatar ryleeee
03:39 PM Liked: 46
#10 of 17
11-07-2010 | Posts: 2,663
Joined: Feb 2005
i went to the ER for spotting around 6 weeks and saw the heartbeat...the doctor told me it would be VERY rare to have a miscarriage after seeing the heartbeat, less than 4%, even at 6 weeks! sounds like your doctor didn't know what he was talking about.
english-mummy's Avatar english-mummy (TS)
03:50 PM Liked: 0
#11 of 17
11-07-2010 | Posts: 61
Joined: Sep 2010
thank you everyone. I knew the doctor was talking bs but you know, he planted that little seed of doubt. I guess we are also supposed to trust doctors, so even when I don't believe what I am hearing, there is still apart of me that thinks I should!
It is great to have all this support though and to hear what I guess deep down I believe to be true too. So, thank you
Heres hoping for lots of sticky babies all 'round
Crystalyn's Avatar Crystalyn
06:50 PM Liked: 0
#12 of 17
11-07-2010 | Posts: 124
Joined: Sep 2010
When I was 7 weeks, my doctor told me my chances of miscarrage was 3% since we saw/heard the heartbeat (it would have been much higher if we hadn't heard it). She told me it would drop to 2% at 12 weeks...
purplestraws's Avatar purplestraws
07:03 PM Liked: 0
#13 of 17
11-07-2010 | Posts: 321
Joined: Sep 2006
I came across a link (legitimate medical site) the other day that said that if you see a healthy baby with a good heartbeat on ultrasound after ten weeks your risk of miscarriage drops to near zero. The fetal period begins at the 10th week and that's why the miscarriage risk drops so dramatically. I just looked on wikipedia and it said that the loss rate between 8.5 weeks and birth is, very low after 8 1/2 weeks.

Some doctors are just so negative.
tzs's Avatar tzs
12:44 AM Liked: 53
#14 of 17
11-09-2010 | Posts: 1,617
Joined: Aug 2009
i wasn't even freaked out about miscarriage so i don't know why my ob mentioned it...maybe b/c he's so super positive...but after seeing the heartbeat at 10 weeks he said the chances of miscarriage were so nil that if i called the next day with bleeding he wouldn't even want to see me.
i guess he's on the other side of the much that i thought it was kinda weird. oh well.
jeminijad's Avatar jeminijad
05:46 AM Liked: 94
#15 of 17
11-10-2010 | Posts: 896
Joined: Mar 2009

Just like everyone else, I've read that the risk after seeing a h/b and 8 weeks is very low. Still exists, but certainly not 20%.

xtara2003x's Avatar xtara2003x
07:33 AM Liked: 21
#16 of 17
11-10-2010 | Posts: 983
Joined: Sep 2006

I have had two miscarriages this year.  I was always told once you heard the baby's HB with a doppler or a US after like 8 weeks...your chances of m/c drop significantly. For me, I felt immediatly reassured and better once I heard the HB on a doppler at 9 weeks 3 days.  I'm sorry that doctor took your security away by the way he spoke.  That is really sad to me.  I can't imagine your risk being 20% still after seeing everything on US look great! Hang in there mama!! I think you're safe!! *hugs*

ceriserenee's Avatar ceriserenee
09:51 AM Liked: 23
#17 of 17
11-10-2010 | Posts: 191
Joined: Sep 2010

My midwife explained that the reason they tell you that your risk of miscarriage is 20% until 12 weeks, is because that is usually when they can find a heartbeat with a doppler. If you see it, or hear if by U/S earlier than that, you are automatically in the lower bracket or 5% or less. It is hearing the heartbeat that drops your risk, not when you hear it. There are times when other things happen, and the risk is never gone, but it does drop and I am sorry that the doctor scared you. They don't know how to trust a woman's body at all. They sometimes live in so much fear, they can't let you just be happy. 


I just keep remembering, this is a natural process. My body is working everyday to help this baby grow and live! 


Hope you are feeling better and keeping you in my thoughts!



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