Miscarriage tests can be unreliable

New research has recently suggested that miscarriage tests can be unreliable which has meant that many women are being told incorrectly that their baby has died. Scientists have suggested that ultrasound checks are not accurate enough. The research which has come out of Imperial College London, has been conducted by Prof Tom Bourne. He has said that around 400 pregnancies a year could be being incorrectly thought to be miscarriages.

He has commented about the research, “Women should not be worried about this, but it is important that we stop making this kind of mistake. These numbers are not insignificant and many of the babies could well have been able to reach term.”

The new study involved 1000 women who were thought to be having miscarriages. During pregnancy if a woman experiences bleeding or pain a doctor will perform a scan of the inside of the womb. If they do not detect a heartbeat or if there is no embryo then they will diagnose miscarriage. If the doctor has doubts, they will ask the patient to come back in a week to ten days where they will scan the for. If nothing has occurred they can assume the was a miscarriage as the gestation sac is supposed to have grown.

The research by Prof Bourne has found there will be around 20% variation in the size of gestation sacks from patient to patient. Prof Bourne has asked for there to be improved medical guidelines, more training and additional research. These findings have been published in Ultrasound in Obstetrics.

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