A. The height of the uterus within the pelvis is very variable, so I wouldn’t put much emphasis upon it. Twins are always a possibility, but that will very soon be determined via ultrasound.
A. Yes, it is. Blood vessels in the genital area tend to become a bit fragile during pregnancy, so very light flow is not considered abnormal, although levels approaching menses certainly would be. Also, the stretching of the uterus will cause mild cramping.
A. It is possible to have intermittent bleeding episodes during pregnancy, usually for reasons that are not harmful. These episodes, however, are not “periods” in the traditional sense as menstrual activity ceases during pregnancy.
A. This depends upon what method the doctor used to try to detect the heartbeat. If it was a Doppler device in which only a sound is produced, then it would be quite a bit too early to hear the heartbeat. However, if this was a sonogram, in which a picture is produced, then the beating heart should definitely be detectable by eight weeks. Your doctor can follow this latter situation by repeating the sonogram in a week or two.
A. Not necessarily. You might not be as far along as you think; one third of menstrual pregnancy dates turn out to be incorrect. On the other hand, if you are essentially certain when you got pregnant, then by two months, or eight to nine weeks, a heartbeat should be easily seen on vaginal ultrasound. The matter can be settled by a combination of blood pregnancy hormone levels and repeat ultrasound tests.
A. There are several questions here. As to the hormone numbers, there are no hard and fast rules, but 14 is considered extremely low and raises the possibility of early miscarriage. The next test will be important in answering that question. If you had a cerclage before, you’ll need it again. There’s no scientific evidence that bed rest adds anything to the success rate of pregnancy. You should discuss this with your doctor.
A. At less than 12 weeks, a fetal Doppler is not going to be able to reliably detect fetal heart tones, so most likely you are hearing the pulsation of your own arteries. Blood circulating through an artery can cause a sound a bit like the rushing of wind.
A. All it means is that the HCG hormone level is low, which can mean a very early pregnancy or a later one that is in the process of being lost. If the pregnancy is healthy, the test should turn strongly positive in five to seven days.
A. Not if the event occurred two weeks ago and has not recurred. If anything important, such as a miscarriage were occurring, the bleeding would not be brief and limited, but would persist. Your doctor should be able to reassure you at your next visit.
A. It means nothing by itself other than that there is, or recently was, a pregnancy. What matters is how the number is changing. In a normal first trimester, the value should double every 72 hours from about 6 to 10 weeks. So, in order to take any valuable information from this test, it needs to be repeated in a few days in order to see if it’s increasing as it should.
A. This is a very common event in pregnancy. Fully one-third of the time, the correct gestational age as determined by ultrasound does not square with menstrual dates. From what you tell me, it is most likely that you got pregnant a few weeks later than you thought you did as a result of delayed ovulation. If, for example, your pregnancy test first showed positive in late May, you could have conceived around the middle of that month and still be only six to seven weeks by mid-June. This is why many of us are encouraging that ultrasound be done quite early in the pregnancy, so that a reliable due date can be established.
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